Love Checklist

Make Love Fun Again

JoAnne Lussier
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Does Your Love Life Have You Coming or Going?

All relationships experience highs and lows and the longer you and your partner are together, the chances for extended “dry spells” increase. Having been in long-term relationships and listening to others who are currently in one, I understand the complexities that relationships are forced to endure that have little to do with compatibility. Let’s be honest, life gets in the way every day and pushes us to our limits leaving us exhausted and overwhelmed. Strong relationships require regular attention to run smoothly. Just like a car needs scheduled maintenance to maintain peak performance, so do human relationships. Many of you are probably rolling your eyes right now and saying, “Tell me something I don’t already know!” Of course, you know this, but what are you doing about it? Too many marriages and relationships fail because we get caught up in the rat race of making money and working to achieve things that we think will make us happy only to realize that we’ve lost ourselves or our loved ones in the process. How many couples have you known who have separated after building their dream house or landing that job with the awesome salary? Big life events, even joyful ones, create stress and unrealistic expectations. Studies have shown that the highs we long for and achieve don’t last long term, but what does that mean? Simply stated, it means that the little, consistent things we enjoy offer us the most overall happiness in the end. So, let’s go back to the beginning and try simplifying life so you can enjoy the moments that create stronger relationships. February is the considered the month of love, so put on your bedroom eyes and learn a few tips that may help make Valentine’s Day or any other day of the year fun again.

Plan Ahead

A little planning can make a big difference when it comes down to finding time for intimacy. Work schedules, family obligations, and daily chores can crush your libido in a heartbeat. At some point in your relationship, spontaneity becomes a dirty word. You don’t talk about it and you certainly aren’t doing it either. If you think planning for a night of intimacy isn’t sexy, think again. It could be exactly what you need to rekindle passion with your partner. Busy lives require time management and that includes scheduling time for sex and intimacy. Talk to your partner and work on a solution that feels comfortable for both of you. Sometimes their answer might surprise you! Don’t know where to start? No problem! I have created a simple checklist that can help keep you focused on feeling better and simplifying your love life.

Enjoying a good meal together can act as an aphrodisiac and doesn’t have to be time-consuming, expensive, or extravagant to be satisfying. If you are limited on time at the end of the day, don’t waste it on dinner reservations especially on a holiday. It may seem romantic but considering the cost, travel time, and wait to be served, you are dipping into your own personal reserves of energy that could be better used in the bedroom. Consider cooking something together or making a Crock-Pot meal instead. There are so many amazing recipes available online that taste delicious, and you can prepare it earlier in the day when you aren’t tired. Preparing someone a special meal not only shows you care but will also make the house smell great with minimal effort. This alone sets the stage for a relaxing evening because you aren’t feeling rushed or opting for perfection. It’s about connection not fancy presentation.

Another item on the checklist that requires some advance planning is how you envision your environment. Purchase what you need in advance so you aren’t having to make an unnecessary trip to the store earlier in the day. Are you going to have a candle lit dinner with music and wine or get comfy on a blanket in front the fireplace? Maybe you just want to cuddle on the couch and watch a funny movie before going to bed. Laughing with your partner is always an easy turn on. What about your bedroom? Candles, incense, massage oils, toys, diffusing essential oils such as ylang ylang or sandalwood can enhance arousal making intimacy more likely. Don’t get lured into the commercialism that says you need fancy sheets and sexy attire to be attractive. The clothes come off and the sheets get messy, so let that worry go.

