Coupling Connection - Dr. Jenn Oikle
Coupling Connection - Dr. Jenn Oikle
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Coupling Connection - Dr. Jenn OiklePassion comes easy in the early stages of a relationship, when just a little kiss can cause a tingle. But as time wears on, passion fades. This is a natural process so there is no need for alarm. In fact, after around 18 months, the chemicals that stimulate the initially intense desire begin to level off. So, if you want to keep your passion alive, you’ll have to work at it! Your libido is like a muscle– if you don’t use it, you'll lose it!

One of the biggest complaints couples have is a declining love life. Since sex is a wonderful way to connect emotionally, brings such physical pleasure, and even confers health benefits– it makes sense to do whatever you can to strengthen this area of your relationship.

There are a number of reasons that sexual interest and activity tend to decline over time. Two of the most common are:

  • lack of time/energy
  • lack of effort/connection

Since Americans lead such busy lives, with overbooked schedules, hectic weekends, and endless to-do lists, it may come as no surprise that fatigue is one of the biggest reasons couples give for their declining love life. At the end of a long day, many couples can barely keep their eyes open, never mind have sex! This is particularly true once children arrive.

Two simple things that you can do to counteract this libido buster are:

¨ Schedule a date! That’s right– make your love life a priority by clearing your schedule and making a date. Pencil it on the calendar and make no excuses! You do this for such tedious and unpleasant tasks as going to the dentist, why not do it for something as important and pleasurable as your love life!

¨ Get some exercise! Exercise is good for two reasons. First, it is an excellent way to combat lack of energy in general. Second, exercise stimulates the sex hormones, making it more likely that you’ll get in the mood. Better yet, exercise together. Then hop in the shower, suds each other up, and away you go!

Coupling Connection - Dr. Jenn OikleAnother very common reason for a decline in sexual interest and activity is a lack of effort in keeping connected to your partner. Over time, this can lead to feeling distant and unconnected to your partner. This is where men and women tend to be different. Women want to feel connected before they are interested in sex. Men have sex so they can feel connected to their partner. This can create quite a dilemma!

Two simple things that you can do to counteract this libido buster are:

  • Talk! Spend some time connecting at the end of each day. Tell each other about what happened, sharing the good and not so good.
  • Touch! Remember to be affectionate with your partner outside of the bedroom, with no pressure for anything more. Give a hug before you leave, kiss passionately when you come home, hold hands when you are out, cuddle on the couch.

Both of these activities build intimacy, which increases physical attraction and sexual interest.

Remember, you may not have ever thought about it like this before but,

Your libido is like a muscle –if you don’t use it, you will LOSE it!

The less you engage in pleasurable sexual activities, the less you will feel like it. Conversely, the more you enjoy sexual activities, the more you will find yourself “in the mood.”

To counteract this downward spiral and instead build your desire, consider having the following agreement with your partner:

  • Say “yes” even if you are not in the mood!

Many couples wait to engage in sexual activity until both partners are “in the mood.” But what if, for whatever reason, you’re hardly ever in the mood? In fact, research shows that 50% of woman don’t feel like having sex until after they have been physically stimulated. A lot of times sexual desire just needs a jump start!

Don’t cheat yourself and your partner out of a pleasurable experience before giving it a chance! Try this instead: Whenever one of you is “in the mood,” have the other agree to get started, even if they are not “in the mood.” Give yourself 10 minutes to let your body warm up. Chances are once you get started, you’ll find yourself getting in the mood and enjoying it! The benefit of this is that, over time, you’ll find you really are in the mood more often! You don’t have to wait until you feel like it, just get started!!!

Caveat: If the partner who wasn’t initially interested in sexual activity gives it a chance for 10 minutes and still doesn’t want to get sexually involved, the agreement should be that it is ok to stop. No one should be made to engage in sexual activity if they really don’t want to. Perhaps then you could both agree to another great way to connect: cuddle!

Interested in keeping the passion alive in your relationship? Sign up today for our free e-newsletter: RelationSmarts. Take the Passion Perks challenge!!