It's a question that many women have at one time or another during the course of a long-term relationship: Where did the passion go? Can I get it back, or does my lackluster sex life mean that I'm with the wrong person?
Happily you can restore the passion, but it won't be like it was in the beginning — and you have to work at it, says sex therapist Laura Berman.
But first, how do so many of us arrive at this passionless state?
The daily grind can play a big role in derailing our sexual interest in our partner. "Stress, anxiety, depression, whatever it is — can really affect how you respond sexually," says Jennifer Berman, a urologist and expert along with her sister Laura in women's sexual health.
But nature plays a role, too. The truth is, says Laura, "your libido is never going to be like when you first met — when you were in the "infatuation" stage. Our bodies can't sustain infatuation. We'd never get anything done if we lived in that stage all the time. It's nature's way of moving us into a better, more functional place called the "attachment" stage — "a sweeter, calmer kind of phase that some people confuse with infatuation."
When Sexual Problems Arise
It's during this phase that a couple's sexual problems often arise, notes Laura. "When you move into this phase, people assume that sex should always be spontaneous and you should always have that driving, crazy urge like you did in the beginning," she explains. "But you have to actually produce that and it feels very unspontaneous and very strange at first. But if it becomes a habit, it really can help to spice things up. Sometimes it's a matter of actually inserting some of the spontaneity in it and taking control."
By taking control, will you soar to the heights of passion again? Not necessarily, but there are many things you can do to reconnect with your partner which "certainly drives the sexual interest," says Laura.