The beginnings of relationships are so much fun: the tease, the chase, the constant need to tear each other’s clothes off and go at it no matter where you are. You find yourself infatuated with them - you crave their touch and when you finally get it, it’s blissful.
As the years pass you by, the core happiness is still there (or else you wouldn’t still be together), but all of that exciting magic becomes a bit less exciting. You still crave them, but they are “next in line” after the dishes and the laundry, work meetings, and PTA meetings.
But here’s the thing: we all want to be wanted. There’s a reason why the beginning of relationships is so addicting - we are getting all the attention we want from the person we want it from most.
Whether you're five, ten, or fifteen years into a relationship, there will always be ways you can bring a bit of that “honeymoon-phase magic” back into your love life. What’s even more surprising is that it won’t take jewelry or an expensive vacation - they are relatively simple things you can do to make your partner feel like you love them just as much now as the day you met.
There is nothing that gets me quite like when my husband surprises me with a really good kiss. Not a peck on the cheek or a quick smooch before dashing out the door in the morning...a long, slow, passionate kiss that takes me off guard in all the best ways.
The best part? Kissing is good for your health! According to Better Health, kissing burns kilojoules and can actually give you a bit of a metabolic boost. The more intense the kiss, the bigger the boost. Not only that but kissing releases chemicals in brains (neurotransmitters) that relieve stress levels and promote relaxation.
Wearing sexy panties changes lives. Okay, maybe I’ve dramatized that - but I’m 100% serious when I tell you that wearing sexy lingerie or even just a cute thong and matching bra on the daily can do wonders for your mental health (and, in return, your relationship.)
And fellas - you may be inclined to skip this section once you’re reading the word “lingerie”, but I’m not just directing this at the ladies. The type of clothes you wear (even the clothes under your clothes) can impact your confidence level. Not to mention the fact that men can absolutely rock lingerie, too!
Surprising your partner with some sexy new panties or a cute pair of boxers can not only be a nice little gift for them, but it can absolutely reignite the fire you’ve left kindling on the back burner.
While you may think you have the perfect bedroom dynamic going on, you never know how much you like (or dislike) something until you give it a try. If you’re used to taking the dominant stance in the bedroom, maybe you can try flexing your submissive side for a night. If you’re used to being submissive, take a stab at being a bit bossier during sex.
Switching things up can really allow you both to explore the things you have always wondered about - who knows, maybe you will learn something about yourself. Take this couple, for example - an older couple who have been married 25 years decided to switch things up in the bedroom with the normally submissive wife taking on a bit of a dominant position more often.
This allowed her to feel in control, which she was surprised she liked, and it allowed him to explore his more submissive, relaxed side.
Playing with the power dynamic in the bedroom can not only spice things up and mean you get to try new things, but it can also help you both really hone in on what kind of bedroom personality you have and why you like the things you like.
If you have never heard of “love languages” before, here’s a little explainer: Dr. Gary Chapman’s “love languages” dive into the power of communication in romantic relationships - the core premise being that each one of us gives and receives love in a different way.
The love languages are:
Depending on how your partner likes to receive love, this will change the things you can do for them.
For example, I am very much a “words of affirmation” person. I need my spouse to tell me I’m doing a good job, tell me they love me, tell me they are proud of me and reassure me when I’m feeling down. This is the best way my partner can provide love and support to me. While I relish the idea of my man doing the dishes for me or getting up at 5 am with our son, the thing I appreciate most is a simple, unexpected “I love you.”
The way I show love is different from the way I want to be shown love - and this is because the way my partner needs to be loved is unique to him. He is more of an “acts of service” type guy - so I know that would appreciate coming home to a clean house rather than me buying him an expensive gift.
Learning your partner’s love language can be a great way to ensure you are giving them love and attention in the ways they desire most.
Women find men who do housework sexy. This has been proven.
Men find women who know their way around the kitchen to be sexy. This has also been proven.
When you’ve been together for a long time, the hustle and bustle of everyday life can wear you both down to the point that, when the day is over and it’s time for some sexy fun to begin, you’re both exhausted and may opt for an episode of your favorite Netflix show before falling asleep together on the couch.
While that’s a whole new kind of intimate (the non-sexual, we’re totally comfortable together kind that is still really wonderful), sometimes you and your partner may find you’re missing out on the romance and bond of connecting sexually.
According to sex toy company Adam & Eve, sexting can not only ramp things up in your sex life but it can also improve your relationship! So why did we stop sexting?
Sexting is another thing that, like making out (which we’ll talk about below), we just stopped doing for some reason. Only 6% of couples in relationships for 10+ years regularly sext with each other, according to the sex toy company’s survey. This is compared to 42% of people in the casual dating world and 32% of people who have been together for less than 10 years.
