8 Simple, Powerful Ways To Create New, Better Intimacy In A Long-Term Relationship

These simple ways can change your relationship!

Being in a committed, long-term relationship is awesome for many reasons: You love someone who loves you back, you have absolute trust in that person, you don’t have to deal with the craziness and anxiety of dating, you have someone great to come home to everyday, you feel completely comfortable with that person—the list goes on and on. But being in an long-term relationship can also be really, really hard. When you’re with someone for the long-haul, it can be all too easy to take that person for granted, to assume that you both know everything about each other, that you both know how the other person is feeling, that your relationship will continue to work as long as it stays the same. People who have been with the same partner for a long time know that this kind of thinking can be a recipe for disaster: When we stop taking the time to nurture our relationships, regardless of how stable they might seem, distance can grow, small resentments can fester, and before we know it, all that intimacy that we used to have has evaporated.

I know from experience that maintaining an LTR is never easy. But I firmly believe that keeping, and increasing, your sense of intimacy with your long-term partner doesn’t have to be complicated. What it really takes is a commitment on both partners’ parts to spend time and effort nurturing the relationship. Read on for eight simple ways to deepen your connection.

1. Go on real dates

When you’re in a long-term relationship or married, it’s important to set aside time to spend together as a couple. The dates you set up with your S.O. or spouse can take whatever form you like—a fancy dinner out, a yummy meal cooked at home, a long walk around the park—but the important thing is that you clearly delineate that time from the rest of your daily life. Setting up real dates, even when they’re very simple, is an important act in itself because it implicitly states that you and your S.O. feel like nurturing your relationship is a priority.

2. Do this 36 Question thing

Back in January, the ­New York Times “Modern Love” column make waves when it ran an article by Mandy Len Catron titled, “To Fall In Love Do This.” The article explores the work of a study by Dr. Arthur Aron, which proposes that two strangers can fall in love by asking each other 36 questions, followed by a long, silent stare into each other’s eyes.

I tried this out with my husband, and it ended up being surprisingly cool. It didn’t necessarily make us fall in love all over again, but it did get us to have a real conversation about our hopes and fears, all while making dinner on a random Tuesday night! The end, when we had to look into each other’s eyes for four minutes, was also unexpectedly powerful. Staring that directly at someone can feel strange and exposing, even with a person with whom you’re very close.

If you’re not down with the 36 Questions (or you’ve already done them) challenge each other to come up with your own questions. Mix them up in a hat, pull them out at random, and talk. Look into each other’s eyes without speaking for four minutes at the end. (Then make out because it’s inevitable.)

3. Make something together

Set aside some time for you and your S.O. to make something together. It doesn’t really matter what: You could set aside a Saturday night to cook something labor intensive together. You could paint together, or do origami together. Seriously, it can be anything: Once my husband and I spent an evening putting together a LEGO set that someone gave us for Christmas, and it was super fun. As you both work on whatever your project is, you’ll find yourself bonding over the shared effort and talking about all sorts of things you might not have expected.

4. Have sex

Physical intimacy and emotional intimacy are, of course, not the same. But sex can play an important role in maintaining a long-term couple’s emotional bond, making them feel more connected, more attracted to each other, and generally happier. If you need any more motivation to hit the sheets (but why would you?), sex has also been shown to have all sorts of mental and physical health benefits.

5. Laugh together

Psychologist Jeffrey Bernstein writes in Psychology Today that “Laughter is a potent love medicine. It is an intimacy builder for couples.” Laughter can help to relieve the tension in difficult situations, and it can impart a sense of fun to relationships that are feeling staid. Make an effort to bring more laughter in your relationship: watch comedies together, tell each other jokes, and let yourselves be really, really silly.

6. Discuss the State of the Union

Discussing the state of your relationship might not be the most fun thing to do, but it is necessary. Take time here and there to talk seriously with your S.O. about how you’re both feeling and what you want. These discussions are important even if you feel like your relationship is in good shape; you might discover that, when you press the issue, there are underlying tensions just below the surface. Better to deal with these things now, when they’re small irritations, than later, when they bloom into huge problems.

