Restore the spark to your love life
Research undertaken at a number of UK Universities has established that of you want to keep your brain sharp in later life, it pays to have more sex. Results of the research suggested that regular sex can improve vocabulary and visual awareness. According to a Trinity College Dublin study, couples who continued to have sex in later life remained more positive about ageing, enjoyed better health with fewer long-term conditions, and were less prone to depression.
In addition, a healthy sex life can improve heart health, lower blood pressure and release feel-good hormones, which act as a natural painkiller. A study conducted at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital, found that middle-aged people who engaged in regular sex looked on average five to seven years younger than those who rarely had sex.
The problem is, many people see a decline in their love lives as they get older. This often starts from the age of thirty or so, when the pressure of juggling work and family can mean that exhaustion and stress wipe out any desire you may have for nocturnal activities.
So just how can you bring back the spark in your love life? We’ve put together a list of twenty tips that might help you!
20 tips to bring the spark back to your love life
- Get physical. Touching, hugging, rubbing, stroking, holding hands, giving massages and foot rubs. All of these things release the hormone, oxytocin, which helps you feel close to your partner.
- Keep smiling! Your smile probably helped you attract your partner in the first place, and besides, you smile at other people so why not smile at your significant other?
- Are you feeling good? The better you feel about yourself the more likely you are to care about what others think of you, and you’ll be a source of attraction. Anyone who feels good about their body is much more likely to want to engage fully in an intimate relationship. Sometimes, it makes your partner feel good to know that you’ve made the effort on their behalf.
- Be interested and interesting. Your partner needs to feel that you are interested in them, and vice versa. Listen to what they have to say, and then hold out for them to treat you the same way. Mutual respect can go a long way to connecting you both.
- Be respectful. Relationship problems start with criticism, contempt, defensiveness, and being evasive. Instead, be respectful and communicate openly. Make sure all your conversations are constructive.
- If you make a mistake, apologise! Don’t let things fester, don’t become defensive. A simple apology will prevent resentment. Admit your mistake and move on. It will help your partner feel closer to you. Don’t keep score, you need to let the little things go!
- Forget perfectionism. It doesn’t exist. Neither you not your partner can be perfect. It is not all-or-nothing, it is not black and white. Somewhere in the shadows and the grey area, there is happiness. Stop judging, start accepting.
- Single? Start a new relationship. The natural cycle of relationships means that you tend to have more sex at the beginning than you do a little further down the line. If you were unhappy in your last relationship, go out on a limb and find someone knew to couple up with.
- Recognise your strength. You’ve come of age. You can be confident and dismiss any little hang-ups you once had. You know not to sweat the small stuff.
- Ask your partner for what you want. You know what you like so ask for it.
- Stay lubricated. There’s no need for intercourse to be painful as you grow older. If you or your partner are suffering with vaginal dryness, you can ask for a vitamin E cream that can help.
- Get plenty of sleep. Tiredness and irritability are a reason many of us experience a drop in libido or erectile dysfunction. A good night’s sleep can really help. A US report in the health journal Menopause studied more than 93,000 women aged 50-79 and found that less than five hours sleep per night was associated with a less satisfying sex life. Magnesium, known as ‘nature’s tranquilliser’ can promote better sleep. Foods rich in magnesium include fish, green leafy vegetables and pumpkin and sunflower seeds.
- Take a good look at your diet. Good fats that you’ll consume in eggs, nuts and oily fish are important for overcoming a low libido, and foods rich in zinc, such as spinach, beef and kidney beans, are also important for the production of sex hormones.
- Exercise can also boost your libido and help to banish stress, meaning you’ll be in the mood for sex more often.
- Be true to yourself. Don’t allow yourself to be disregarded, undermined, neglected or ignored by your partner.
- Push yourself a little bit. You may not really feel like sex, but if you’re prepared to give it a go, you may find you have a really good time. Try not to fall into the trap of not making any effort whatsoever. Sex is just another muscle – use it or lose it.
- Have fun. If your life has become increasingly mundane, no wonder the spark has gone out. When was the last time you had fun? Go to a movie, or the Zoo, or try out a new restaurant or exercise class. Arrange dates. Try something that is new and positive. It can help breathe new life into a dull relationship.
- Welcome your partner home. No matter where they’ve been, be it Timbuctoo or just down the shops, when you and your partner are reunited show some pleasure in it! A simple hello can suffice, but better still, walk to the door to greet them, give them a hug and a kiss, ask them about their day/trip etc. Don’t simply shout ‘hi’ and go back to whatever you were doing.
- Flirt. Can you even remember how to flirt anymore? Chances are if you’re in a long term relationship, you haven’t flirted for ages. Try it. It’s just as important now as it was back in the day. Concentrate on showing you find your partner attractive.
- Ramp up the sexiness by reading an erotic novel or watching a sexy movie together to get yourselves in the mood. Discuss times you were most sexually excited, or the best sex you had together. Create a fantasy you’d both like to indulge in.
Top tip? Live with hope. All relationships have their ups and downs, but with a little effort, energy and love on your part, you can weather the storms.
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