There are many reasons the fun and passion can leave a relationship. Sometimes, it’s just biological as you come out of the honeymoon phase of a new relationship. Maybe routine has set in and you suddenly realise you’ve taken each other for granted for the last six months. Maybe life has happened and suddenly responsibilities like kids have taken priority over your relationship. Sometimes things seem like they’re going well, but that little voice inside comes back and tells you that you’re not enough for them. Expectations are high in the Photoshop and Intragram filter era after all, and we can’t look like supermodels all the time. Or any of the time if we’re honest about it. Sometimes it’s our own insecurities that lead us to pull away. And that can can lead to a self-fulfilling prophecy of never quite measuring up, heartbreak and separation.
If that last part rang a little too true, you might want to consider talking to a therapist. But no matter where you are in your relationship, here’s a few tips to keep the fire alive, so you can keep the fun and passion going in both good times and the less good times that life throws at us all.
Unplug from social media
The biggest mood killer is when someone is more interested in their phone than what is right in front of them. Being addicted to your social media feed can damage your relationship as well as your self-esteem. Social media has its place, as do friends halfway around the world, but the algorithm induced doomscroll can pull us away from the here and now. From comparing our own relationships to the – highly curated – perfect lives we see online to worrying how much you feature in your partner’s feed, there are many ways social media can damage our relationships – if we let it.
So don’t let it. Get the fun and passion back into your relationship and stop comparing – and start really living! Give yourself a break from Instagram, even if it’s only for a few hours. Turn off your notifications. Better yet, turn off your phone and leave it in the kitchen while you get busy with your beau in the bedroom. Trust me, an investment in making each other your focus will lead to better communication. And more passionate sexy times.
This is also important for real world friendships too! We all want to be heard and appreciated by those we want to connect with, so do that in real life with the people you care about. Especially if they’re right in front of you.
Take the time to talk
Now that you’ve put the phone down, take the time to talk, and I mean really talk, to your partner. Not just about what you did that day and what you’re going to make for dinner either – huge mood killer. Talk more about what you like to do for fun and what you like about each other. Don’t shy away from the big deep conversations about what your life goals are, both together, and separately. The thing is, talking together is something you should be able to do at all stages of your relationship. Sharing of yourself is about being vulnerable – and opening yourself up to connection with someone else. In other words, conversation and vulnerability help you maintain intimacy! If you’re just starting out, it’s also a great way to work out if someone’s heading in the same direction you are.
If you’re a bit rusty and out of practice, start small and make fun plans for the weekend, or awesome holiday plans for the year. Just… see where the conversation goes. And keep having these conversations, so that you keep learning new things about your partner every time. Learning and growing together will keep you both intrigued and interested for years to come. You may remember the 36 Questions That Lead To Love – designed to help people fall into – or more deeply into – love. They’ve been helpfully collated in the 36 Questions website, but maybe make sure you’re answering them with someone you wouldn’t mind falling in love with. Just in case they work…
You never know until you ask.
Do something together that neither of you have done before
It could be something you’ve always been curious about, or something you think your partner would enjoy. Or better yet, something that you think will take both of you out of your comfort zone. I think that’s best way to learn and grow together. Whether it’s scuba diving, a cooking class, or something more intimate like shibari classes, basic bondage, or even pegging, exploring new things together is a great way to keep the fun and passion alive.
When you’re both out of your element, how you work together and problem solve to take care of each other is the best grounding for a good relationship. You may also discover something new you never knew about each other. Or ignite a passion for an activity that you can continue together.
Or maybe you’ll both hate it, but then at least you tried and can bond over the fact that feeding a sourdough starter every day just isn’t something you’re passionate about. Life is about new experiences and the people you share them with, so get out there and try something new today.
Have fun travelling somewhere totally new
This is my number one favourite thing to do with a partner. Ideally to a exotic overseas destination where we can get to know each other better. But if your budget doesn’t stretch that far – and whose does these days – keep it domestic. Maybe even local. Go to that early morning farmer’s market, try a new café, or walk a hiking trail neither of you have been to before.
Seeing how your partner plans, navigates and approaches a new place is very telling about their character. Will they involve you at every step? Or plan it all and expect you to follow? Whether you like their approach or not, and how they accommodate your needs and style will tell you a lot about your future together, and if all goes well, there’s a lot of scope for fun and passion!
In any case, you’ll be creating memories that far outlive your Snapchat stories, and you may enjoy yourself more than you thought possible.
Be a big kid for a day of childish fun
Forget about the mortgage, paying bills and going food shopping for a bit and be a big kid for the day with zero responsibilities. Go to a theme park, roll down a hill, or skip until your legs give out.
If you’re having trouble getting out of the adult headspace with all it’s hard life stuff, and you don’t have kids of your own – talk to your friends and borrow one of theirs for the day. Ask them what they like to do for fun. And then do it.
Laughing together is good for the soul. It also makes you happy, and you’re never to old run around in circles until you both fall down. Embrace your inner child, cut loose, and have some fun.
Hang out with friends that bring out the best in both of you
Nothing brings a couple closer than believing that you have each other’s backs and you’re facing life together. And I don’t just mean in a PDA-we-just-want-to-be-alone kind of way. I mean a we-really-vibrate-on-the-same-level way.
Everybody has friends that bring out the best in them. The trick is finding friends that bring out the best in both of you. Not so that you can hang out together all the time, but so that you can both be comfortable having separate conversations with other people on other sides of the room and still make eye contact and smile. There’s something deeply comforting in knowing that you can have non-sexual social fun with your friends. And then go off for more passionate times later. Maintaining friendship groups than can co-exist even if they only minimally overlap is a great thing, and you can expect more on that another day.
For now, my key point is that you love each other for a reason, and hopefully your friends do too. I say when it comes to friendships, the more the merrier.
Keep the passion going by getting back to basics
Saying what I have about friends, you do need your one-on-one time alone with your partner. Make sure you’re taking time for each other and not just ‘doing friend things together as a couple’. Doing that can be fun, but it’s unlikely to be rich in passion. A good old traditional date night is a great way to ensure you have time together. Get dressed up, book a restaurant and enjoy each other’s company.
The dinner date is a classic for a reason. It takes the stress out of needing to cook and clean up, lets the wait staff do the serving and lets you focus in on each other. As long as you’re putting the phones away! And if you can’t sit across from each other during the length of a meal and have a conversation together, then I’m sorry, but you’re not in a relationship.
Follow it up with a sunset walk on the beach and a night cap at home, and there you have it- the perfect date. Or at least mine.
Explore your fantasies
Continue date night by getting down and dirty at home. You could start a role play while you’re out – maybe pretend you’ve never met and give each other new names, new jobs and new desires. Enjoy the buzz of meeting someone new and all the fun that goes with discovering what they like. Explore your fantasies, or create new ones. Try new sensations, like flavoured lube, or new toys that you’ve never tried before – maybe something wearable? Try some sexy costumes? The possibilities are endless.
If I’ve learnt anything from long term relationships, it’s been to not take the other person for granted. You may think you have sex on tap along with someone to open up jars, but if you start thinking you don’t have to put some effort into keeping the fun and passion alive, you could wake up one morning to find that everything’s changed, and it’s time to pull out the good old vibrator again. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. But this time you’re playing solo when you didn’t want to be.
So never stop exploring. Be it in the bedroom, or in the outside world. We only know our own experiences – or what other people tell us – but the more we explore, the more fun we have and passions we uncover. And what could be more fulfiling than that?