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5 Ways To Add Sizzle To A Blah Relationship

Here's how to pump up the passion.

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couple on picnic outside in the fall
Noe Dewitt/Trunk Archive
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For some couples on the wiser side of 40, the flirtation and discovery that once made a new relationship sizzle may have worn off as familiarity and history take over. For newer relationships that started later (second marriages or those of us who took our time), it might be challenging to keep the spark lit while feeling so very adult together. Every marriage takes work, but strengthening a marriage after 40 is quite different than maintaining newlywed bliss in your 20s. Here are five things you can do today to choose lustiness over rustiness.

1. EMBRACE THE PENDULUM. Sometimes they’re more into you and sometimes you’re more into them. This is healthy. It keeps that dating energy flowing through your marriage so that commitment still feels like courtship. It’s good for one of you to always be courting the other. Just don’t get stuck in the “I’m needy” rut for so long that you end up driving your partner away. The key is balance. It’s not about playing games, it’s about having enough faith in your relationship to enjoy adoring your spouse until he or she does something to annoy you … and then the seesaw tips again.

2. LOVE YOUR HANDLES. Most of us can’t maintain the bodies our spouses fell in love with, but we can love the bodies we’re both growing into while still committing to staying attractive for each other. Take care of yourself because you’re worthy of care. Eat healthy and exercise because someone loves you and wants you around for a long time. Always remember that your most attractive quality isn’t a flat stomach, it’s confidence (really!). And the biggest turnoffs include vanity and insecurity. The more you can love this year’s version of you, the more attractive you’ll be to your partner and vice versa.

3. WELCOME THE VIAGRA. About 40 percent of 40-year-old men in the U.S. have some degree of erectile dysfunction, but many don’t seek treatment until they are in their early to mid 50s. So what’s up with that? Waiting to address the issue is potentially dangerous, since ED can be a sign of other health issues. Besides, why lose 10 years of great sex? Puh-lease! If your doctor recommends erectile dysfunction medication, go for it! For some couples, “Did you take a pill?” has become code for “Wanna do it?”

4. GET A ROOM. While it’s important to take vacations, there might not always be room in the schedule or the budget. Still, part of keeping a marriage exciting is changing the scenery. So every few months, get a hotel room in the next town over or even the next street over. Put on some bathrobes, order in room service, and spend some quality time together surrounded by different colored walls. It’s amazing how exciting a change of scenery can be. After all, what happens in [insert location of your choosing] stays in [insert location of your choosing].

5. SHARE SCREEN TIME. It goes without saying that any healthy couple should avoid being glued to their screens for the majority of their quality time together. But it’s also great to find things online or on TV that you can geek out over together. Personally, Game of Thrones has saved many a Sunday in my house. Don’t even ask me what we’re going to do when the series ends next year. Maybe we’ll expand our horizons and try reading the same book together. Maybe naked!