When you’re married and middle-aged, sometimes your love life can grow a little limp.
You love each other and sometimes kiss and spoon, but unless you’re newly married, you’re often a long way from your honeymoon. The days of work, kids, chores, repeat, sap your energy, while Father Time takes a toll on your libido.
You may even find yourself sashaying through the house half-naked, trying to evoke a response from your mate, only to find that Netflix has become their new lover and your desperate plea for attention goes unnoticed.
And then what? Do you throw in the towel and grab a good book to read?
No. Because your mate don’t care if you’re wearing a towel or not.
But here are some things that I’ve found to be helpful:
1. Read The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman
Sure, it’s an oldie and you may have read it once, but read it again. Find out if you’re speaking to your mate in their love language. Maybe their language is physical touch and you’re so busy providing acts of service to show your love, that you’re completely missing the mark. Perhaps they aren’t responding to you because you’re just not speaking their language. Read the book and break your language barrier. The growth in your intimacy will speak volumes.
2. Support their dream
Nothing says “I love you” like supporting the dream of the one you love. There’s nothing like knowing that someone believes in you, has faith in you and has your back, no matter what. It provides a comfort level that allows you to divulge the innermost secrets and desires of your heart and draws you closer together. And knowing that your mate desires what you desire for yourself, makes them ever so much more desirable.
3. Give them space
Now this likely sounds counterintuitive to growing the closeness between you and your mate, but it’s not. It is very important, especially if your mate requires quiet time to decompress, study, do their job or work on their dream. Anything that involves creativity requires some peace and quiet. If your mate is tired of playing chauffeur to the kids, give them a respite. Take on their load for a period of time and allow them to relax and rejuvenate. If they tell you that all they want for their birthday is for you to take the kids for the day, do it. Better yet, don’t wait for them to ask. Show them that you understand their need for down time. Respect their need for peace because peace and respect are sexy, but stress and fatigue are not.
4. Skip your bedtime beauty regimen
Yes. I said it. And you can do it. Skip your regular nighttime routine once in a while. Your face is not going to fall off if you forget to apply your eye cream, wrinkle gel, charcoal mask and head wrap for a night. And wear something to bed that’s better than that usual get-up you throw on. Make it something you purchased this year. Let your mate mess up your hair for a change and kiss your face without an aftertaste. You’ll still glow the next day. But it’ll be a different kind of glow. Try it!
5. Tickle their non-traditional hot-spot
We’ve all got one, folks. We’ve all got a hot spot that only those who know us most intimately are aware of. And it’s there for the tickling. So if your mate seems more interested in washing the car or dishes than you, give them something they can feel. They can’t keep a straight face when you go there, so go ahead and make them look goofy. They’ll be surprised, they’ll widen their eyes and they won’t help but notice you’re in the room.
6. Talk dirty to them
Master the art of flirting with your mate. Let them know you think they’re sexy. Whisper in their ear. Tell them what a great time you had last night. Let them know they’ve still got it. Say things that confirm they are the captain of your ship and nobody steers quite like they do. And develop a code if you need to, so the children don’t know what you’re talking about. Keep them wondering why their parents talk about Mr. Hammer and Ms. Bellringer all the time. They’ll never guess that fluffernutter has more than one meaning.
7. Date night
You’ve heard it before, but I’ll say it again. Don’t forget to do date night! Take some time away from your kids, at minimum, once a month. Whether you are parents or not, you have to be intentional about keeping your love life alive. Making it last is hard and it requires effort. You must make time for just each other, to check in, check up and check on one another. Life moves crazy fast. Make sure you’re keeping up. If you want to feel like you did when you were dating each other, then keep dating one another.
8. Buy them a ticket for something that you care nothing about
If you’re wondering why you should spend your hard-earned money on something that you care nothing about, the answer is, because it’s not for YOU! Purchasing something that you know will make your spouse happy, even if you find it ridiculous, will go miles toward touching their tickle spot. If you hate opera, but she loves it, buy a ticket for her and her mom. If he loves golf but you hate it, buy him some golf shoes. Show your mate that their happiness is a priority and they will make yours a priority in return. Buy them a ticket, and then turn in yours for a ride on the love train. Woot Woot!
9. Get a sleep apnea machine
Many a good relationship has been ruined by snoring. It has been the cause of sleeping in separate rooms for countless couples, throughout the years, and it’s difficult for a couple to grow in intimacy when their sleeping hours are spent far apart. For many couples, the answer is a sleep apnea machine. These devices are like answered prayer to those who have tossed, turned and slept with a pillow over their head, to avoid the growls and snorts of the monster in bed beside them. Newer, non-restrictive models are available and they’re not just good for your marriage, they’re good for your health. So do a sleep assessment, get a machine and take back your honey and your health. Your mate will thank you for it.
10. Forgive them
Is it possible that your love life is suffering because one of you is holding a grudge against the other? Could it be that you haven’t felt sexy in a long time because your feelings were hurt by something she said, or he didn’t say? Or maybe you’re withholding affection as punishment for an offense you’ve told them you’ve forgiven. If any of these are possible, then it’s time you loosen your grip on that grudge. Have an open discussion about what’s bothering you. Get it out and then get rid of it. If you want the freedom to experience true intimacy then you have to give up the things that have held you bound, because you can’t be free and bound at the same time (unless that’s something you’re into). So let out the bitterness and let in the love. Forgive them.
Try one or a combination of these ten things and be intentional about improving your love life. Better yet, try them all! Your engine’s not dead, you’ve simply stalled. So rev it up, put it in drive and enjoy the ride. You’re glowing just thinking about it.
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