Not so long ago, you couldn’t wait to rip their clothes off. Just seeing their hands move across the keyboard, or the outline of their thigh against their jeans, would drive you crazy. You used to go out of your way to get to bed 30 minutes early on week nights or linger there on Sunday mornings.
And then, it all just went away. But why? You love this person. You really do. Why did all the passion suddenly vanish, leaving you in a sexless marriage where libido is low?
According to Esther Perel in Mating in Captivity, the loss of sexual desire in couples is all too common.
And this is really bad, because sex is how adults play. Sex brings couples back to each other after spending their days busy with endless tasks and compelling worries. Sex enables us to get out of our heads and back into our bodies, which contributes to our overall well-being, and raises our immune system, among other things.
For Perel, our search for passion conflicts with our desire for secure love. Put simply, we pursue sex to feel passion, and passion is not part of our stereotypical view of committed, long-term love.
This is not a new idea — the belief that familiarity breeds avoidance is very much a part of our cultural understanding of the nature of love, in all its various forms. Where passionate love feels addictive and anxiety-provoking, secure love feels comfortable and nurturing.
So what can we do when our spouse just doesn’t do it for us anymore? Start by bringing the “unfamiliar” into your waning routine. You can do this in three ways:
- Change the location. Book a hotel room where the surroundings can invigorate your curiosity.
- Change the sex. Try something new, perhaps a new position or a do some role playing.
- Change your look. Something as simple as a new haircut can add a new spark to the mix. A new look can make the role play more fun too.
What if there is no routine to wane? You have to roll up your sleeves and commit to getting your love life back on track. Desperation can be a great motivator.
1. Have sex even when you don’t feel like it.
Many people find that once they get started, the old feeling comes back pretty fast.
2. Find a good therapist.
They can help you figure out what is blocking you. Are you angry and resentful? Are you too tired?
Some couples just can’t connect because they live in their brains and not their bodies. Couple’s meditation is an excellent way to get refocused in your body. Kundalini yoga is an excellent way of getting in touch with your blocked sexual energy. And if you want real adventure, why not go tantric?
4. Take up a physically active hobby together.
It doesn’t have to be marathon-ing or anything really athletic. You could simple float on down the lazy river together in your kayaks. Getting out into the world, seeing new things together and interacting in the world together will make you feel more attracted to your partner. Mutual adventure is good for that.
5. Disconnect from technology.
Perhaps the biggest thing you can do is turn off your computer, your phone and your television 2 hours before you go to bed.
Remember that your partner is still the same person that you once found totally hot. For you, maybe this hotness was just superficial, but chances are, your attraction to them went far deeper than their looks.
Take a moment each day to remind yourself of the exact qualities that made them so totally hot — their hands, their thighs, their laugh, or just the way they chew their cereal. All these things are part of the hotness factor, and easily renewed by the simple act of remembering.