7. Be uncomfortable together

As a couple, make an effort to try new things together, and to allow yourself to be in uncomfortable situations. These situations could be big events like visiting a country where you don’t speak the language, or small instances, like forcing yourselves to sing a duet at a karaoke bar in front of other people. Dealing with the new and unexpected in these situations as a team will bring you closer together in the other parts of your life.

8. Be physically affectionate

Sex is important, but so is simple, non-sexual touching. Studies have shown that physical affection decreases stress, and it’s been associated with lower blood pressure and increased satisfaction in relationships. Like sex, physical affection causes the body to release Oxytocin, often called the “love hormone.” Oxytocin has a variety of effects; studies have shown that the hormone can make us more likely to be monogamous, more extroverted, and more generous and trustworthy. A study recently published in Natureeven suggests that Oxytocin might be useful in treating mental disorders.

Curated by Erbe
Original Article

The Secret to Desire in a Long-Term Relationship

In long-term relationships, we often expect our beloved to be both best friend and erotic partner. But as Esther Perel argues, good and committed sex draws on two conflicting needs: our need for security and our need for surprise. So how do you sustain desire? With wit and eloquence, Perel lets us in on the mystery of erotic intelligence.

Curated by Erbe
Original Source

10 Ways to Make Your Relationship Last

Keeping falling in love with your significant other!

Love that lasts is the result of partners embedding themselves in each other’s brains in a positive way. Memory circuits and pleasure get all wound up together so that the other person becomes integral to the very structure of your brain, and you become part of the structure of his.

Here are some steps toward making your love last:

1. Take your partner’s breath away. Do something amazingly thoughtful and out of the ordinary and try to incorporate an element of surprise to it: a loving note tucked into a pocket. A special dinner on an otherwise ordinary night. A playlist made up with his favorite songs. These thoughtful acts will embed you in his memory.

2. Do something special on a regular basis. Call him every day just to touch base for a few minutes. Make his favorite meal once a week. Once he begins to expect these things, you will always be close to his awareness.

Sensual Passionate Couple

3. Engage in lots of eye gazing. New couples seem to do this naturally, but don’t drop this strong bonding behavior just because the relationship has progressed. This is one way to keep the romance alive and is especially powerful when making love.

4. Learn what pleases your partner sexually. Make it clear that his pleasure is your pleasure, and you want to discover everything about what turns him on. He’ll be happy to have you experiment with him.

5. Teach your partner what you like. Likewise, making you happy will make him feel good. And research shows that the sexual pleasure of one partner increases the pleasure of the other partner.

6. Boost lasting love with sexual novelty. When things get humdrum and routine, there is not going to be as much of a hormonal/neurotransmitter reaction, and arousal is lessened. While you don’t have to break out the whips and chains, a little novelty can increase anticipation, which means that more hormones are secreted. The result? Hotter, more thrilling sex for both of you.

7. Do something edgy. If you get your partner’s heart rate up, he may associate the feeling of excitement with you and he may develop more powerful feelings for you. Going on a roller-coaster ride, taking a balloon trip, shooting the rapids—anything with a touch of danger to it—can make him fall more deeply in love with you.

Couple cooking while having a glass of wine in their kitchen

8. Do something great for someone your partner loves. If you show kindness and love for someone he loves, you will earn major points. When you enter a relationship, you also enter a relationship with all his family and friends. Show him that the people who are important to him are important to you.

9. Summarize and immortalize loving moments. Don’t be afraid to give voice to your love. Tell him how you feel. Write a loving note or poem. Lovers have been doing this from the beginning of time because it works.

10. Boost the chemicals of love. There are many brain chemicals that go into the feeling of love and attachment. Oxytocin is known as the bonding, trust, and cuddle hormone. Oxytocin is enhanced by watching romantic movies together, holding hands, cuddling, and long, loving eye contact. Women usually have more oxytocin than men, but according to one study, a man’s level of oxytocin goes up 500 percent after making love. Being too busy to make love pushes couples apart.

Curated by Erbe
Original Article

Make Valentine’s Sizzle


Body language of desire – Use body language wisely to signal desire to a new partner. Run your fingers up and down your cocktail straw or slowly circle the rim of your glass.