Know Your Triggers

Both physical and emotional triggers can take a toll on your overall well-being and libido. If you are struggling with exhaustion, digestive issues, insufficient sleep, or anxiety, feeling sexy isn’t high on your priority list. The spirit may be willing but often times, the body is weak. Here are a few suggestions to consider, which may minimize your discomfort and maximize your potential for intimacy:

  • Avoid excess amounts of caffeine, sugar, alcohol, sugar, fiber, salt, and dairy. These items can contribute to digestive upset, bloating, gas, irritability, and inflammation. Consider eating lighter meals for a couple days so your body isn’t working so hard to digest its food. Digestive bitters, peppermint tea, or chewing fennel seeds or papaya enzymes after a meal can alleviate symptoms as well. A full or agitated tummy is likely to ruin the mood every time, so be mindful of what and when you eat. If that doesn’t sit well with you, consider making love before you eat dinner. There are no hard and fast rules about enjoying dessert before dinner!
  • Most of us do not drink enough water to stay adequately hydrated. Thirst is one of the main symptoms of dehydration. Dehydration can also cause headaches and muscle cramps. Your body needs water to carry out its normal functions. Drink water often even if that means sipping it throughout the day. If water is a turn off, try infusing it with citrus fruit like lemon or drinking some herbal tea such as chamomile or green tea.
  • Lack of sleep is another hurdle many of us are faced with on a daily basis. Sleep is the way our body restores itself. Ongoing sleep deprivation is linked to many health problems. Make sleep a priority and keep a normal sleep routine so you can fall asleep and stay asleep with less difficulty. If you are getting an adequate amount of sleep, you may notice a greater interest in intimacy. Nobody wants to hear, “Oh, Babe, I’m too tired,” night after night.
  • All of us have family and work obligations of some sort. If you know that someone or something causes you anxiety or pain, do your best to avoid those situations before spending precious time with your loved one. I know that is easier said than done, but the emotional or physical stress will almost always dampen your ability to enjoy intimacy. If what you do in the course of your normal day causes aches and pains, taking an Epsom salt and baking soda bath can help soothe joints and fatigued muscles. If you like essential oils, try adding about 10 drops of lemongrass to a cup of milk and pouring into the bath water for added relief.

Make it Happen

Remember when you first met and you were excited to spend time together? You both put extra effort into pleasing each other, expressing your feelings, and life was good. Then life happened and without realizing it, you both settled into your comfort zone and put less effort into yourself, each other, and your relationship. The flame may be a dying ember but it’s still there, so here are a few tips to rekindle your passion and get the home fires burning again:

  • Fantasize! What do you like about your partner? Maybe it’s their scent, their touch, or the way they say your name. What turned you on when you first started seeing each other? Spend some time thinking about them throughout the day to remind yourself of the connection you have with each other. Visualize your time together and how it will feel. Your energy goes where your attention is so make it work for you.
  • Show your partner appreciation on a regular basis. Please and thank you are powerful words, so use them often. Help each other with chores inside and outside the house so the work load is easier and you’re both less fatigued. Feeling used or taken for granted fosters resentment and will spill over into the bedroom.
  • Hygiene is a given but sometimes we get lazy. You don’t need a new wardrobe or makeover to impress someone who truly loves you. However, “cleaning” yourself up so you look nice and smell good will draw their attention in the right direction.
  • Touch each other! Human touch is a vital component of well-being and strengthens the bond you have with each other. Touch is commonly confused with sex, but they are not the same thing. Touch is subtle, yet deep and begins outside the bedroom! It can be as simple as a hug, kiss, or holding hands. Try running your hand across their shoulders when you walk by them or playing with their hair as you watch TV together and notice what kind of reaction you get. Snuggling in bed a few extra minutes in the morning is a pleasant way to start your day and keeps your connection stronger when you are apart. Small gestures of affection on a regular basis create lasting ripple effects in your love life and your overall relationship.

Keep it Simple

No two couples are exactly alike. Intimacy means different things to different people, so do what feels natural and comfortable. The idea is to reconnect with the person you love on whatever level satisfies each of you. Don’t get caught up in planning expensive dates or what others are boasting about because it creates unwanted stress and inflated expectations. Spend more energy getting wrapped up in each other and less time on the details. By keeping it simple, you can rest easy and enjoy the happy ending that suits you and your partner.