After reading the following short paragraph, close your eyes for just a moment and notice what you see:
Imagine a couple going out together on a date. They laugh. They flirt with each other. They hold hands. They end up in bed making passionate love.
It's a simple scene that happens in the movies (explicitly and implicitly) and in real life too. When you played out the scene in your own mind, what was the approximate age of the romantic couple?
Most likely, you automatically pictured two people who were in their 20s. Regardless of whether the couple who appeared in your mind's eye were straight, gay or lesbian and no matter what their race or ethnicity, you most likely saw them as relatively young adults.
Definitely NOT a couple in their 50s or older.
Even if YOU are over 50, this is probably what you saw in your mind and here's why...
Most of us assume that romance and passion are unnecessary, impractical or even impossible after a certain age. We buy into the myth that aging means decline-- and this includes a decline in libido and the ability to be as sexual as we used to be.
It's beliefs like this that cause us to lower our expectations and just deal with an unfulfilling sex life. Our beliefs shape our reality and maybe that's going on right now in your love relationship or marriage too.
You've stopped talking with your partner about sex because...
You don't want your partner to feel bad.
You're worried you'll start an argument.
Your body has changed and sex isn't as easy or fun as it used to be.
You believe that dull or no sex is the way it has to be from here on out.
You don't even bring up the subject of sex anymore and you've resigned yourself to unsatisfied and lonely (even though you're in a relationship) life.
There could be other aspects of your relationship that are going well and you comfort yourself with that. Your relationship has mellowed and you tell yourself, “It's not so bad this way.”
And maybe it's not or maybe you secretly long to feel the kind of spark and passionate connection you used to feel with your partner.
It's that longing and that unfulfilled desire that can ruin your relationship. As uncomfortable as it can be to talk about sex with your partner, it's painful to carry around an accumulation of resentful, insecure or angry thoughts and feelings.
No matter how many years you and your partner have been together and regardless of the number of candles on your birthday cake, it's time for you to find the courage to talk about sex. Do it for yourself, for the one you love and for your relationship.
Here are 4 suggestions to make this tricky conversation a success...
1. Don't let your fears dominate.
Be honest with yourself about your sex and aging beliefs. What do you perpetuate in your mind and act as if it “has to be true?” You don't have to deny reality to stay open to possibilities that may be different from what's portrayed culturally or what you hear from those you know.
2. Get curious about yourself.
How long has it been since you got in touch with yourself? Giving yourself sexual pleasure is just a part of what we mean. Over the years, you have definitely changed and what you used to find sensually and sexually enjoyable has changed too. Get specific and think about-- experiment with-- what feels good to you.
3. Get curious about your partner.
Next, surprise your partner as he or she sips morning coffee with a question like this... “What turns you on?” Find out what feels good to your partner. Again, this isn't only sexually explicit information. Your beloved may tell you that to walk hand in hand through the park at sunset is delicious. If you listen and stay open to what you hear, you might also learn some new ways to touch your partner that will enhance lovemaking (for you both).
4. Appreciate what's working.
The key to making a conversation about sex a success where you end up closer and happier than before is to not make it a blame or complain session. Do share with your partner what you have discovered about your changing desires and preferences. Do make requests that are specific.
Be sure to also acknowledge and celebrate what is working!
Maybe you two deal with challenges such as: sporadic or lagging libido, erectile dysfunction, low energy, stiff and aching joints and muscles, among other things. These require you to be creative and patient with yourselves and one another.
These challenges don't mean you have to give up on sex.
It's powerful to realize that there ARE times when you do have the energy to make love. It gives a boost to notice the ways that you two ARE able to be romantic and passionate with each other-- even if it's not the way it used to be or not exactly perfect.
Notice what's working and what brings each of you pleasure and do more of that. Build on what keeps the spark alive as you celebrate your love that continues to grow in fiery ways.
Find out how to keep your relationship feeling as fresh, new and wonderful as you'd like it to in the free ebook Passionate Spark~Lasting Love by relationship coaches and authors Susie and Otto Collins. Go to: www.relationshipgold.com