Couples frequently ask me about how to keep the passion alive, or how to rekindle it when it dies. I think there are a lot of factors at play that can cause “bed death”. Sadly, I don’t know any foolproof cure, but there are some remedies that often can make a huge difference.
It seems paradoxical to me that the prolonged intimate contact that relationship gives us often builds more and higher walls between us than when we were starting out and hardly knew each other. It’s as if, as we learn each other at a deep level, we begin to expect our partner to just “know” what we want and desire. So we actually communicate less. We no longer say when feelings get hurt over small things, hoping that not saying will avoid hard feelings.
So one remedy is talk. We need to make time to talk about our hopes, fears, upsets, hurts, joys and sorrows. And, equally important, we need to listen to each other. Not that half-hearted, half-attentive, half-open substitute we do for listening. Real, intimate, caring, heart-opened, empathetic listening. Though it can seem challenging, we need to avoid the temptation to try to fix the other person’s problems or offer unsolicited advice.
As important as talk is, in my opinion touch is as important as talk. Rekindling the flame of passion is a lot like how they teach Boy Scouts to start a fire – only instead of sticks you rub two people together. And if you’ve ever started a fire by rubbing sticks together then you know it takes time, stamina, technique, and practice. So too with lovers.
So make dates, set aside time for love-making, include deep and meaningful conversation, get naked and put your bodies together. Add a soupçon of variety. Learn some techniques for more intimacy. Keep a sense of humor and have fun.