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.
Thanks for sharing these ideas. It is nice to have routine but also to be spontaneous.,
krystal recently posted…Raspberry Chardonnay Cocktail Recipe With Mirassou Wine
You’re welcome, Krystal. Thank you for your comment.
Ana recently posted…Fabulous And Seductive
I don’t find that scheduling sex is a turn on for me. When I know I have to do it on a specific day, it takes the excitement and the enjoyment out of it. For me. I’m sure that many people will disagree with me, that’s why I mention that for me, it just doesn’t work. I don’t anticipate it. I actually find it as a chore. I write other chores on my Todo list so it seems like that one is one more when scheduled. I guess I have to find my happy medium.
Keep in Touch(ed),
Thanks for sharing. I guess it is different for everyone. Anticipation works for me – and spontaneity too – so either way, I’m good. 🙂
Ana recently posted…How To Flirt With Your Husband
This is fantastic. The only thing I would say is If you want it on Saturday, Start on Sunday!!!
Great Information! Timeless!!! 🙂
David Hunte recently posted…My Brother’s Keeper
Thanks David 🙂 Dr Nelson’s advice to men was to make sure they help with the anticipation as most women need to be turned on in their head first and feel loved and appreciated to get ready to participate happily in alternative date night. And starting Sunday you have a whole week to do it LOL
Ana recently posted…How To Flirt With Your Husband
I can see this working for those households with young active kids and busy parents if they can make this say a fun night for the kids as well. Maybe an evening at the grandparents or close friends for something special for them as well.
Marilyn Thompson recently posted…I Wish You Enough
Thanks for your suggestion Marilyn. There’s always a question on what to do with the children no matter how old they are. If they are young, getting them into a good bedtime routine (where they are asleep before you are) works wonders. It’s almost more difficult with teens, who are always around. With them, I find there’s more privacy in the morning as they are not inclined to wake up until lunch time unless I get them up 🙂
Ana recently posted…Marriage Tip: Are You Doing Too Much?
Oh yes! Discussions on sex. Love it! Ok so….my husband and I have always had a great sex life, but after having our daugther who is now 18 months old, for a few months after it was stagnant. We rarely had sex…less than once a week typically. After about 6 months of this we had it out. Believe it or not, it was on his end. He is a stay at home dad and he was feeling overwhelmed and that we didn’t spend any time together anymore, that it was all about the baby. We took a shot and started making predetermined times to “get it on”. We changed it a bit though…it wasn’t a set night, it was more of a set number of days. The rule was no more than 5 days between. If we were on day 5 and no sex…it was business time no matter what. It made such a huge difference and I surprised him in lots of different ways to get him excited about sex again. It really does help.
Misty Spears recently posted…Chalk Painted Furniture Waxing Basics
Thanks for sharing Misty – you did so much better than we did – I wasn’t interested for about 6 months when each of my two kids were born and after that it was a case of when I wasn’t exhausted which wasn’t very often for a couple of years. One nice surprise though is how good things can be once the kids are grown. I thought I might be past caring by then. Not so at all 🙂
Ana recently posted…Two Minutes A Day Is Not Enough