Or trace your fingertips leisurely from your neckline to decolletage – a green light to their subconscious that will give them confidence.

Pucker up – Tempt each other with sensational snogs. Kisses are pleasurable and produce the important bonding hormone oxytocin.

Try the “medieval necklet” kiss, planting kisses from behind their ear, down their neck, around to their other ear. This stimulates nerve endings along these sensitive erogenous zones.

Keep it simple – You may be nervous slipping between the sheets with a new partner but they feel the same too.

Siski Green, author of How to Blow his Mind in Bed (Piatkus, £.9.99), says: “Don’t worry about exotic techniques, turn off the phone and TV then turn up the thermostat.

“The warmth makes you want to get cosy.First stroke their erogenous zones, then lightly rub them, before using a circular motion.

“This makes exploring every inch of them exciting.”

Food of love – Having dinner at home means you can use ingredients that have an added aphrodisiac kick.

A simple stir-fry becomes a sexy dish if you use ginger, garlic and chilli. These seasonings increase your circulation and that in turn sparks your desire.

Spoon-feed each other dark chocolate dessert as it aids the release of feel-good chemicals like endorphins.

Show them the romance – Download or buy a CD of hits from the year they were born.

You may not have known them long but this romantic gesture shows you are happy they were born!

Thrill-seekers – Relationship coach Jo Hemmings at www.johemmings.co.uk, says: “If confident in this lust-filled stage, go Fifty Shades and enjoy a sexy role-play game using a blindfold and a feather.

“If you don’t have these to hand, use an airline mask, scarf or a stocking, plus a soft brush or anything faux fur.

“Take turns teasing, stroking and whispering to each other.”

Make a memory – Take a flask and some lovely light bites to the best outdoors spot in town and watch the stars come out.

Afterwards you can go for drinks, dinner or back to yours feeling all romantic.

Be playful – New couples need confidence to let go and being playful helps.

Sexologist Dr Trina Read, of VivaXO.com, says: “You should both write down three things you would like to try and slip these into your Valentine’s cards.

“This is a fantastic way to help your partner understand things you would like to try and visa versa.”

New couples can beat inflated Valentine’s restaurant prices by doing something fun and different like bowling or a game of pool.

Finish with candlelit drinks and snacks at yours. Research shows these are the standout memories couples love most.

Relationship Types You Can Find Yourself In

Before you find “the one,” you’ll date a bunch of other ones. Only the truly lucky find a great relationship—built on compatibility, mutual respect, and sexual attraction—early on.

Most of us have to have all the other types of relationships, to understand what a functional relationship should look like.

Here are 14 types of relationships you will almost certainly have before you find long-term happiness.


In this relationship, you or your partner (or both of you) cannot function without the other person. You feel anxiety and depression when you’re not around one another. Other areas of your life suffer. You’ll often do out of the ordinary things to keep this person’s love—like cancel a trip you planned years ago with friends, to stay with this person, or give up a great job to have more time with your partner.


You’re a “power couple.” Or at least, you think you are. What you really are is this: two people who do not know how or are not willing to compromise and sacrifice for the relationship. You always put yourself ahead of your partner, and visa versa. You’re both highly focused on your careers, or your own separate social lives. You essentially just meet up when it’s convenient for both of you. But love is not a priority.


At one point, unfortunately, you’ll date someone who controls you. He will set all the rules for the relationship, and you will follow them. Something about this person makes you spineless. You don’t even see how ridiculous his rules are, such as a rule that you not go out with friends without him, or that you stop talking to your male friends, or that all holidays are spent with his family instead of yours. You’ll be under a spell that will be clear to your friends, but for some reason not to you. And you’ll feel great anxiety around ever speaking your mind or demanding something from this person.


You, and possibly the other person involved in this relationship, have just gone through breakups and need love to cover up the pain. This relationship almost never works out because it is built on the fear of facing the reality of your recent breakup, rather than focusing on this new person and whether or not they are compatible for you. So it is fragile.


