One of the biggest misconceptions out there may be that nearly all married people are unhappy.
Says who? Statistically speaking, most married people are happy. An e-Harmony poll found that 64 percent of couples were “very happy”, 50 percent were happy in their sex lives, and even among millennials, couples between the ages of 25-35 were the happiest of any demographic.
While people might seem cynical about a lot of things happening in the world, love doesn’t have to be one of them.
Naturally, this leads some people to wonder: “Why am I not happy? Why has the passion in my relationship fizzled out?”
In this discussion, we’re going to talk about why passion ebbs, why divorce or cheating is not really a long-term solution, and what you can do to fix your marriage and count yourself among that happy 64 percent.
Is It Normal to Lose Passion in a Relationship?
Statistically speaking, most couples lose passion for these reasons:
- Because they grow apart and communication ceases
- Because they are always in conflict
- Because of trust issues
- Because sex is infrequent or unexciting
- Because one or both partners undergoes medical and or psychological problems
The first three scenarios are the most damaging because a lack of communication and constant conflict can lead to growing apart. It’s no surprise sex is nonexistent when there is no more emotional intimacy.
The F case scenario is problematic but when a couple is in love, they can always find ways around these limitations. Even men and women who have undergone major surgery can still enjoy sex by using their imagination and working around those medical issues with toys, or roleplays, or other wellness products.
For more on studies on sexual problems, visit this National Health Service link on loss of libido.
That leaves category E: sex is unexciting. Sex is boring or routine, or maybe it never happens at all.
Maybe the problem is so many couples assume a drop in libido is just “normal”, or “part of married life.”
Society may frown upon “older people having sex” because maybe that’s not what a teen or twenty-year-old wants to think about. No offense, mom and dad.
But there’s absolutely nothing scientific or honest in saying that sex just stops.
How Long Does Passion Last in a Relationship?
Maybe sexual desire slightly drops after a certain age, at least compared to your twenties. But it’s perfectly normal for couples of any age to feel desire, have sex, and even have sex more than once a day.
Good sex is whatever you’re willing to put into it as a couple who desires more passion and who communicates openly about what you want. You can’t expect intimacy or sex to be great if you never talk about it. Communication is what turns fantasy into reality.
Passion lasts in a relationship as long as two people love each other, and are willing to work at improving their sex life. Just like in dating, it all depends on the work you’re prepared to put into the relationship. Because you value your partner, and because sex IS that important to you.
And there’s nothing wrong with saying, “I want more sex.” Sex is a need. It’s not just physical release. It’s emotional bonding. It’s intimacy. It’s the love we feel expressed physically. It’s directly tied into your healthy ego, and your partner’s. We all have a need to feel appreciated, desired, and pampered.
Why Do Couples Lose Interest in Each Other?
Most of the time, the problem is not about a major conflict. People simply forget that sex is an art form and something that we must actively create. It doesn’t just happen by accident.
Here’s something that counselors see a lot of in marital counseling.
We have been together for __ years. We both have sex the same way we always have. It just gets boring after a while. I don’t feel the same attraction anymore.
But more often than not, the issue is not a lack of attraction.
The issue is that we give up on sex. We have the same sex life we’ve had for __ years!
Some couples assume their first sexual experience together (which was intense and worth repeating) is the sexual peak. They never try to top it. They never go outside the box and explore new ideas or new experiences.
They figure, that one night was so great, let’s do it all the time. Forever. Just that way.
So is it any surprise that sex becomes stale if we intentionally keep the same routines? Just like eating the same hamburger meal every day would eventually drive a person crazy!
As intelligent and emotional beings, we like variety. More than that, we like discovery.
But How Do You Rekindle Passion in a Long-Term Relationship?
The more we think about what actually does turn us on, and used to turn us on, the more we have to admit that trying new things was the first step. You didn’t know your partner was so good in bed until you dated him. You didn’t know you liked a certain kind of kinky sex until you saw it in a movie and thought, “Wow! I wish I could try that!”
So it’s when YOU and your partner take the initiative to discover something new, that sex actually improves by 100 percent. Nobody brings it to you. No one can mind-read.
Even a Mysterious Prince Charming out of a romance novel will only give you one night of absolutely perfect bliss. Because after the initial discovery, the newness of the affair, he’s just a man like any other. And the answer to how to keep a relationship going is to keep it fresh. Try new things. And open your mind to what could be.
How to Keep a Relationship Alive
The first mistake may well be that you’re trying to keep something alive – or in other words trying to make it stay the same – rather than challenging yourselves to try something new. You try hard to keep what you have going, don’t expect anything new. Right?
What you actually want is to learn how to bring excitement back into an already good relationship.
To start, make an agreement with your partner that you will both talk openly about the idea and avoid any kind of blame or negativity. This is a positive discussion on how to make sex better and better fulfill BOTH of your needs.
Better sex happens as the direct result of improving your emotional connection and maintaining your expressions of physical and emotional love.
Touch More and Passion Back Into Your Life
So one of the first things therapists might tell a couple to do would be to work on touching each other more. It sounds very obvious, maybe even hokey to you. But there’s a point.
The feeling of love (and emotional connection) happens when the bonding hormone oxytocin is released. It happens not only when you first start dating somebody (which explains why the best sex is always in the beginning!) but also ANY TIME that you touch.
The same bonding hormone is released whenever you tell your body, this is my partner, the one I love, the one I’m attracted to. And that starts the feelings of euphoria that you can build on, with more intimate conversation.
Don’t be afraid to share and to be honest about what turns you on in a way you’ve never tried before.
How to Keep the Spark Alive in a Relationship
If you’re wondering how to keep a relationship interesting with new ideas try these “baby steps” before doing anything too crazy.
- Build anticipation for sex hours or even days in advance
- Always plan for sex – there’s never time otherwise
- Never mix talk of household chores and kinky sex!
- Eliminate all distractions
- Ask your partner about his fantasies and then let him ask you – play truth or dare!
- Talk about kink you would maybe like to try and then stuff you would never try
- Avoid doing anything from the old routine
- Share all the kinks you enjoy privately with your partner
- Practice sensual and sexual touch without orgasm
- Be creative and come up with a roleplay you’ve never tried before
It’s a simple start but it will take a good while and go a long way in building trust.
How Do You Bring the Spark Back into a Relationship?
In closing, remember that sex never just happens because we deserve it, want it, or need it. We have to ask for what we want. We have to talk about our needs with a partner who loves us. We have to put forth the effort to make a change.
Opening your mind and embracing new experiences is how to bring passion back into a relationship. Ideas come and go. But in the end, you love your partner enough to save this marriage, to fulfill each other completely, and to decide that sex is NOT over and you still have many more years to enjoy each other’s body and mind.
For more on building intimacy and rekindling passion in your life, check out my programs for the best flirting and relationship tips