Want to bring some sizzle to your relationship this summer? Take a temperature check first. If your relationship is cool, you don’t want to come on too strong or your partner will reject your advance. If you are too hot, you can build a tolerance to the physical and emotional high making it more difficult to connect over time and to deal with life’s natural routine.
If your relationship is cool, but not iced over, get a little more love by warming up the connection. Start by speaking your partner’s love language—loudly. Love language is the way a person feels and expresses love. If they feel loved when chores are done, mow the lawn or do the dishes. If they like thoughtful gestures or flowers, bring them home. Put a smile on their face, and then make a gentle advance. The key is to love them the way they like to be loved, not they way you like to love. Figure out what they like and pour it on.
If your love life is lukewarm, try taking it to the next level. All relations should be consensual. If traditionally you are the low desire spouse and want more, start by taking control of your own emotional energy and sexuality. Up your own happiness level by getting excited about something positive (not politics!) Spend some time stoking romantic feelings. Avoid surrendering your life to drudgery, overwhelm and tiredness. Understand that your partner needs your emotional positivity as well as your physical attention. A tepid romance can slowly drain the life out of a relationship. If you are the spouse with high physical desire, start by telling your partner you would like to talk at a non-pressured time. Have the talk on a short commute, or mid-afternoon, where nothing physical is expected. Keep the discussion short. Express what physical closeness means to you emotionally. Ask if there is anything you can do to encourage your partner. Your low desire spouse will need support and affirmation.
If you two are warm and ready for adventure, work on seducing your partner. Make them feel extra special—the center of your world. Keep it romantic, playful and add an element of (welcomed only!) surprise. Do some research for new ideas.
If you are already white hot, try pulling back. Work in a little tease or pledge a period of abstinence. Consider sensate focus exercises that begin with silent touching fully clothed; seek intensity via emotional closeness versus physical stimulation.
Finally, if your relationship is frozen, start with communication. Try chipping away by doing what works. What works is usually addressing what your partner has been complaining about forever. You have power to change things. Common requests include: controlling anger, finding a job, helping with the kids, saying nice things, losing weight and stopping video game play. Simply honoring their request will often get a partner to thaw a little. Don’t forget to get happy and attractive yourself. Nobody wants to get closer to a bitter, sad, depressed person. If you get stuck at any of these levels and want to take it higher, consider getting some professional help.
A licensed marriage and family therapist can provide a safe place and help navigate a sensitive subject. You both should leave the room feeling like you have been heard, understood and equipped with some fresh ideas to turn up the heat.
The Five Love Languages
Words of Affirmation
One way to express love emotionally is to use words that build up. Verbal compliments, or words of appreciation, are powerful communicators of love. They are best expressed in simple, straightforward statements of affirmation.
Acts of Service
Acts of service are doing things that you know your spouse would like you to do. Such actions as cooking a meal, setting the table, washing the dishes, vacuuming, changing the baby’s diaper, walking the dog and keeping the car in operating condition are all acts of service.
The gift itself is a symbol of thought. It doesn’t matter whether it has cost money. What is important is that you thought of your spouse. And it is not the thought implanted only in the mind that counts, but the thought expressed in actually securing the gift and giving it as the expression of love.
Give your undivided attention; don’t sit on the couch watching television together, but look at each other and talk. Taking a walk together, just the two of you, or go out to eat and look at each other and talk.
For some individuals, physical touch is their primary love language. Without it, they feel unloved. With it, their emotional tank is filled, and they feel secure in the love of their spouse. Holding hands, kissing, embracing and sexual intercourse are all ways of communicating emotional love to one’s spouse.