We all get a little new age at some point and give this relationship a try. In this relationship, the two individuals are emotionally committed to one another, but are both free to sleep with other people. This type of relationship mostly only works when both parties aren’t that emotionally invested in one another. And for this reason, it usually ends anyways.


You really want love, you meet someone who really wants love, and so you’re willing to make a lot of changes for it. You change the way you talk, dress, think and socialize for him. He does the same for you. You actually have zero interest in one another’s passions and hobbies, but you attend all related event and feign interest. You look happy to the outside world, but it’s actually the most exhausting relationship you’ve ever been in.


Okay, the previous relationship is the second most exhausting relationship you’ll ever be in. This is the one that will leave you feeling emotionally, mentally and physically immobile. The toxic relationship is one in which you and your partner have an extreme attraction to one another, but have such drastically different morals, opinions, or integrity that all you do is fight. You bring out the worst in each other. But you can’t stay away from each other. You’re always on edge in this relationship. It’s like being on a drug: the highs are very high, but the lows leave you incapacitated.


It’s fun for now, but you wouldn’t make plans for the future. You couldn’t claim anything is wrong with the guy. You enjoy having sex with him and spending time with him. But that real umph isn’t there—that can’t live without him sensation. But it’s easy, and it’s a good distraction for a while.


Everything is great except one thing: you and him do not feel like having sex with one another. It feels like kissing your cousin. You can have a fun day, connect on many levels, but when it comes to the bedroom, your blood runs cold.


You’ll also have the opposite to the basically friends relationship: the purely sexual one. When you call or text one another, it’s almost always to spend time immediately. You’re mostly in the bedroom together. You have great sexual chemistry, and for some reason never feel compelled to explore your chemistry in other areas.


At one point you will date a rich or insanely handsome man, because you’re just intrigued by what life is like with that guy on your arm. You’ve seen gold diggers who seem happy with filthy rich gentlemen, or your giddy friend who is always with a model. So you give it a go. If you’re an emotionally sound person, you typically can’t carry this one on for long. You crave a real connection.


You’ll date one guy because you should. Everybody—your friends, your family, complete strangers—think this guy is perfect. He’s handsome, he has a great job, he has a good sense of humor, he is kind, he is totally marriage and father material and he treats you like a queen. But again, the umph factor is missing. He doesn’t excite you. You can have great conversations, but a certain inexplicable connection just isn’t happening.


During one of your romantic phases, you’ll try out a long distance relationship. You’ll tell yourself yours will be the one to work out. And you’ll love going to visit him—it will feel like a vacation every time. But eventually, you’ll realize you don’t want to move to him, he doesn’t want to move to you, flights are getting expensive and you’re tired of missing out on what’s going on with your friends back at home.


You probably will not realize it the first time you get into one of these, so we’ll give you a freebee. But at one point, you will develop an intimate, emotional connection with a man who is already in a committed relationship, or when you yourself are in a committed relationship. Nothing physical ever happens, but you share secrets with this person, you get anxious when you’re going to see him, and if you think about it, your or his partner wouldn’t really approve of it.

Curated by Erbe
Original Article

Relationship Games and How to Break the Cycle: True Love Lessons with Sierra

Watch as Sierra Mercier and her husband Andre give us ‘True Love Lessons’…

sierra and andre

Sierra and Andre discuss:

  1. Relationship or dating games and some examples.
  2. Tips on how to break the cycle.
  3. Starting a long-term relationship with your partner.

Do you believe true love exist? I do.

I’m Sierra. My husband Andre and I were the first couple to win the Knot Dream Wedding.

Follow me as I share how I attracted True Love into my life.

I’ll share tips and stories that will help open your heart to all of love’s possibilities.

We’re going to share lots of love stories…

Don’t play games!

Sierra: Well, for a chance…

We’ve all been there before. Trying to play the games of relationships…

I am not going to call for three days. Otherwise, I can come too eager… No! Stop playing games.

Are you looking for a real, solid relationship? Let the person you’re interested in know right upfront. Examine what you want.

Scare someone away? They’re not the right person for you.

Here’s an example… For most of my dating life, I’m used to ‘go with the flow’ type. I’d start to like someone and think to myself, we’ll just see what happens. Go with the flow. Wrong!