Of the couples that still sext in their regular day to day life, 56% of them believe it’s helped their relationship in some way.
Sexting can build trust.
One of the best things about sexting is that it feels inherently intimate to type sexy things. To share, in writing, the things you want to do with your partner or the things you want them to do to you is a bonding experience. It can bring you out of your shell and help you explore each other’s desires.
PS - if you’re looking for some hot tips on how to take the best nudes, check out this article.
You can talk about new kinks before testing them out.
One of the reasons I personally like sexting so much is that, when I find something interesting online, I can test the waters with my partner and see what they think of this kink by slipping into a naughty text message.
This is much less intimidating for both people and you can even roleplay the scenario out via text and see how it feels. If it gets things going, you know it’s something you can maybe take to the bedroom. If it’s not doing anything for you, you realize that really quickly and can find something else.
All of the foreplay.
Teasing and dirty talk are some of the best parts about foreplay and both can be accomplished via sext. Getting yourselves ready to jump each other’s bones the minute you get home, and keeping that kind of tension going all day by flirting with each other and sending naughty little messages can be the ultimate tease. Doing all of this while one or both of you is at work can be such a thrill, too.
While I don’t miss much about being a horny, angsty teen, I do miss the makeout sessions. When did we all stop making out!?
A friend of mine text me the other day and asked this question. I honestly don’t know when it happened, but somewhere between courting and wife-life, making out became less important.
Not only is kissing beneficial for your physical and mental health, as we’ve already talked about, but there is something sensual, romantic, and steamy about ONLY making out. It’s a prolonged type of foreplay that allows you to put less emphasis on penetrative sex and more emphasis on just feeling each other, being with each other, touching each other.
Never underestimate the power of a striptease. Sure, we all like to watch our partners get naked, but sometimes slowing that down and really drinking in your partner’s body can be just the thing you need to boost your sex drive and keep the spark alive.
Not only is it unbelievably sexy, but it’s also a bit of a workout.
Depending on how acrobatic you are, you can really have fun with this. I once learned an entire striptease choreographed dance for my partner and he loved it. Yes, it took me over a month to master the steps but it led to incredible sex because of how turned on it got him - so I’d say it was worth it.
Look, don’t touch - until I say you can.
Another way to play with the fun power dynamics of your relationship is to have a “look, don’t touch” policy. Put this into place when you’re removing your clothes for your partner, slowly and seductively, maybe to some bass-heavy music. Lose yourself in the beat and let your body do what it wants. You can even tie your partner up and make them watch helplessly as you taunt and tease them. This is sure to get their heart racing and it’s a really fun way to play with a bit of dominance.
The art of the male striptease.
Male stripteases are underrated. I said it.
If my man gave me a striptease, I’d be drooling all over the place. But for some reason, stripping is something that a lot of women might try but men might not be too keen on.
Fellas - give your girl a look at the goods in a slow, seductive, Magic-Mike kind of way and I promise you she will melt.
This one has to be well-executed or else it’s just really annoying, in my experience. As I said, when you’ve been together for a long time, things that used to seem hot and exciting (like shower sex) become a bit more “okay, but couldn’t we just have sex in bed, instead?”
But, if your partner isn’t in a hurry, why not offer to hop into the shower with them. Lather, rinse, fuck her from behind and repeat. If you catch each other in the right mood, this can be such a great way to get a little extra loving in the morning and start your day off right.
When it comes to a “riskier” move like this, you have to know where your partner stands...some people hate shower sex, some people love it and some think it really just depends on what positions you try.
Planning a romantic weekend away (no kids, no work, no stress) can do so much more for you and your relationship than you can even imagine. In America, did you know there are about 429 million paid vacation days per year that are being left unused?
While Europe is a bit better on that front, I think we can all be found guilty of pouring too much time into our work lives and not enough time into our home lives. In fact, this is how many relationship difficulties begin - feeling neglected and left out can cause wounds that take a long time to heal.
Planning a two/three-day weekend trip really isn’t as difficult as you’re thinking.
There are many people who, immediately upon reading “romantic weekend away” will think: we don’t have the time. Time/money/resources/energy...all of them are things we bring up when we talk about doing something special, “just the two of us”. And if you have children, it becomes the question of “well, shouldn’t we bring the kids, too?”
But I promise you, heading up to a cottage for the weekend or even just planning a nice trip to the beach and renting a hotel nearby for the night can allow you both to unplug, unwind and reconnect with each other.
If you can’t make that work, put aside an entire evening for just each other.
If you absolutely cannot make that work, putting aside a date night once a week to really just spend time with each other is way more helpful than you think it will be.
In fact, Psychology Today deems date nights as “not a luxury, but a necessity” - and I couldn’t agree more. According to the article: “Usually, the challenge for long-term couples is to get out of the routine that they have fallen into and put in some effort to make their lives together more fun and joyful. The best relationships require effort from both sides.”
