If you're looking for ways to improve your relationship in the new year, a key part to seeing change is making your sex life a priority. Intimacy isn't everything, but it sure is a significant component to keeping any romantic relationship well and alive — especially over time as the heat begins to simmer down. To reintroduce sparks back into your relationship, KY's resident sex expert and relationship therapist Dr. Laura Berman recommends making this relationship resolution in 2018: "committing to a sex date at least once a week."
Now, before you dismiss this idea completely, think about it. How often do you and your partner have sex on a weekly basis, if at all? And how many of those times are initiated with passionate, spontaneous foreplay? If you're happy with your answer, amazing! If not . . . stay with us.
The goal of scheduling weekly sex dates isn't to make sex seem like a chore. What it should do is hold you both accountable, give you two something to look forward to in the week, and ensure that intimacy doesn't slip through the cracks of your busy lives.
If your main thought right now is, Wow, what has my relationship come to?, stop right there. It doesn't necessarily reflect your relationship satisfaction; there are other aspects to a partnership that are equally as important, like friendship. A decline in your sex life is a natural result of time and the end of the honeymoon phase can actually be a positive thing. It just means you've reached a different level of comfort that's representative of a deeper connection.
"We think it's supposed to be like it was in the beginning of the relationship when we were just going down on each other all the time, but that doesn't happen," Dr. Berman told POPSUGAR. "Yet, when you do make it a priority and invest in it, it becomes something really fun and special between the two of you."
In response to Dr. Berman's tip, we asked how to make it seem as least inauthentic as possible.
"Doesn't matter if it's inauthentic," she said. "The idea that it's going to happen authentically and naturally doesn't work for most of us. So, the way that you get over that is by acknowledging that that's something from the movies and not for the 21st-century, busy, overscheduled couples."
"The idea that it's going to happen authentically and naturally doesn't work for most of us."
Once you start making time for sex, it creates an opportunity to get a little more flirty with each other, Dr. Berman said. It'll get you both excited and gives you a chance to get in the mood if you're not feeling particularly horny in the moment. It will also even free up any pressure for the rest of the week and allow the two of you to focus on other forms of sensuality and connection like cuddling or kissing. In fact, according to a study that Dr. Berman did with KY years ago, couples who kiss and cuddle regularly are eight times less likely to be stressed and depressed than couples who don't.
If your libido is down, explore different ways you can turn yourself on. Keep in mind that it shouldn't be your partner's responsibility to make you want to have sex. Bedroom satisfaction requires efforts on both parts, and once each of you take it upon yourself to own that — coupled with a weekly (or daily) sex date — you'll really notice a difference in your sex life.