BY the time you get to a certain age and a certain level of comfort in your long-term relationship, it is only natural for intimacy to take the back burner. Let's face it; you'll no longer have the stamina or inclination to stay up all night getting busy when you know how to get the job done in 10 minutes in order to get a restful night's sleep.
Then again, when was the last time you fooled around with your partner anyway? It might not be so much that your partner is lacking anything, but romance might not be at the forefront of your mind as you grow older together. It might even be a case where you have grown into tolerance of your partner, without really loving them.
Relationship coach and author TB Fuller has observed older couples with lacklustre love lives.
“One of the challenges they face is that after years of marriage, they realise they do not have much in common, or wrestle with the shocking discovery that they don't know or like each other anymore,” she said.
But just like in new relationships when couples make a deliberate effort to attract and keep their partners, Fuller says mature relationships also take constant work.
“The rules of the game remain the same, no matter the age,” she says. “Getting in the groove is dependent on speaking your partner's love language. Language is sexy. It is the way we communicate, and the way we meet our partner's needs that get and keep the attraction going.”
She gives these tips for older couples who are trying to reignite the spark in their love lives.
1. Keep dating
It is very important that couples keeping doing things that make each other feel special, and doing things together. Travel to new places, have new experiences, switch up the routine and be a little spontaneous. Some couples will focus on growing children for most of their llives, so when the nest is empty again it is the perfect time to rekindle the flame.
2. Hire a therapist
Sometimes for older couples the age of their relationship is in tandem with dry and monotonous lovemaking. Sex therapy can be revitalising for the libido and useful in keeping the spark alive.
3. Play games together
Sometimes we underestimate how powerful a simple thing like playing 'ABC fast or slow' can impact the psychological health of a relationship. Games are great for bonding, rebuilding, and maintaining affection. Games like Ludo, dominoes, strip me, talk truth, dare, and card games are good choices.
4. Have fun as a couple
Whether it's watching movies, cooking, gardening or driving out together that you enjoy, it's great to do it with your partner. Having fun increases serotonin levels. Serotonin is a chemical that regulates many of our most basic processes —including sleep patterns, memory, body temperature and mood. Doing activities you enjoy that help you relax and connect with others naturally increases the body's serotonin levels.
5. Take care of your health together
The health of the relationship is as strong as the health of the individual. Take care of your individual health, together. Doing this will produce admiration and adoration for each other. Here is an example: Enrol in a short physical therapy course and use your new skills on your partner, or enrol in a dance or exercise class together — whatever gets you moving.