Have you ever been in a relationship where things got monotonous, “too” stable, or even routine? Many times, regardless of whom you’re dating, relationships can become stale after a while. “Stale” sounds like such a harsh word that many of you are probably thinking, “MY relationship? NEVER!”
It doesn’t matter who you are or whom you’re dating; this can happen. Again, things inevitably start out hot and heavy, the “honeymoon phase” in full swing. What relationship doesn’t start that way? We’ve never known one.
Let’s say that you and your girl have been dating. You’ve met each other’s mutual friends, and you’re contemplating moving in together (or already called 1-800-U-HAUL on your second date). All is well until one of you realizes, uh oh, it’s less interesting now (physically).
First, don’t panic! This is a common phase in all relationships: men, women, gay, straight, and so on. And, if you’ve been together for years, this is even more common. There’s nothing wrong with you or your partner, but it’s supremely important to keep things fresh. You’re not less sexual beings just because there’s been a bit of a stalemate.
For example, one of you is “into it” one night, after an amazing day of bonding experiences, and the other is just plain exhausted. Or, one of you finally has the night off after countless hours at the office, and the other is tired, has a headache, or needs to wash her hair. Remember, it doesn’t mean that she loves you any less.
Again, don’t panic! Stress can be one of the many reasons why relationships fail and why partners lose interest and move on. Relationships are all about communication and compromise—not just about what happens in the bedroom. After all, don’t amazing and lasting relationships get extra juicy when you’re completely comfortable with each other?
Next, talk about it. It may be a cliché, but unfortunately, the old wives’ tale is true: Women can get through any bump in the road via open communication. Warning: Don’t start your conversations via text. Text messages can get misconstrued, especially if they are passive–aggressive.
Just bring up the topic in a conversation. If you are a mature adult, then your conversation starter will be well received. And, it doesn’t need to begin with words like, “Listen, we gotta talk….” That phrase scares the crap out of everyone. Over a lovely dinner at home or, perhaps, after yoga one day, just start the conversation (and make sure that you’re sober). Say things like, “I miss you” or “Let’s plan some time to be alone and go on a date night” or something similar. You’ll be understood quickly, and there’s a good chance that she’s feeling the same way: that is, feeling sexually (or otherwise) frustrated and “stale,” but unable to express her concern.
What to do after “the conversation.” It might be time to spice things up in the bedroom. Don’t freak out! We’re not saying that it’s time for leather whips and handcuffs (unless that’s your thing). Think about the intimate times you first spent together. No, not that first time when you both got drunk and made out in the taxi on the way back to your apartment.
When was the first time that you really connected, intimately? It might even have happened recently (prior to the current stalemate). Intimacy can come in many forms. Remember that your girlfriend isn’t just a warm body or a hot specimen—you have a connection. Find a way to relive or reinvigorate that connection, however you see fit. And, this shouldn’t be a last-minute thought; it should be planned. Making time for one another is the clutch. Turn off your phones or leave them in the kitchen (unless that’s where you want to “do it”). Get active! Nothing revs up a sex drive like some good old-fashioned exercise. Whether it’s a serious hike somewhere hilly, or a walk in stilettos to your fave restaurant in your ‘hood, make it happen and make your partner feel loved.
Above all, be in tune with your partner’s feelings, sensitivities, stress levels, and turn-ons. Don’t dismiss the things you used to do, embrace them! Sure, you’ve gotten older. But don’t forget the things that brought you two together in the first place.
Kim Rosenberg and Meghann Novinskie have been honored in multiple national publications for their work at their company, Mixology–Matchmaking With a Twist. Mixology is an offline personal matchmaking agency exclusively for the LGBT community, with offices in Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles and clients around the country.