What is the honeymoon phase? Well, during the first few months of a relationship, you quite simply can’t stop Netflix-and-Chilling. You’re in a nonstop whirlwind of passion that seemingly won’t ever end. That's the honeymoon phase. And for better or for worse, it does eventually end. But that doesn't mean it has to end your relationship.
In an article for Psychology Today, Dr. Randi Ghutner, a clinical psychologist and marriage counselor, said, “As relationships head into the third or fourth month, it is natural that some of the urgency and immediate responsivity [sic] to each other’s reaching out will somewhat lessen.”
Just as how it’s perfectly fine to have heightened sexual in the first few months with a partner, the passion wearing off is also normal. But having frequent sex is an important aspect of having a relationship. And if all intimacy stops, it can lead to other issues. That’s why it’s best to tackle this issue with your partner.
According to Leon F. Seltzer, “Our interest and attention [are] far less likely to be sustained—let alone piqued—by what we’ve already experienced than by something as yet unfamiliar to us.”
The point we're trying to make is: It can be hard to maintain this desire for the “unfamiliar” when you’re in a committed monogamous relationship. However, it isn’t impossible. Here are some tips on reinvigorating your sex life once you’ve left the honeymoon phase.
The worst thing you could do is ignore the issue altogether. This will only lead to a growing sense of resentment between the two of you. Instead, have an honest discussion about what’s going on. Ask your partner these types of questions:
Once you can have an open conversation, it's usually much easier to tackle the problem in the bedroom.
Though they make some of us blush, sex products could actually be a lifesaver in the bedroom. There's plenty of research out there that suggests the taboos and stigma surrounding things like vibrators and other sex toys are evaporating—both with individuals and couples. Talk to your partner about whether or not a new toy or erotic underwear seems appealing. LELO has a range of high-quality toys for both men and women. Andrew Christian has a line of underwear for men and Journelle makes classy lingerie. Even if you experiment with a new product or undergarment and it’s not for you guys, the act of taking the time and energy to improve your sex life will lead you in the right direction.
You might have to think outside of the box to spice up your sex life. Role-playing may seem a bit silly. But bringing back humor and fun could very well be what you need. There are a ton of costume companies out there and communities dedicated to help couples make the most out of exploring their more interesting sides in the bedroom. This Reddit thread is an excellent place for ideas to help you step outside your box and let go of some of your inhibitions.
After a while, even something pleasurable and enjoyable can become routine and boring. It might be time to start experimenting with new positions to help bring that spark back into the bedroom. In addition to the Kama Sutra, the age-old standard for sex position experimentation, there are plenty of tongue-in-cheek books out there that can help. Don’t give up if it doesn’t work out at first. Just keep on trying until something works out for the two of you.
Is it time for a sex-cation? Once you’ve left the honeymoon phase, you will start to feel tired of your environment. As a couple, you guys might have a cemented routine: favorite restaurants, bars and brunch spots. This also manifests itself in your sex life: you guys probably have made love countless times in your bedroom and other places in your home that once seemed adventurous. The solution? Spontaneously go on a vacation! Whether its a tent in the forest or a fancy hotel suite, this new location can reignite the flame.
Though there are conflicting studies about whether or not exercise can boost your libido, having a sweaty work-out together can be a turn on. Not only will the endorphins give you an energy rush, make you feel better and affect your self-confidence, but you will also be sweaty and ready to take a steamy shower together. Go for a run together and see what happens.
Sometimes, you’re going to need the perspective from a person who is outside the relationship. Talk to your partner about potentially going to see a therapist together to work out your issues. Whether you've been together for three months or 30 years, learning how to explore your relationship and maybe having a look at it from the outside in is never harmful.
Although your sexual lull can very well be just leaving the honeymoon phase, it can also be a sign that something else is up. Not all relationship issues are psychological. Erectile dysfunction can cause a lot of tension within a relationship. If you’re experiencing ED, there are medications out there that can help. Whatever you and your partner do, the solution will come from working together and being honest with one another. Hell, leaving the honeymoon phase beats no honeymoon phase, are we right?
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