Do This To Get 'Butterflies' Back In A Longtime Relationship
It works. It really works.
I recently (and very impatiently) waited six dates for a first kiss. This little cat-and-mouse game left me overcome with butterflies, excitement and an unfamiliar thrill of anticipation. I knew the first kiss was right around the corner and I spent much of my free time fantasizing about it, while butterflies danced around in my stomach. Every brush of his hand or touch of his skin hit me like a bolt of electricity as I wondered, Is today the day where his lips will finally meet mine?
The longer he made me wait for the kiss I so desperately wanted, the more I wanted it! When he finally did plant one on me, it was absolutely magical and by far the best first kiss I’ve ever had. The mystery and anticipation leading up to that moment fully engaged my mind in the physical experience of kissing, and reminded me what it was like to be young, patient and fully in lust. Anticipation is an extremely powerful tool, especially when it comes to sexual intimacy. In the early stages of a new relationship, it’s naturally built-in with the mystery of not knowing what’s to come.
However, as Indigo Stray Conger, owner of Mile High Psychotherapy, points out, “long-term relationships require an intentional building of anticipation that balances sexual tension with the inevitable familiarity of committed companionship.”
The idea of regressing back to the butterfly-stage of your relationship is enticing, but is it really possible? According to the experts I consulted, it most definitely is. Keep reading for their best tips.
Delay your desires
Just say, “Not yet.” It is easy to get in the habit of having sex whenever the mood strikes, but where is the fun in that? Conger says, “sexual excitement is fed by longing, or the inability to have what you crave immediately,” so go ahead and schedule intimacy for a time in the near future.
Danielle Savory, a master-certified sex and life coach, says, “No, this won’t ruin anything and it is actually the opposite of boring. We [regularly rely on] scheduling to hook up with our partners — through dates, meetups, vacation or special occasions.” Why not do the same with sex? Schedule a date a week or two in advance and then follow a strict no-sex policy until the big day! Use this time to intentionally build anticipation and observe the powerful mental and physical effects of this fun, waiting game. As you delay the act of sex, your mind will imagine, fantasize and anticipate the grand finale, when your body will join in on the fun.
Flirt with intention
As you wait for the date to arrive, Conger says, “try to experience your partner as if they are unfamiliar instead of taking their presence for granted.” Let your memory replay your first date or first kiss with your partner and remember how much you craved his touch. Bring this sense of longing to your daily interactions as you introduce sensual touches. “Lightly graze their arm with your fingertips or allow yourselves to linger longer in a hello or goodbye kiss. Let that moment of real connection feed the desire between you and draw you together more heatedly later,” suggests Conger. And don’t be afraid to take it a step further: Send a racy text (or picture if you dare) or whisper something sexy in his ear when he least expects it.
Engage your brain
Did you know that the brain is one of our biggest erogenous zones? Indeed it is, and according to Savory, we can use it to help us feel more eager and excited about sex with our partner: “When you begin dating someone they are so fresh and new; the mind will naturally be obsessed with thinking of them. As time goes on your attention is captivated by all the other things, like the news, your to-do list or things you may be stressed or worried about.” Luckily, we have some control over our thoughts. Savory suggests picking a few times each day to focus your thoughts on your partner and all of the things you love about them and “get them back on your mind and help yourself create that loving feeling.” Fantasizing is a great tool, too, so let your mind run wild and go ahead and watch a risqué movie like 50 Shades of Grey if you need some inspiration.
When the anticipation has been built and you just can’t wait another minute — well then, wait just a few more! Then, let the games begin! Megwyn White, certified clinical sexologist and director of education for Satisfyer, shares that “play is an essential ingredient for couples to build long-term sustainable relationships. It helps to boost dopamine, get you laughing, and it also encourages you to see your lover from a fresh new perspective.” This could mean experimenting with a sexual wellness product or playing erotic board games.
White also suggests temperature play (candles and ice cubes, anyone?) because “hot and cold temperatures heighten sensations in the body and unlock new neural pathways.” Another great option is to experiment with slowing down your every touch — “this is a simple way to add a bit of novelty and surprise, while helping to edge your partner into ecstasy softly and slowly. Experiment with slow kisses in the backs of their ears, soft touch along the inner thighs, or gradual touch at the nape of the neck.” Whatever you do, don’t rush and enjoy every second; you have (hopefully) waited a long time for this, after all!