Relaxation, much of the time, is key to unlocking the energy and emotional stamina to really care for your partner and put the effort into your relationship that it deserves. We are so busy with our lives that many of us are running on fumes with cluttered minds and aching bodies from carrying around our stress.
It’s no wonder then, that connecting with your partner in an intimate way feels like the last thing on your mind.
Simple massage after work
You don’t have to spring for a fancy massage at a spa - take some time and effort to massage away your partner’s troubles after they’ve come home from a long day of work. Sure, you may not be the best at massages (I know I’m not), but your partner will likely appreciate the effort and it can give you a few uninterrupted moments together to chat and connect about your day.
If springing on a spa package is something you’re able to do, absolutely do it! A couple’s massage is such a wonderful way to spend an hour relaxing without having to put real effort into being together. Sometimes it’s wonderful to connect and talk and really get into it with each other, but sometimes it’s also nice to just enjoy the silence and relaxation in each other’s company.
PDA (or public displays of affection) are quite important in a relationship, depending on the personalities of the people involved. I personally love PDA - I like it when we hold hands, kiss in public, and I even like a little slap on the ass when no one is looking. These kinds of things make me feel giddy and appreciated and maybe even a little naughty.
PDA can be anything you want it to be.
The important thing here is that PDA doesn’t have to mean you make out in the park or you hold hands everywhere you go. It doesn’t have to mean anything you don’t want it to mean. PDA can be something as simple as putting your hand on her back as she walks through a door, it can be stroking his arm while you’re at dinner or it can be making out in a movie theatre.
Set your own rules here, that’s the best part!
Even the little gestures matter.
If you’re not super into showing affection in public (or maybe it’s not as accepted wherever you are), even the little gestures can show them you appreciate them. Opening a car door for them, offering to let them go first in a line...really, anything you do in public to show this person that you care about them can be considered a public display of affection.
It can be really, really easy to lose yourself in life. You can lose sight of the things you like to do, the way you like to dress, you can compromise on things that once made you really happy for the sake of saving time or money or just simply because you don’t have the energy.
Making the energy and putting some time into yourself can make all the difference in the world to your mental health and the health of your relationship.
Self-care, whatever that looks like for you.
Some people splurge on a new outfit, others take time to get their nails done, others buy books...whatever you need to do to fill your own tank so you’re not running on empty is going to improve your mood and your relationships, not just with your partner but with family and friends, too.
Hair, makeup, perfume, and more.
Along with general self-care, there are a few things you can do to involve your partner as well - like buying that perfume they really like you to wear or shopping for some nice lingerie that you know they’d love to see you in. Keeping them in mind when you indulge on something for yourself is a perfect balance.
Nothing says “let’s spice things up” like an Amazon box with a naughty little something inside. Shopping for sex toys online together can be such a fun way to explore new things and that in itself can be a type of foreplay.
Waiting for the package to arrive, talking about how you’ll use it, and how badly you want them can make the entire process one, long, slow, and smooth foreplay session. Then, when it finally arrives, you have something new to try in the bedroom - something that makes you excited to carve out some alone time together.
One of the easier things to incorporate into your sex life together if you’re looking to try new things would be a new form of restraints. You can go for the typical handcuffs or something a bit more intense like ropes for bondage or restraints that fit on the bed.
Something for him
Splurging on male sex toys can feel a bit daunting especially when there is still a bit of stigma around male sex toys - but incorporating something like a Tenga Egg or cock-ring into your sex life together can add an edge of excitement he will love.
Something for her
Fellas - listen to me carefully: using a vibrator on your women during sex does not (I repeat: does not) mean you are not enough. Sex toys during sex are what most sex toys are for, believe it or not. Using a vibrator to stimulate her clit while you take her from behind will give her all kinds of amazing feelings, trust me.
One sure-fire way to get your partner to notice you is to just start without them. Trust me, I’ve done this, it works. Masturbation is nothing you should ever be ashamed of and not something we should feel the need to hide when we’re in relationships.
Instead of waiting until they are out of the house, pick a fun way to tease them with it. Text them from the bedroom telling them what you’re doing and ask them to come to join you. Send them a nude photo from the shower and ask them to hop in. Have fun with it.
Teasing and mutual masturbation.
Not only is this a really fun way to tease each other, but it can also be a kind of competition. You can both pleasure yourself in front of the other, talking about what you want to do with each other but not actually doing it until you just can’t help but find each other’s bodies. This is a really sensual and fun way to turn each other on.
All of these things are really helpful ways to show your partner how much you want them - but one of the best ways to do that is just by being honest. If you find you are missing the romance, missing the excitement or want to do more with your sex life - just be honest with them about it.