How to keep the passion alive in the long term

In our monthly Love Life Lab Experiment, Sarah Abell invites you to improve your love life with small changes

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How to keep the passion alive in the long term

Early on in a relationship, passion comes very easily to most couples. Almost every touch, glance or word is loaded with desire. But what happens to passion when you are six months into a relationship, or even 60 months in – or 60 years? Is it inevitable that it will fizzle out eventually or can you expect passion to last and even grow? Dr Sue Johnson, clinical psychologist and the author of Hold Me Tight (Piatkus, £13.99), believes that ‘the passion of infatuation is just the hors d’oeuvre. Loving sex in a long-term relationship is the entrée’.

The theory

If we want to have great sex in a long-term relationship, then  we need emotional connection and if we want to have emotional connection we need great sex. The two go hand in hand. Johnson believes you will have different goals for your sex life, depending on how comfortable you are with closeness overall and how safe you feel in needing your partner. She calls these three kinds of sex Sealed-Off Sex, Solace Sex, and Synchrony Sex.

Try this

This month write a ‘Brief Guide for the Lover of ________ (insert your name here)’. Include anything that you want your partner to know about what turns you on before and during sex, your preferred positions, anything that you want to try or don’t want to try, and what helps you to feel connected during lovemaking. You might want to share what you have written with your partner, you might not. If not, you could perhaps start a conversation with them about how hard you find it to talk about these things.

Sarah Abell is a relationships coach and the author of Inside Out – How To Build Authentic Relationships With Everyone In Your Life (Hodder, £8.99).