One of the loudest complaints I hear in my Marriage Counseling practice here at Long Island
Counseling is the romance that is gone! No more romantic dinners! No quiet evenings together! No
special getaways! No romance in the bedroom! No pillow talk! We’ve lost the spark! Help!
Sometimes, it’s obvious that things have changed.
Some clear signs that romance and sexual excitement have left the relationship include:
- You don’t show affection for each other
- You don’t care about appealing to each other anymore
- Romantic gestures feel forced or unnatural
- You don’t spend time together
For some couples, the arrival of children can upset a delicate balance. New responsibilities and
priorities change the dynamic without warning! The couple is not equipped to navigate the
For other couples, work and job responsibilities upset the balance. As one or both partners
progress at work, taking on new and different challenges, there is a risk of growing apart. The
relationship becomes strained as the couple turns more and more attention away from one
another. One or both partners can feel neglected.
For some couples, bad habits become the norm. The couple gets lazy and becomes
disconnected. The partners can feel discouraged about finding closeness again! Each person
sees the other as disinterested and avoidant.
Your marriage or relationship is in trouble when you can’t imagine being truly intimate with
your partner, and when you don’t have faith that your partner will want true intimacy with you.
It’s hard to bring romance and intimacy back into a relationship. The difficulties have often
been in effect for years, establishing what feels like an impenetrable romance-free zone!
Partners in healthy marriages work hard to keep romance and intimacy alive. Here are 4 habits
for keeping the romance and intimacy in your relationship:
- Develop a playbook for how to handle conflict or arguments and honors it. Keep a list of
do’s and don’ts. For example: Do give yourselves a time out when arguments get
heated. Don’t threaten divorce gratuitously.
- Commit to asking first, before assuming the worst of the other. Check-in with your
partner about behavior or statements that feel hurtful. Ask your partner whether he or
she intended to hurt your feelings? Don’t jump to conclusions.
- Value your connection. Commit to regular activities that build engagement and
connection. Make these activities a priority.
- Strive to be mindful of the other in all interactions. Think about how the other feels
and what the other might need from you. Be aware of the impact of your words and
actions and monitor them accordingly.
When the couple is managing their conflict and taming their arguments; when the couple
understands that each partner is committed to sharing activities and building connection; when
the partners are striving to be mindful of each other, there is space for vulnerability, longing
and sexual desire.
The romance unfolds in the space where the couple makes room for it. It’s not a magic button that
gets pressed, but rather a condition of the way the couple engages with each other. The work
is in striving to create the relational environment in which both partners feel loved, valued,
safe, and capable of being vulnerable and expressing their erotic and sexual longings with each
Long Island Counseling is a private practice specializing in the treatment of couples who are
experiencing the loss of romance and erotic desire in their relationship. We’re located in Long
Island, right at the border of Nassau County and Queens County, in Douglaston, 2 miles from the Long Island Expressway
at exit 32. All inquiries are welcomed.