That’s right you heard me. You don’t have to become one of those married couples that doesn’t have sex anymore. The research at The Gottman Institute has found having sex keeps a couple in close emotional contact. The research has also found that 70% of couples report a decrease in sexual satisfaction after having a baby. So, what are the 30% doing differently that still have a satisfying sex life. They still court, they talk about having sex and they make time for having sex. Here are five helpful tips to help rekindle the spark in your relationship:
- Talk about it. Turns out, the most important part about having a healthy sex life is talking about a healthy sex life. Have you ever tried talking about your sexual preferences, fears and hopes? Do you know your story about sex, meaning how you learned about having sex? This is not your typical dinner conversation. But, I encourage you to step outside of your comfort zone and talk about it with your partner.
- Intimacy is more important than intercourse. We have been conditioned to think sex is about the act. It is mainly about the connection. Just as there are seasons in life, your capacity and tolerance for sex fluctuates. You can not measure a healthy sex life by a number. Over the years, your sex life can change. You may not be able to do the things you used to. This is where talking about sex comes in handy. Hugging, holding hands, snuggling and kissing also foster intimacy.
- It takes work to make sex personal. Sure, impersonal sex is easier. You don’t have to worry about what your partner likes or how you will position yourself. A committed relationship is about sharing the mind, body and soul. That doesn’t always sound like fun. Personal sex is work – getting to know your partner’s dreams and body is work. Personal sex is harder but it is better.
- Rituals of connection. This is very important in a relationship. You have rituals for having dinner, having friends over, holidays and birthdays. But, let me ask, do you have a ritual for initiating sex? And, one that you look forward to. A lot of people think of this as planned sex. Which you have already been doing. Think about it, when you were courting, you planned dinner or an outing. At the end of the evening you were hoping for sex.
- Build Love Maps. This is knowing your partner inside and out. What is there favorite ice-cream, who is there least favorite co-worker, favorite childhood memory, etc? The Gottman Institute has Love Map cards and apps. that can help with this. What this means, take a genuine interest in your partner. This will let your partner know that you have their back.
It was pretty risky for me to write about sex. But, how can you be a Marriage and Family Therapist and not talk about it. Needless to say, we talk about it in session. If you would like to improve the intimacy and friendship in your relationship, then please give me a call at (650) 892-0357.