As anyone who’s been in a long-term relationship can tell you, LTRs are tricky business. One of the most difficult things about long-term relationships is simply keeping the intimacy alive. We’re naturally creatures of habit, and sadly, habit and routine can also make our relationships lose their excitement over time.
Restoring intimacy in your relationship isn’t a terribly difficult thing to do, however. It’s simply a matter of addressing the underlying issue, and in many cases, the underlying issues aren’t very complex. In this article, we’ll describe three of the most common intimacy killers in relationships, and what you can do about them.
Be honest about low libido and sex drive
When we’re young and in our 20s, sex marathons are no sweat. “Wanna try every position in the kama sutra over the next 8 hours?” “Totally!”
Then as we get older, sex just kind of becomes… sex. Practice makes perfect, but it also kind of loses its mysticism. It becomes a logical, robotic science. Foreplay for 10 minutes, get to the business for 8 minutes, smoke a cigarette for 5. It becomes scripted, instead of spontaneous and exciting.
Daily-life stress factors can also become more difficult to cope with as we get older, leading to reduced sex drive. It’s kind of hard to be enthusiastic about sex when you’ve got a mortgage, car payments, and credit card bills to pay. There’s also the fact that testosterone starts decreasing around age 40.
If this sounds like your situation, know that the “weekend pill” isn’t only for men who literally can’t “get it up” for physiological medical reasons. According to Dr Earim Chaudry, Sildenafil and Viagra are both legitimate remedies for ED, whatever the underlying cause may be (physiological or stress-related). In fact, Sildenafil and Viagra contain the exact same active ingredient, as Viagra is just a brand name for sildenafil produced and sold by the company Pfizer.
Have some alone time to better enjoy the moments together
Due to the global pandemic in 2020, many couples found themselves working from home together and being together 24/7. While it’s normal that couples let their hair down around each other and pee with the bathroom door open, let out the occasional fart and burp, or clip their toenails in front of each other, so much togetherness brings up the old adage “familiarity breeds contempt”.
The inverse adage is also true – “absence makes the heart grow fonder”. If the intimacy has disappeared in your relationship, it might be because you’re breathing down each other’s necks all day, everyday. Having some time apart is a normal and healthy way to bring some balance back into the relationship, and allow both of you to flourish as individuals with unique interests.
If this situation describes your relationship, here are some ideas to improve it:
- If you both work from home, have separate work rooms. Putting your desks together might sound cute, but it’s a recipe for distraction and frustration.
- Encourage each other to take up separate hobbies that you can focus on in separate parts of your house.
- Try going to bed or waking up at different times than each other. You can also try going on separate morning jogging routes, for example.
Really, it’s all about finding ways to spend a little less time together, so that you can actually appreciate the time you are.
Have more quality time together – emphasis on quality
Being with someone isn’t just about occupying the same space together, otherwise you’re little more than roommates that have sex (and probably not much sex, if you’re reading this article). Relationships are about having quality time together and truly enjoying each other’s company, which means taking the effort to actually make memorable moments together.
What typically happens in relationships is that in the beginning, everything feels new and exciting. Going out for dinner together, watching a movie cuddled up on the couch – this feels romantic in the beginning. After about 6 months of living together, binge-watching Netflix together feels pretty boring and routine. It’s not romantic, it’s just another Tuesday night.
This means you need to come up with new and inventive ways of spending time together – trying a new restaurant doesn’t really count. You’ll just have the same conversations over a different plate of food.
The reason things like watching a movie together felt romantic in the beginning was because it was new – even simple things were things you hadn’t done together before, because you didn’t really know each other yet!
So the key to spending quality time together is trying new things. Going to a museum together, taking cooking and mixology classes, white water rafting. Trying new things creates new memorable moments that keep the excitement alive in a relationship.