Dear Barb – Finding the Spark

Dear Barb:

I really enjoy reading your column. My partner and I have been together for many years. Our relationship is good. We get along great and have a lot of fun together. However, lately it seems that our lives have become fairly routine. Our sexual relationship also seems to be lacking the spark. It is still good, but it’s just not as passionate as it used to be. Is there anything you could suggest that might help breathe new life into our intimate relationship?

Jamie in Fredericton

Hi Jamie, it sounds like you and your partner have gotten into a rut, which can easily happen when you are involved in a long-term relationship. You don’t mention whether you have a family, but assuming you do, then it is very easy to get so busy that you forget about each other.

There are many things you can do in your daily lives that will improve your intimate relationship. It is important to make time for each other. Do romantic things, like make a date night. Plan a special evening either at home or at your favourite restaurant. If you have children, arrange for them to go to grandma’s house for a sleepover.

Communicate with each other. Plan fifteen minutes a day to discuss and share each other’s day. Say those all-important three little words “I love you” often. Sometimes just hearing your partner say those words can help to focus your priorities. Laugh together. Enjoy each other’s company. Instead of sitting in front of the TV, you should pull out the scrabble board or a deck of cards. These activities will allow you to see each other as more than simply the person you share a home with. You will see each other as a friend.

The physical act of touching another person is an important aspect of an intimate relationship and goes beyond the bedroom. People often become so comfortable with each other that they don’t take the time to touch. Try holding your partner’s hand while walking through the mall. It may feel awkward at first, but give it time. This action will bring you closer and help you to feel a connection.

Be spontaneous. Plan a surprise getaway or arrange a vacation without telling your partner until the last minute.

You may be thinking, what do all these things have to do with our sexual lives? These are the activities that bring people together and make each other feel important and valued partners to each other.

I have given you a place to begin Jamie, where this all ends up is completely up to you and your partner. You may also want to check-out my column published a few weeks ago (Voice, March 17, 2006). I responded to a question from Vicki in B.C. and provided a list of relationship tips.

E-mail your questions to advice.voice@ausu.org. Some submissions may be edited for length or to protect confidentiality: your real name and location will never be printed. This column is for entertainment only. The author is not a professional counsellor and this column is not intended to take the place of professional advice.

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