A frequent concern expressed by long-term couples is the dwindling, or outright extinguishing, of their relationship "spark." This can include emotional distance, trouble communicating and a reduction in time spent being physically intimate. So what can be done to keep the “spark” alive in your relationship? Numerous research studies have been aimed at answering this question and have uncovered three variables that are associated with more passionate emotional and sexual relationships.
First effective communication is highly correlated with passion. Couples who routinely make an effort to tell their partner that they love them are more likely to experience sustained passion both within the bedroom and out. Likewise, partners who feel comfortable discussing their sex life with each other, including their likes and dislikes, tend to experience more sexual satisfaction and relationship fulfillment. On the other hand, couples who do not communicate effectively may actually begin to see the intimacy degrade, rather than simply stagnate. The research is clear, talk to your partner!
Just as communication is vital in maintaining passion, so too is mindfulness. Studies report that couples who are consistently mindful of their relationship experience deeper passion and intimacy. This includes couples who set aside time for weekly date nights, make regular sex a priority and are intentional about being attentive to each other's emotional needs. In fact, one study found that when men and women were attentive and responsive to their partner's needs, their partners actually experienced an increase in sexual desire toward them.
Finally, it is important to highlight the enormous role that friendship within the relationship plays. At times, it can be easy for couples to allow their friendship with each other to fade or take a back seat to the hustle and bustle of their busy lives. However, research shows that couples who place an emphasis on friendship are more likely to view their relationship positively. Cuddling, playing around, having fun, and engaging in activities they enjoyed when they first started dating are all examples of ways couples can foster passion and intimacy.
Long-term relationships don't have to leave couples feeling distant and cold. Like anything else, relationships take work. Fortunately for many couples, small changes in communication, mindfulness, and attentiveness can reap some truly wonderful rewards. Time doesn't have to be the enemy of passion!
At Edgar Psychological, we want to help you find satisfaction and happiness in your relationship. Contact us for more information or to book an appointment!