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From lover to partner to ... -- by her
From lover to partner to ... -- by her
I was recently reading Bussel's column, Lusty Lady, at the Village Voice.
"While love thrives on closeness, desire needs distance to retain its spark.... We long for the stability and closeness, but that closeness cannot be taken for granted; Perel argues that the downside of knowing almost everything about another person is a loss of mystery and temptation. "
It is nothing new. We have all heard that once you get married the sex is over. You don't even have to get married, sex can decrease once a couple feels more comfortable. You hear a lot that it is women that change, but I'm here to tell you it can be men just as much as women. What is going on here? It is pretty simple really. We as humans create patterns, we need this to function and structure our lives. Patterns are important and necessary to a relationships growth. We need to feel safe and able to mature our relationship in a way that we know what to except.
With that expectations comes familiarity. We know what is going to happen, hence our minds are not stimulated in the same way they were when we were "figuring each other at" in the beginning. I see it a lot with my clients, and our society really does tell you that you MUST be hot and heavy all the time or the relationship is over. Well that isn't exactly true.
Each relationship goes through phases and they are all important, but it is how you deal with those phases that matters most. You will not always be in lust with your partner. You will not always like your partner. You will get bored with your partner. It is natural. It doesn't mean a relationship should end. It just means you have to be more aware of these things and make an effort. A person has to know what they want and who they are, which is why marriages fail in my opinion. It isn't so much that people stop loving, they just start figuring out more of who they are and realize they are no longer compatible with their partner. Is this fair? No, but relationships are not about fairness, I have figured that out myself the hard way.
Still with all the starter marriages, one night stands, casual dating, and people obsessed with "new relationship energy" what are people that want to be or are in a long term relationship supposed to do? Should they just suffer with boredom and be done with the whole thing?
Of course not, it is totally possible to have a long term relationship that is hot. It requires work, which over time, we are rarely interested in putting forth, but it can be done. Each person is different so it is important for you to figure out how it is you enjoy sex. What really turns you on? And once you figure that out, it is important to discuss this with your partner. Don't go looking for their validation, instead talk about what you like and what you want. If you expect your partner to do all the work in keeping the relationship on fire, well that road will take you to boredom real quick. Be strong enough to know what you want and express that desire to explore with your partner. Is it going to be scary? Yes. Are you going to love it? Maybe or maybe not. That is the whole point of experimenting you are leaning.
The other part is about what you need from your partner. For myself, I need daily contact and a person that is open to exploring sexually. I know this about myself. However, I do not need to see him everyday. Although, seeing Gusto more than just every other weekend, would be extremely nice. Still, as long as we keep contact and play with our fantasies, I feel the connection. Yet, I also know that I like living on my own. I love missing Gusto and longing for him. I enjoy lusting after him. Would I still want sex more than his visits allow for? Yes, of course. But I know that I don't want to move in with him. I like having my own space. I know that for me, I do better when I can anticipate seeing Gusto and enjoying him fully. Our relationship is still new enough that even if we did see each other everyday it would still be rich with energy. However, because he is someone that I would like to hope will be a long lasting relationship in my life, I have to pay attention to who I am and what I need to keep that spark activated even for the future.
Now this is just me, perhaps you want to live with your partner, perhaps you need to see them every day, perhaps marriage is something you strive for. So be it. However, the idea still applies. You need to have something that is yours, that is just about you. This means that you have something to bring to the table of interest. You should take some space, go on your own vacation, hang out with friends, and have your own life (this does include your partner though). If our minds figure out the pattern, then we do not have the same desire to put forth energy. It also means that you and your partner need to try new things together. If you want to find new friends together, open up your marriage, try kink, or maybe just start a hobby together, do something that challenges both of you and you can talk about the novelty of the experience together.
Being in a relationship requires patience and honesty, being in a long term relationship requires both of those and self-knowledge and effort. If you want your sex life (and your relationship) to keep your attention, it means that you are going to have to honor who you really are and your own personal desires as well as explore with your partner.
Please remember that this is all a generalization for posting sake, each relationship is different and has specific concerns. Don't take my thoughts as the only way, it is just the way that personally and professionally I see as the most advantageous to a long lasting hot relationship