At the start of a relationship, passions burn hot. You can't keep your hands off of each other. The sex is awesome, and often. But, when you’re no longer in the first throws of romance, it’s normal for sex to fall off your list of priorities. Work, kids, finances can take precedent. But you can rebuild intimacy. Check out the tips below for some good ideas that could help you get that spark back.
Get nostalgic. Remember when you first got together and share memories of those early days. Recapture some of that ‘spark’ by recreating fond moments; visit an old haunt, get dressed up for dinner, or simply set the alarm 10 minutes early so you can enjoy a cuddle before work.
Get competitive. A pillow fight or a heated game of Scrabble is not only fun, it can make your relationship feel more exciting.
Talk more. The more you have open honest conversations, the more comfortable you’ll both be raising issues around sex. The closer you feel to each other, the more intimate you will feel.
Flirt. As the years pass by, some couples feel more like friends than partners. Try to be bolder in your displays of affection and let your partner know you still find them attractive – flirting reminds you of that sexual connection you share.
Think about your surroundings. A messy bedroom, harsh lighting or dirty bed linen won’t help get you in the mood. Clean up and create a romantic atmosphere in which you both can both relax. A few candles and a home-cooked meal might help.
Make nice gestures. Compliments, buying their favorite food at the supermarket, or texting during the day to tell them you’re thinking of them can all help remind your partner of the affection between you.
It's not all about sex. Remember that not all moments of intimacy and affection have to lead to sex; if your partner only associates affection from you as an attempt to have sex, intimacy will break down.
Touch. Oxytocin, a chemical in our bodies responsible for bonding in relationships, increases when you touch someone. Thanks to oxytocin, something as simple as holding hands or giving your partner a kiss on the cheek can help build intimacy.
Do something daring. Anything from watching a scary movie to going skinny dipping on vacation – the adrenaline and shared feeling of vulnerability can help bring you closer.
Have realistic expectations. No one has a Hollywood relationship, and while it may look like all your friends are enjoying fulfilling sex lives, no one ever knows what goes on behind closed doors. Comparing other relationships to yours will only set you up for disappointment. Instead, try to focus on what your partner does do for you, not what they don’t.