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5 Ways to Keep the "Flame" Lit in Long Term Relationships

5 Ways to Keep the

Long Term Relationship Benefits of Sexual Satisfaction

For some folks, sex doesn’t make or break a relationship; for others, it’s the lifeblood of their romantic partnership. Sex is one of many essential elements of a romantic relationship, and the people in it determine its importance.

For example, if two asexual folks are in a relationship, sex will not be as important as if two allosexual people are in a relationship. And, even then, for some allosexual folks, sex is at the bottom of the values/priority list. THAT IS OKAY.

But for those who value their sexual relationship highly, there are some cool long-term relationship benefits from having sexual satisfaction in your long-term partnership. In fact, many research studies have shown a strong connection between a good sex life and a happy overall relationship. Plus, they’ve found that sexual satisfaction contributes to overall relationship satisfaction. Here are five ways to ‘keep the flame’ lit.

1) Schedule Containers for Intimacy (of all kinds)

I know, I know, someone at some point has told you to schedule sex, and you probably thought, “wait, that doesn’t sound very sexy.” Well, I’m here to tell you that it absolutely can be. We’re scheduling time for intimacy – intimacy of all kinds.

So, I like to recommend couples do what I call scheduling a container. For example, we’re not saying, “at 8:04 pm, your tongue will touch my bits,” we’re saying from 8 to 10, we’re going to put our phones away and have physical intimacy time.

What you do in that time can be decided ahead of time OR while you’re in the container – but the point is to schedule that chunk of time. Another example of this, for emotional intimacy, could look like scheduling an emotional intimacy container where for one hour, you play a game to get to know each other better, like Esther Perel’s Where Should We Begin or Best Self Co.’s Intimacy After Dark Deck – or Best Self’s relationship journals. You can create agreements for these containers – it’s a great way to ensure that you connect and don’t lose touch physically, emotionally, intellectually, or otherwise.

2) Continually Work on Your Communication Skills Set

We are not taught how to communicate, especially in our relationships (romantic, sexual, or otherwise). So, it’s up to us to learn communication skills and continually grow our tool kit or skill set.

What about your wants and desires? How do you communicate concerns? Do you know how to reflect? How is your listening? What about empathizing? Keeping an attitude of curiosity is the foundation for a lot of healthy communication.

3) Share Your Emotions (and Hear Your Partner’s Emotions)

Part of healthy communication (mentioned above) is talking about yourself and listening to your partner’s emotions. I know that this can feel uncomfortable if you’re not used to it, but emotions drive our behavior, and it’s crucial that we talk about them.

So many of us grow up in homes that don’t teach us how to identify, manage, or communicate about our emotions – let alone communicate much. It’s not anyone’s fault – except for society’s – that this isn’t taught in school. (Seriously, why?!) Check out this podcast episode of The Wright Conversations, all about this topic, for more tools.

    4) Define Together What Makes Up “Your Flame”

    We often hear the expression “the flame” regarding romantic and/or sexual relationships. It’s even in the title of this article. But what is the flame? What if what you think “the flame” is isn’t what your partner thinks it is?

    Create a container to discuss what “the flame” means to you. And then schedule another container about six months or a year later to check back in. Just like we are constantly evolving, our relationships evolve too; What we once considered to be “the flame” may not be the same thing throughout the longevity of your relationship.

      5) Travel (or Do New Things) Together

      Doing new activities together helps bond you, according to research. I recommend making a list or writing down a bunch of things, cutting them up and putting them in a jar, and going through them together! It can be anything from trying a new local restaurant to traveling to a new country. You decide; just keep doing new stuff!

      No matter what you read anywhere (including in this article), please remember that YOU and your partner are the experts on your relationship. Nothing I or anyone else says knows what’s better for you than you. 

      P.S. Want to schedule a container for physical intimacy, work on your communication, share your emotions, and try something new together? Get a Zumio :) 



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