After several instances, of these leading to disappointment, I decided: First, I was ready for a long-term relationship and second, I was going to let the next person I date know right upfront.

When I met Andre, the very first time he kissed me, I told him I was ready for a relationship. And if he wasn’t, that’s okay. We’ve make great friends.

Andre: That caught me a little off guard but I appreciated her honesty and I had a really good feeling about it. So, I said – alright, I’m ready for a relationship too.

Sierra: We were officially boyfriend and girlfriend one week later.

Saying what you want right from the get go will save you precious time, painful heartache and will lead out toads from the prince charmings.

Tune in next time for more True Love Lessons with Sierra…

Andre: …and Andre

Sierra: Love you.

Andre: Love you.

6 Things Successful Couples Do to Appreciate a Significant Other

How do you show your partner that you appreciate them?

In a long-term relationship, feeling taken for granted sometimes is an easy trap to fall into. Most long-term couples find that occasionally the balance seems to shift, and one person takes on more of the labour, be it due to work commitments or a more gradual move into bad habits which become routine. We set out to find out how couples in long-term relationships stop their partners from feeling underappreciated by asking them “how do you show your partner they matter to you?”

“I do the chores they hate”

Far and away, domestic chores took the medal for being the most common demonstration of partner-appreciation. From taking the bins out, to doing the washing up, to changing the cat litter, household tasks were the biggest response. Not just any household tasks though; specifically the ones their partner most hated doing.

“I cook for them”

An unsurprising runner up – the way to everyone’s hearts, it seems, is through their stomach. Cooking a nice dinner when they’ve had a bad day, making breakfast every Saturday morning, and giving them the best bits of a meal all popped up as answers. It’s not just meals though; people also love buying chocolates for their significant other, or baking loaves of bread at the weekend, or making lunches for them to take to work. In the same vein, there’s also getting a takeout, and having someone else bring the food!

“I take them out on a date”

Ah, date night. This can fall by the wayside in a long-term relationship, especially as the weather cools and it’s nicer to stay indoors. But putting in a little bit of effort can go a long way. Some people said that they planned meals out – a date night with the added advantage of no dishes to clean afterwards. If there’s a film they’ve been wanting to see, you can have a couple of hours distraction-free instead of waiting for it to hit Netflix.

romantic dinner dating

“I take care of them”

Letting the other person sleep in was a popular one, especially with new parents. An extra hour in bed in the morning might be more necessary than it seems, and helping out by getting up and taking care of the kids is a hugely symbolic gesture of appreciation. Imagine this doubled with breakfast in bed too! Care-taking gestures also included running them a bubble bath after a long day, and giving them a foot rub. Looking after someone is a great way of making them feel like they matter, and even more so if the gesture is acknowledging that they’ve had a bad day, or that they’re feeling a bit tired or run-down. Reminding them that they need to take some time for self-care is thoughtful, but going some ways toward carving out that time for them is even better.

“I buy flowers”

Everybody loves flowers, right? The problem is that they’ve come to symbolise apologies for wrongdoing, so flowers are sometimes a fraughtly given gift and have fallen out of favour a little bit. However, ‘Just Because’ flowers always go down well, because who doesn’t love a delivery of fresh blooms? Extra points for knowing their favourite flowers and including them in the bouquet. There were also people buying little gifts for no reason, too. Surprising someone with a gift they aren’t expecting, but that you know they’d love is a nice way of letting someone know that you value them, even if it’s something small.

Man Giving Woman Roses

“I send a text”

In our age of technology, we’re almost always connected, but an unexpected SMS or email is a nice gesture to let someone know that you’re thinking of them in that moment. Having someone pop up on your phone to randomly tell you that you’re on their mind is never a bad thing. It’s nice to be reminded that you’re thought of when you aren’t physically in the same room.

Overwhelmingly, though, it was the thought behind the gesture that meant more than the gesture itself – as much as foot rubs and flowers are lovely to receive, the feeling of being appreciated was far bigger than the action itself, and went much further.

What about you? Do you buy flowers, or are you more of a breakfast in bed person? What little things do you do to show someone you care?