Sexual desire for your partner doesn’t have to fade simply because you are in a long-term relationship. Making a lover feel appreciated and responding to their needs can actually increase desire, according to a study in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. Cultivating responsiveness requires setting aside time to talk and listen to your S.O. every day without judging or interrupting. The result can be intellectual intimacy that translates to greater sexual intimacy.
“People who perceive their partner as responsive believe that this partner understands and appreciates their needs, as well as reacts supportively to their goals,” said lead study author Gurit E. Birnbaum, PhD in an interview with Health magazine. “This is important because it shows that you not only care about your partner’s well-being, but that you truly understand his or her wants and needs.”
Here are six resolutions to reboot your relationship for a stronger connection to your partner in the New Year.
How great would it be to start each day hearing that the person you care about most truly appreciates you? Try telling your S.O. just that in the morning and see how your connection deepens. The benefit won’t be just for your relationship. Researcher suggests that a deep connection with your partner can help reduce your stress hormone levels.
State your concern, talk about your feelings calmly, and let your partner know how the issue is making an impact on you. Avoid below-the-belt fighting such as shaming or blaming your partner. Don’t indulge in name-calling, interrupting or rehashing the past. These dirty tricks only distract from the issue and damage the foundation of your relationship.
Plan a special turn-on.
Treat yourselves to a special date night that’s different from dinner and a movie. Take turns at least once each month planning something you can do together, whether it’s booking massages or setting up a bubble bath. Arrive at a restaurant or bar separately and role-play that you’re meeting for the first time. You’ll end up going home with this pretend-stranger.
Let go of your workday.
Your sex life probably is suffering if you rush home from work, grab and bite and go right back to work on the computer before you crash into bed. If you spend the evening focusing on your S.O., you’ll feel more connected. Call a hard stop to work and give your partner some quality time.
Try something new in the bedroom.
Suggest trying a new sexual technique. Explain to your partner that a little experimentation doesn’t mean you are dissatisfied. Wanting to explore reflects your level of comfort with your partner and your relationship. New experiences involve trusting each other.
When we’ve been with our partners for a while, we start assuming we know all there is to know about them. Give your love a chance to surprise you. Ask a question that gives you the chance to learn something new about them.
Read More: Couples with the Best Sex Lives Have This in Common, Says Science