Long-term-relationships

The Art Of Keeping ‘The Chase’ Alive In Your Marriage

Because you and your partner should never stop falling for each other.

Here’s What You Need To Do When Your Guy Says He Needs Space

We’ve all heard it before…when he says he needs space

So You’ve Fallen Out Of Love? Here’s How To Get It Back.

Just because you’re over them, doesn’t mean it’s over.

10 Ways To Reignite That Honeymoon Spark

One of life’s best natural highs is the thrill, passion and excitement of having a new partner. The conversation is endless, the connection you both feel is intense and the sex… Well let’s be totally honest, it’s hotter than hell! So, if you could reignite that honeymoon spark with your long term partner, why wouldn’t you do it?

Now, according to Graeme Sudholtz, a former Aussie farmer turned relationship and sex therapist and co-owner of Oztantra, “As you get older sex goes from a V8 automatic to a 4 speed manual, but it gets better!” His charming and equally skilled partner in life and in business, Annette Baulch, smiled and nodded in agreement.

I recently had the opportunity and privilege to sit down with this knowledgeable couple of holistic therapists to discuss love, life, relationships and of course sex. It was an entertaining and eye opening half hour, which left me wanting to book an appointment to go back for more!

They offer individual sessions, couples therapy and retreats, Skype appointments and more. Teaching individuals and couples about their sexuality, how to improve quality and quantity in their sex life, how to reignite the intimacy and connection in relationships and having longer lasting sex, are just a few of the topics we discussed. If you want more from your sex life and relationship, I’d highly recommend these two very down to earth, life and fun loving professionals.

They’re relaxed natures and ease in discussing relationships and sex would make even the coyest of people comfortable and they were kind enough to offer SHESAID tips on any upcoming relationship or sex related articles. Tips from the sexperts guys… Thank you Oztantra!

So, now you know where our info is coming from, lets get into Annette’s top 10 tips for reigniting that honeymoon spark:

1. Remember how to feel – The most common reason relationships go stale is that we shut down emotionally from each other. Make your feelings ok, remembering if you can’t feel yourself, you wont feel someone else.

2. Feeling mistakes – Don’t assume that the man is not feeling just because he may not talk about them or uses different language in talking about it. Men do feel, they just have less permission to show it. And women, don’t assume you ARE, check that you’re actually feeling your feelings in your body rather than thinking your feelings.

3. Be willing to be vulnerable – Being vulnerable is how we are able to connect with another and invite our partner into our world, which can be scary! Consequences of not doing this will ultimately lead to the loss of the relationship. Actively choosing to go there is far less scary.

4. Sleep together naked – Our skin is the largest organ in the body and is longing to be nurtured. As adults we are often touch-hungry, especially for touch that has no agenda to it. Relax and snuggle.

5. Honour yourself – We don’t realise how much we dampen our spirit by the hundreds of negative judgments we make about ourselves. Offer honest appreciation daily.

6. Bring love back into sex – Sex becomes boring and hard work when we let love run out and start performing instead. In sex, seek to connect rather than stimulate. Go slowly, connect eyes and breathe.

7. See each other clearly – Take the time to really listen to what they are saying (like you used to do) and get to know a whole new person.

8. Remove your exits – Long-term relationships can get leaky, where we drain energy away from the relationship. This can result in the ‘invisible divorce’. Too much TV, work, talking with friends, focusing on the kids, porn – all of these factors can negatively effect our relationships.

9. Plan a sex date – Set up a regular time to be sexual. Set the date and time (not late at night). You have other essential appointments, why not make sex one of them? Send texts in the lead-up. Ask your partner what they want, enjoy it with them if it feels ok for you. Vary it so you both get to share.

10. Spend quality time on your own – Sometimes couples can get enmeshed and lose the sense of a unique identity, which is what attracted you in the first place. It is healthy to have some time out on your own now and again.

If you want that honeymoon spark back or would like to find out more, speak to Annette and Graeme from Oztantra. Plus, we will have plenty more Oztantra tips and information coming up on SHESAID.

Image via oztantra.com

Are You Ready For A Long-Term Relationship?

Every long-term relationship is hard work. Yes even the ones which look easy! Unless you’re ready to make real sacrifices, compromise and commit it just isn’t going to work.

So how do you know if you’re ready? I’ve put together some simple statements for you to consider. Checkout the true or false feedback and find out if you’re ready to put in the hard yards. Getting into a long-term relationship when you aren’t ready is a recipe for disaster. Plus it’s a sure fire way to break your heart – or someone else’s.

