Is It Possible To Make Lust Last In A Long-Term Relationship?

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  • It’s a fact that, as love grows, lust almost inevitably wanes. But scientific research says there are ways to bring a flatlining libido back to life. We spoke to sex and relationship experts Dr Vena Ramphal and Wendy Strgar to find out more…

    This is how you can revive a flat libido:

    When you’ve been together years, a rut is to some degree unavoidable – often due in large part to the issue of mindfulness.
    ‘The real problem is less the repetition than the fact that we anticipate repetition – the same foreplay, same positions etc – and so we don’t pay full attention,’ says Dr Vena Ramphal.

    To prevent your mind wandering away – to the laundry, the mortgage or anything else that takes you away from the present moment – you must focus.
    ‘Change one thing about your routine and you will trigger attention.’

    Think about why you want to make the sexual side of your relationship work.
    ‘If there was never a spark or you aren’t satisfied with your reasons for staying together, don’t force it.’

    Is there ever a time when you should simply walk away?
    ‘Lust ebbs and flows in long-term relationships. If it has died slowly, but there is still love and respect, you can revive it. But if it was never really there in the first place – ask yourself why you are trying to save your relationship.’

    Is sex actually the problem?
    ‘Usually when couples are struggling, they point to the lack of sex (lack of it, or mismatched desire) as the issue; in fact, it’s the relationship that needs mending,’ says Wendy Strgar, author of Love that Works: A Guide to Enduring Intimacy.

    As with most aspects of a relationship, communication is the key
    ‘Sex breaks down because people aren’t communicating, not keeping their word or making sarcastic jokes. This kind of behaviour creates a wall, so you don’t feel safe to make yourself sexually available.’

    Read the full feature in the June issue of Marie Claire, on sale now.

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