Passion in committed relationships
The decline of passionate energy in relationships impacts the overall health of the individuals. Learn why the importance of sex in a relationship is paramount.
The decline of passion and erotic energy in many committed relationships impacts the overall health of the individuals. Now, more than ever, we are being called to reclaim our innate erotic nature as an essential feature of a healthy intimate relationship.
Over the years of practising as a psychotherapist and working mainly with couples, I have become all too aware of a common complaint that “something is missing” or “there’s got to be more.”
As the typical tasks of life–building careers, raising children, and managing everyday domestic responsibilities–begin to bear their weight upon longer-term relationships, our passionate yearnings are often one of the first things to get pushed aside in favour of security. But in time, the absence of quality and aliveness we once enjoyed in the early years of the relationship starts to make itself undeniably known.
Diverted Sexual Energy
If our intimate relationships become diverted, we are often counselled by our family and friends that we should be happy with what we’ve got. We may be told that many couples have it a lot worse, and that being economically secure and having a partner who’s at least a good parent is the most we can realistically expect from our marriages.
Indeed, only two generations ago, economic security and survival dominated the primary efforts of most committed relationships. Keeping a roof over our heads and food in our bellies were the central labours for most couples and families. But this is no longer the case for many North Americans. Now that our basic hierarchical needs for survival are being met, we can make way for the emergence of more sophisticated efforts toward greater self-actualization.
So while the advice we receive to just “settle for what we’ve got” is often endorsed, for many these days it does not allay the pangs we feel for something deeper. These feelings that at first emerge as bothersome yet tolerable irks, for many often evolve into an unbearable chasm in their intimate relationships. These days the call for more passion has become stronger among couples. Sexuality has never before taken on such a central role and been demanded of so powerfully as one of the essential ingredients of committed relationships.
While many couples learn to mask these sexual longings by pursuing busy careers and over-focusing on their children in an attempt to fill this gap, their failure to adequately address these yearnings eventually begins to bear its consequences and manifests in unhealthy ways. Our noticeable failure to keep intimate relationships together, the significant discontent in the ones that do last, increasing infidelity rates, and the proliferation of pornography and mass-market romance novels are but a few pieces of evidence that point to our sexuality as an innate and formidable force that cannot be contained.
It is also the call to make more room for greater sexual expression in the equation of our intimate relationships.
The Importance of Eroticism
Erotic passion is something that breathes life and energy into a relationship when it’s present and can end a relationship when it’s gone. The happiness of a couple is significantly intertwined with how sexually healthy and passionate their union is.
It may be that we need to give ourselves permission to expect more from our intimate relationships than economic security. We need to recognize our sexual health as every bit as important as our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health. We can reclaim the sexual passion we once knew in our relationships and begin to evolve them into ones that are spiritually erotic, sexually deep, and passionately committed to love.
Recharge Your Sexual Relationship
Friendship thrives on similarity while attraction thrives on differences, in the same way that opposite ends of magnetic poles attract. Over time our relationships neutralize and turn into good friendships because of our accumulated sense of familiarity with them.
The solution? Try breaking up the routine in the bedroom (the kitchen, perhaps?). Stop hiding your real sexual desires, thinking they are unfair or taboo, and start expressing them to your partner. Create a sense of unpredictability between the two of you and notice what happens.