Have you ever felt like there is a loss of desire in your relationship? Recently in my couple’s therapy sessions, I have heard a common theme: the desire to feel wanted and sexy.
For many couples, the “flame of desire” can go out when couples get stuck in routines and find themselves on auto-pilot mode. What makes it challenging is trying to get “the spark back.” Such a daunting task because so many questions come to mind “Do he/she still see me attractive?” “Will our sex even be the same?” “Will he/she reject me if I try to initiate sex?” “Why do I have to initiate sex? Why doesn’t he/she ever initiate sex?” “Why don’t you just notice me?” And the list of questions goes on.
If my partner notices me, makes me feel sexy, initiates sex with me, then this will mean ____ about our marriage/about me. Only you know what this will mean for you and your relationship. But knowing this part of you, will be a good reminder to continue to take the risk of reigniting your flame.
So how do you feel sexy in your relationship?
First, it starts off with yourself. Having an open mind before getting started on this journey is crucial!
The reason for this, is because some people sometimes feel guilty for wanting to feel sexy. In some way, it can feel like too much of an ask, especially when everything else is working. If you find this to be true about yourself, do not worry, this happens for many people. Acknowledge that this can be a barrier for you and find ways to tell this inner voice that you do deserve to feel sexy. Speaking of barriers, it can be easy to dismiss and pull away from your partner when they are trying to get close to you. I have processed this with individuals and learned that many times it can be associated with confidence, not feeling comfortable (perhaps due to a traumatic event), or not being in the mood. This is something that must be addressed before moving forward of reigniting the flame and feeling sexy. The reason for this is because when your partner begins to give you the compliments that you have been wanting or initiating sex and trying to make you feel sexy, if you reject it and/or find it challenging to accept, this rejection can eventually lead to no longer trying on your partner’s end. Arguments revolving around “I’m trying” or “I’m doing what you asked me to do” can erupt due to frustration and efforts not being accepted. Learning about the barriers and what is leading to pull away can be helpful for both of you.
Second, the need to want to feel sexy must be addressed in a way your partner will hear you.
If your partner does not know that a need of yours is not being met, expecting them to “just know” will only leave you disappointed. Have an open and honest conversation of what you feel is missing. Let your partner know that you miss them touching you, kissing you passionately, flirting with you, etc.
Third, recognize that the “flame” will not jump back to how things were before.
For most couples, the flame goes out after being together for a few years, after having children, after settling into their careers, or really whenever life becomes consistent and there needs to be somewhat of a schedule. The people you and your partner have become are different than the people you were before “when the flame was lit.” So, when trying to reignite your flame, be patient! Remember that it will not be what it used to be, but it is possible to be better than before and you both are able to explore what this will look like for each of you.
Things you can try with your partner to reignite the flame:
- Have a conversation with your partner about what turns you both on and what you both are comfortable with exploring.
- Touch their arm when passing them at home, let your partner know you notice them by physically reaching out to.
- Buy a fun “sexy” game to play with your partner.
- Nothing says you think your partner is sexy than saying “you’re sexy.” Compliment your partner! Let them know they look good in what they are wearing, how they look, about their body. If you are on the receiving end of these complements, remember to say, “thank you” and not just brush it off. This will get easier over time.
- Schedule a date night for just the two of you (reminder, this can be at home if needed and even when the kids go to bed).
- Get dressed up in an outfit that makes you feel good. This can mean a nice dress, a new button-down shirt, a new tie, or even a piece of lingerie. The idea here, is to be intentional in making yourself feel good first, and sharing this with your partner, which is a perfect opportunity to give and receive a compliment.
- Spice things up when it comes to the bedroom. Explore together what you both feel comfortable with. This can mean introducing new sexual positions, sex toys, role play, games, massage, etc.
As you explore different ways to reignite the flame, remember to be patient and communicate with your partner about what is and is not working. Be kind when giving feedback and remember that this is a team effort, and no one is mind reader.
Be sure to check out the following online course if you would like to learn more. Sexual Intimacy in Your Relationship
Priscilla specializes in working with couples and helping them learn ways to maintain their connection with each other. Priscilla utilizes research-based techniques to help couples form a secure relationship foundation and maintain their intimacy with each other. Learn more on how you can enhance your relationship today.
Want to say “thank you”?