"Many couples of all ages have not had sex in weeks, months or years," says Debra Herbenick, a researcher at The Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction at Indiana University Bloomington. "It's not unusual for sexual energy to fade in a relationship. But restoring it is often just a matter of trying on a new perspective."
Here, Herbenick shares some simple -- and surprising -- ways to bring passion back to your relationship.
Put a ban on intercourse
An unexpected tool for re-awakening desire is also one of the most successful, Herbenick says. "What often happens in relationships is that people start skipping over the fun parts and the foreplay. By agreeing not to have sex, or not to do anything that leads to orgasm, you take away the routine and might end up restoring the excitement of what it felt like when your relationship was new." This is one of the best techniques for rediscovering your sexual partner. She notes, "Using this strategy, some couples who haven't had sex in 15 years have rekindled the romance in a matter of weeks."
Return to the scene of romance
"Try going back to things you did or places you visited at the beginning of your relationship -- movies you watched or favorite restaurants. The early days are associated with so many positive things. Show your partner that you remember how that felt and that you want to bring it back."
Men need romance too
"Men absolutely deserve to be romanced. Not everyone wants something sappy, but thoughtful acts that show attention to his needs can also fuel passionate feelings," Herbenick says. "Giving him a chance to watch a favorite program or compromising on schedules can show him that you want to make him happy."
Romantic gestures don't have to be expensive. "Drawing a picture of a bouquet on a post-it can be as meaningful as the actual flowers. One Hershey's Kiss can be as good as a box of chocolates when you say, 'You really deserve this.' Or make toast and draw a heart on it with peanut butter or jelly." Kissing and touching are also easy on the wallet, she says.
As you can see, it doesn't take money to buy you love -- and what you'll get from making the most of no-cost advice like this is, in a word, priceless.
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