Whether you and your partner have been together for 2 years or 20 years, maintaining passion in a relationship is important.
When we asked women and men what passion meant to them in a relationship, they were stumped. Is this why passion often fizzles out in a long-term relationship? Are we unsure what to look for so we don’t keep working on it? Let’s delve into what passion looks like in a relationship and how to keep the spark alive.
What are the signs of passion in a relationship?
Passion in the context of a relationship can be described as this spark – an intense emotion, attraction, and feeling towards another person. Passion in a relationship goes beyond the fireworks you feel in the bedroom. Sexual passion cannot sustain a relationship alone long-term. For passion to sustain a long-term relationship, it must involve trust, attraction, respect, communication, and genuine appreciation for the other person.
Passion can last if you learn to include every aspect of your relationship and not limit the term to just sex.
Passion in a relationship is:
- Feeling secure
- Sexual chemistry
- Feeling safe to be authentically you
- Desire to try new things and grow with your partner
- Genuine adoration for your partner
How to keep the passion alive
Keeping the passion and spark alive in a relationship requires purpose and work. Think back to when you first started dating. When we start dating someone new, we are enamored with them. We are hungry to be with them, and we nurture the relationship. Here are a couple of ways to nurture your relationship to keep the passion alive.
Continue to be attentive.
In a new relationship, we treat and view our partners as if they are the center of the world. We give them our full attention in conversations and shared activities. We are attentive to their wants and needs. However, as the relationship grows, we often find ourselves taking our partner for granted even though we don’t mean to. Make it a point to tune into your partner. Ask how their day went, let them vent if something went awry, and empathize with their emotions.
Never stop learning new things.
This goes for new activities and new facts about your partner.
By assuming we know everything there is to know about our partner, we lose a certain aspect of connection that we felt in the beginning stages of the relationship. To rediscover this connection, try practicing mindful listening with your partner. Mindful listening is a way of listening without internal and external distractions. It’s about being present and listening deeply to the other person.
Make time for date night.
Going on dates is expected during the beginning stages of a relationship to help get to know one another and build meaningful memories. As things progress, going out on dates becomes less frequent. The importance of date nights is to spend quality time with your partner, free of distractions and stressors from everyday life.
Date nights are especially important if you and your partner have different work schedules. Having opposite work schedules can eventually put a strain on a relationship if you are not nurturing the time you two have together by building meaningful memories. When you schedule a date night, you are showing effort, increasing your bond, and boosting intimacy.
Don’t let things fall by the wayside.
Day-to-day life comes with an abundance of distractions, and it’s easy to let things fall by the wayside in your relationship. How often do you check in with your partner? Set aside some time that allows you two to discuss things that may be missing in the relationship. A great place to begin the conversation is to talk about your love languages. There are 5 love languages:
- Acts of service
- Receiving gifts
- Quality time
- Words of affirmation
- Physical touch
When you understand your partner’s love language, you’ll be able to incorporate more of what they need into the relationship and vice versa. If your partner needs physical touch to feel closer, make it a point to wrap your arms around them or rub their back when they’re doing a mundane activity.
Make time for sex
Like communication, trust, support, and genuine appreciation for each other, sex is another component of a healthy relationship. But a sexual rut is not uncommon and can be a big reason for some couples to why the spark fizzles out. Typically, our desire and passion are at their highest at the beginning of a relationship. As we grow comfortable in the relationship and get caught up in life, we often find ourselves putting sex on the back burner.
To help reignite the spark, make time for sex. Schedule a time and put it on the calendar. It’s a misconception that sex must be spontaneous. Scheduling a time for sex will help build anticipation and excitement.
Along with scheduling a time for sex, make time for physical intimacy. Remember when you couldn’t keep your hands off your partner? Long and passionate kisses, hand-holding, and cuddling are acts of foreplay that will help build anticipation for sex.
What if sex hurts?
For many women, the thought of sex is daunting. Vaginal dryness, vulvodynia, and vaginal atrophy can cause painful sex. If sex is painful, be sure to communicate with your partner and find other alternatives to enjoy intimacy that doesn’t require penetration. Sometimes, pain during sex is simply a lack of lubrication. As we age, our estrogen levels drop, leading to dryness. Using a high-quality lubricant will aid in lubrication, allowing for more comfortable sex.
Passion in a relationship doesn’t have to fade away. To keep a fire going, you start with a spark, and you tend to the flames. Your relationship started with a spark. Reignite that spark and tend to the flames of your relationship.