I have been listening to a number of relationship experts and therapists at an online conference over the past couple of days with all their wild and wonderful theories.
Many of the ideas seem a little remote from the practical day-to-day reality of being in a relationship with a real guy and trying to manage business or work, household and kids, all at the same time as keeping a marriage hot and exciting.
Even so, I have picked up a lot of ideas that are well worth exploring and that any of us can do, so I will share these in a few posts here.
The alternative date night idea came from Dr Tammy Nelson, author of “Getting The Sex You Want” (see her book here on Amazon)
From her experience, Dr Nelson’s has seen that relationships can only be improved in a limited way with things like working on communication and reducing conflict in your everyday life. These kinds of improvements lead to better companionship, but don’t keep you in love.
And they don’t stop you from losing the passion in your relationship.
She thinks that boredom is inevitable as we grow closer together and you get to the “sweatpants phase” of sex that is comfortable and nice but not exciting.
Good sex needs a little bit of difference, danger and darkness. Yet we don’t want to rock the boat with a long term partner by exploring our darker side, and the longer you are with someone the more difficult it gets. As a result, that darker, erotic part of you (that everyone has) gets compartmentalized and split off from your day-to-day life.
Unfortunately all that erotic energy has to go somewhere.
It gets channeled more often than we would like to admit into an affair or a porn habit. Or it gets shut down “until the kids are older” or “you’re not so busy at work” and life loses its joy as a result. You start to feel dead or depressed or hopeless. You get that “I love my partner, but I’m not in love with him” feeling.
Dr Tammy’s antidote to keep passion alive in your marriage?
Instead of making a date to go out and enjoy each other’s company (you can do that as well!) make a regular date at the same time each week for sex. And use that time for exploring your erotic side, trying new things to make your sex life more exciting.
Sex doesn’t get any better without practice. It’s like playing the piano. If all you ever do is play “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” that’s as good as it gets your whole life long. Get playful or try something from your sexual bucket list. Get one together if you don’t have one!
If you’re worried that a date specifically for sex is not spontaneous enough then think again.
If you don’t regularly, spontaneously have wild nights of passion then the best course of action is to plan them and make time for them. Otherwise they are not going to happen.
By knowing you have a date each week, you build up anticipation of the event despite how busy you are. You get your mind in gear. As Dr Tammy says, we are all so distracted and stressed that
“If you want to have sex with a woman on Saturday, you have to start on Wednesday.”
Over time, with a regular date the anticipation builds automatically in your brain so you feel desire on cue and start looking forward to your time together.
Of course, if you want to have that spontaneous moment with your partner at any other time when you sweep the dishes off the kitchen table and get to it, that’s fine too, as long as you keep your date without fail once a week.
An alternative date night, doesn’t have to be an evening thing if that doesn’t work for you. Saturday morning may be your time or Thursday afternoon, whatever suits you as a couple, as long as you keep the time sacrosanct and protected in your schedule.
This is not a problem now, but I wish I’d had this tip when I had two small kids and a full-time job. I remember at the time the biggest yearning I had was for more sleep and more time for me rather than more passion. It could have all gone horribly wrong in my marriage but luckily we hung in there 🙂
Over to you: Do you think this tip would keep more marriages alive and passionate? Please share in the comments below.