He used to make your heart go pitter patter just by looking at him. But now, you find yourself totally flatlined and drifting towards that low or no sex zone. Why do we lose that attraction that brought us together in the first place? More importantly, what can we do about it? We talked to Lori W. Hollander, LCSW-C, BCD, of Relationships Work.
"There are many reasons that partners lose the feeling of attraction to their partner," she says. "Your sexual and emotional attraction will not maintain itself without conscious and sustained effort."
Some reasons you might be losing that loving feeling:
* Not making sex a priority
* Low libido – possibly due to medication
* Hormonal changes/menopause
* Performance anxiety
* Weight gain/body image issues
* Intimacy anxiety
* Conflict, anger, feelings of rejection
* Use of pornography
* Not feeling close emotionally
* Boredom or mismatched libidos.
"Whatever the reason, avoidance creates more avoidance," Hollander says. "Couples who allow their erotic connection to wane are at risk for unhappiness, affairs and divorce."
Also See: Are You Addicted to Love?
But what if your waning attraction has to do with something that's actually changed? Weight gain, lack of personal hygiene, sloppy dressing. How do you tell your partner he'll/she'll need a makeover in order to rev your engines again--without hurting their feelings?
Hollander says you need to figure out a way to express your feelings in a positive, not hurtful way. "You might not say, 'You’re a slob.' But you might say, 'Honey it really turns me on when you shave and you don’t have stubble,'" she suggests. "Or, ' I love seeing you in new clothes. It makes me excited. Let’s go buy some new clothes and go to Victoria’s Secret for me.'"
The same goes for weight gain. "Regarding weight, you wouldn’t want to be insensitive to your partner. So you might say, 'I think it’s important that we take better care of our health.' Or ask them to join you at the gym."
The right communication is key. And if you deal with the underlying issues, says Hollander, that spark can be reignited.
"Communicating about your sexual connection is vital," Hollander says. "With love and respect, discuss the roadblock(s) to an improved sex life. Commit to change this part of your relationship. Support each other’s effort. Boost your partner's self-esteem with encouragement and appreciation."
Ready to give it a try? Well, here's Relationship Work's "The Ten 'T's That Will Grow or Re-Ignite Your Erotic Connection"
1) Talk - Tell each other what excites you.
2) Tease - Make out on the couch – with clothes on.
3) Touch – Use sensual touch outside the bedroom.
4) Tune-In - Ask your partner what makes him/her feel more loved.
5) Take Time - Make erotic connection a priority.
6) Tune-Up - Be more creative, adventurous and playful with sex.
7) Travel - Go away together to focus on your relationship.
8) Toys - Use sexual toys.
9) Try It Anyway – Begin – desire will follow.
10) Thank Your Partner - Express gratitude for your partner’s efforts.
We want to hear from you: How do you keep the spark alive? Share your tricks below. Plus, do you agree with telling your partner about personal changes he/she can make that would help turn you back on? What if you're on the receiving end of the remarks? Let us know what you think!