It's true, relationships take work - from communication to keeping the intimacy aflame. In fact, those are the two most common hiccups that couples encounter, especially after the 'honeymoon' phase is over.
Not to worry! We've broken down some potential roadblocks that often occur between romantic partners, with a few quick tips to help you navigate in the moment, and in the long-term.
1. SCHEDULE SEX
Yes, it's okay! No, nothing is wrong with your relationship. How do you think we go from one week to three months without sex? LIFE. It gets busy. Understandable. And then we start to fear that we are in a dry spell, and almost always, that just keeps perpetuating. Solution - recognize that literally everyone gets carried away in the day-to-day, and be 100% intentional about making time to do the dirty. Saturdays are statistically the day that most Americans have sex, but you don't have to do the weekend thing. Triple dog dare you to schedule sex on a Tuesday. Or a Wednesday, because #HumpDay, duh.
2. ALSO: SCHEDULE AWKWARD CONVERSATIONS
Same rule applies to sex, as stated above-- and dealing with the tough stuff. You can avoid the difficult conversations, but they'll always come back to bite you in the ass. And most likely, that looks like an old, unresolved issue being used as a weapon in the future. If you and/or your partner aren't comfortable getting to the bottom of an argument right away, that's ok. Take the space to get clear-headed, but find peace knowing it will (and should) be resolved at a different time. Mark one day a month, or bi-weekly, to have a check-in and address any discrepancies, ears and minds open. Communication and sexual intimacy are non-negotiables in a healthy relationship... don't let resentment swallow up a good thing.
3. DROP THE EXPECTATIONS
How much frustration may be contributed to the expectations you have for your partner - and everyone else in your life? How would your happiness and those relationships be impacted if you dropped all expectations and just appreciated/loved others for what they DO bring to the table (vs. what you expect them to bring to the table)? Love unconditionally. That's it. (BTW- this is a practice, not an overnight thing. A constant conscious effort to keep yourself in check and evolve your thought processes. Ah, this journey we call life!)
4. GO DOWN ON HER
Don't assume that she will ask you to do it during sex, or otherwise. Don't wait for her to initiate sex. Just do it (with permission of course) -- without expectation of the favor being returned. Without the hopes that your good deed will lead to sex. Asking can be as simple as, "Mind if I go down on you?" Take your time and move down her body - breasts, stomach, inner thighs - with slow kisses.
5. LAST LONGER
Yep, we went there. This boils down to selflessness, and really, that's a hot quality to possess. Masters & Johnson studies show that it takes men 3-4 minutes to climax. (Admit it, we're lucky.) Women? 20 minutes. Which means your end game is her pregame. It can be difficult or awkward to bring this up with a partner, or attempt to practice together. Check out stamina training exercises that you can do on your own. (Or take a shortcut and use an ejaculation delay spray instead of *manually* taking your time.) You know, in case you needed another reason to masturbate.
6. STAY IN THE MOMENT
When we say "the moment" we aren't necessarily referring to making eye contact during sex (but that counts too). The mundane moments together are what we mean. So basically, when you're sitting on the couch watching Netflix, scrolling social media, or making a meal together. Being mindful is described as a state of active, open, intentional attention on the present. Not to get too cheesy, but mindful = gratitude. You don't have to verbalize it (bonus points if you do), but a simple 'thank you for loving my ass' in an otherwise insignificant moment has the potential to relieve stress, increase happiness in an instant, zero dollars or real effort required.
No matter which of these tips vibes with you and your relationship, one little thing to keep in mind, such as in life....the more you give, the more you get.