WRITTEN BY Felicia Kashevaroff
Rekindle the Passion: 7 Secrets to Bring Back the Spark
When you first get into a relationship, most people experience something called New Relationship Energy, where you can’t stop thinking about your new partner, crave time together, and can’t keep your hands off each other. It feels electric and hot, just like the spark that lights a flame.
For many of us, the goal is to build a long, lasting relationship that extends past the first few months where the new relationship energy keeps the fire between us burning strong.
As Esther Perel aptly points out in Mating in Captivity, an inherent conflict in modern relationships makes sustained passion especially difficult to maintain. She acknowledges a paradox between love and desire, namely that desire feeds on novelty, mystery, and risk. Conversely, a loving relationship thrives on safety, security, and predictability.
It’s true that our erotic imaginations feed off of novelty, but I would argue that loving relationships can be even hotter. In her TED talk, Dr. Sue Johnson argues that emotional intimacy leads to better sex. The safety of a trusting relationship allows people to let their guard down and open up sexually. It sets the tone for a safe adventure and an opportunity to bond even further.
But despite our best efforts, the complexity of life can temporarily dim the flame of desire. Rekindling the flame doesn’t have to be hard, but it does take effort. On the other hand, that effort can lead to great sex – so what’s stopping you?
Here are seven secrets you can use to rekindle the passion and bring back the spark.
- Talk About It – I know, I know. Every single relationship tip starts with communication. And there’s a reason for that. Without proper communication, we’re left to make up our own stories about what our partner thinks or feels. If your partner falls asleep early, you might think, “I’m boring. My partner isn’t attracted to me anymore.” But that may not be true at all! Keep the lines of communication open about sex.
- Build Anticipation – In Emily Nagoski’s book, Come As You Are, she details the difference between spontaneous desire and responsive desire. Someone who experiences spontaneous desire might have a sudden sexy thought pop into their head and get aroused. Someone who experiences responsive desire might need to be kissed or caressed by their partner to become aroused. Some people experience just one type of desire and some people experience both. Neither experience is better than the other. If you or your partner experience responsive desire, building anticipation can help set the tone for sexy time. Send a naughty text message, complement your partner’s body, as you kiss goodbye in the morning, let them know what you want to do to them when you get home. Experiment with different tactics to see what works and listen if your partner says something isn’t getting them going.
- Foster Trust – Like Dr. Johnson said in her TED talk, emotional intimacy leads to better sex and trust build emotional intimacy. But trust is about more than being monogamous. Trust is about showing up for your partner when they need you by offering support on those tough days. It’s about honoring your commitments, both big and small – from taking out the trash to planning the romantic getaway you’ve been talking about for years. Trust also means listening to your partner, believing what they say and allowing it to influence your behavior. Relationship researchers call this accepting influence and it can be a major boost to your partner’s confidence and sense of connection to you.
- Take Something Off Their Plate – In a loving, adult relationship, both partners are responsible for the daily tasks that keep their lives moving forward, but for the sake of efficiency most people find a way to split their responsibilities up so that everything can get done. If you know your partner is especially busy at work, take something off of their plate WITHOUT ASKING! If they’re on dinner duty that night, let them know that you’re taking over and you’re making a dish they love. You’ve got all of the ingredients and food will be ready when they walk in the door. And if you’re not already splitting chores in an equitable way, then for goodness sake, get that done ASAP! Your sex life will benefit!
- Plan a Surprise – Pick up flowers while you’re at Trader Joes or get their favorite cookies, plan a date night at home, or go the old school route and make a modern mixed tape (Spotify playlist). Let your sweetie know that you’re thinking of them and you know what they like. It’s Romance 101, but it works!
- Use Your Experience – Sex with a new person may be exciting, but it isn’t always good. New partners don’t know our bodies. They don’t know what turns us on and what turns us off. But partners that have been together for awhile have the benefit of experience. Use that experience to show your partner that you’ve been paying attention and give them exactly what gets them off. Let your partner bask in the glow of your experience.
- Explore Novelty Together – If we know that novelty sparks desire then why not commit to trying something new together? Is there a new position you’re interested in trying? Communicate it to your partner. Invest in a new sex toy. Listen to erotic stories together. Not everything will work for both of you, but it’s very, very fun to try. Who knows, you might find your new favorite thing!
Ultimately, keeping the flame alive is about intentionality. It’s about being a good partner to one another and prioritising each other’s happiness and wellbeing. If you’ve been struggling to keep the flame burning in your relationship, Tend Task can help. We offer relationship coaching programs that help to restore harmony and rekindle the passion in your relationship. Book a free discovery call today to see how we can help to fan that spark into a fire.