I am asked all the time how to help bring back some excitement in a long term relationship. Most people assume they are simply asking about a new technique or a novel position. While those hints can be helpful in some situations, patients often miss the bigger picture of the need to keep a sensual flame alive in a long term committed partnership.

Esther Perel in her book Mating in Captivity, states that it is difficult to remain constantly attracted to something that is always the same. Akin to eating the exact same food every meal of every day, it’s good and sustaining, but loses its enjoyment factor over time. That’s why we try new recipes and spices to keep us engaged in the process of meal preparation and delighting in the flavors. Also, the brain chemicals of love, lust and attraction fade after 6 – 12 months of a new relationship. That explains why so many people tend to look around for newness and excitement. I have another suggestion: Flirting.

Long term partners often enjoy sexy date nights together and recapturing the freedom of their earlier years. Sometimes music and clothes of the era in which they met can bring back wonderful memories.

Also, given a strong relationship, a couple can entertain the idea of a new venture. They can possibly choose to involve interesting board games that are devoted to this principle. As long as all the people involved know the ground rules and everyone abides by those tenets, some good, clean, harmless fun can be had on a whole new level.

Imagine the scene of a happily married couple daring to involve an old friend in an experiment of flirting while they were all away from their small town homes in the big city. The sexual tension in the air was electrifying, since none of the 3 people had any idea what would happen. Showing cleavage, playing footsie, suggestive touches, and riveting looks made for a fun evening for all while out having drinks. Then the couple retired to their hotel room, alone, charged with the daring quips and actions of the evening fresh in their minds and bodies.

As I have jokingly said to my husband for years, “I don’t care where you get your appetite, as long as you eat at home!” And he returns the sass by saying to me that, “All is fair game as long as everyone keeps their clothes on!” I highly suggest that you and your trusted partner revisit the fun of flirting with each other. Texting suggestive comments, stealing covert glimpses, and touching each other in clandestine ways helps create a light and interesting mood. Remember how exciting a good make out session used to be? I challenge you to try flirting together, and maybe even open yourself up to the possibilities of including others in your fun.