RELATED: Finding Love In All The Wrong Places

1. You see a couple holding hands and it makes you feel envious.

True – READY
Watching couples hold hands when you want a long-term relationship can be painful to witness. If you are ready you’ll likely feel a tinge of envy.

False – WAIT!
You may be an exceptionally non-envious person so this doesn’t effect you. Most people wanting a long-term relationship notice couples holding hands and it stirs an emotional response.

2. You go on dates just for fun.

True – WAIT!
Your dating for another reason and a long-term relationship may not be a priority. Have fun and enjoy!

False – READY
You’re dating for a purpose and clearly have an agenda to be in a long-term relationship.

3. You like to do your own thing and find it difficult to compromise.

True – WAIT!
If you like doing your own thing, you may not be ready to make room in your life for someone else. Relationships are a constant give and take, so this one is a big red stop sign!

False – READY
People in long-term relationships often make sacrifices to please their partner. If you’re ok with that, your ready!

4. You’d rather have sex with one person even if it’s a friend with benefits.

True – READY
If you have one friend with benefits you hook up with, you’d probably prefer a relationship instead.

False – WAIT!
People who like to play the field clearly aren’t ready to settle down and commit to just one person. You may get bored and find yourself cheating if you aren’t ready to settle down.

5. You like to go out with couples when you’re single.

False – READY
No one wanting a relationship is happy to go out with couples. It’s a grim reminder that they are single.

True – WAIT!
If you are happy going out with couples, they are either mutual friends or you’re not fussed if you have a partner yourself.

6. You’ve had long-term relationships before.

True or False – READY
Just because someone has been in a long-term relationship doesn’t automatically qualify them as being ready for the next. There are plenty of people who haven’t had the chance or met the right person who are more than ready.

7. You’d rather spend time with friends than be on a date.

True – WAIT!
If you are having fun with friends, you probably don’t want to be tied down to one person. Life changes when people make a commitment to one another and usually enjoy spending more time one-on-one than being with other people.

False – READY
People who aren’t ready for a commitment are often more comfortable with friends than one-on-one.

8. You have high standards and won’t lower them for anyone.

True – WAIT!
There’s nothing wrong with having standards but if they are too high people will always disappoint you. If you are looking for a relationship, you may need to be a little more realistic or go to places where your high standards can be meet.

False – READY
If you won’t lower your standards for anyone, you are possibly being a bit fussy. You’d rather keep your standards and hold out for the perfect partner. As people as seldom perfect you may be putting an imaginary barrier up to keep yourself single because you aren’t ready to compromise or commit.

9. You are attracted to more than one person.

True – WAIT!
If you are attracted to more than one person you clearly don’t have a deep connection or attraction to anyone. You’d be better off having some fun before you take the leap into relationship territory.

False – READY
People who are ready for a relationship usually have someone in mind when they see themselves in a relationship. This isn’t always the case, though. They may want a relationship but just haven’t met the right person yet.

10. You find something wrong with everyone you date.

True – WAIT!
If you continuously find fault in others then you aren’t ready. This maybe your way of remaining single because you haven’t found the right person.

False – READY
Clearly you are opened to a relationship and have realistic expectations.

Advice

Unless you’ve answered READY for 8 out of the 10 questions, I’d recommend you enjoy being single a bit longer. It might be because you haven’t found the right person, your standards are too high or you just want to have fun. When you are 100% ready, you’ll understand what I mean.

Friendship Is Their Secret Ingredient

Generations ago couples “courted” and got to know each other well before they hit the sack. They might have fooled around a bit but the fear of pregnancy kept most women’s legs pretty tightly shut! Unbeknownst to them they were actually building a friendship which would help through the tough times ahead. By the time couples married they had a reasonable idea who they were spending their life with.

RELATED: Marriage and friendship help you live longer

Fast forward to the 21st century we are lucky to have birth control and options for protected sex. Instead of pregnancy being the deterrent it once was, women are now free to be more, um-mm, free?! The downside is that the friendship required for intimate relationships to survive long term is often missing.

This maybe one of the reasons separation and divorce rates are so high. Plus we have options which our ancestors didn’t. If they were unhappy or dissatisfied in their relationship they had to fix it. Their only options were to find a workable solution, live in misery or murder their spouse. I’m sure a few went missing, some were miserable but the majority worked on it.

We don’t have these restraints. Instead, couples opt for the easy way out, separate and try to find love and happiness elsewhere. The problem with this is that many fail to realize they need to fix the issues created in their initial relationship so it won’t be transferred to the next. Serial cheaters are a prime example. Until they work on their cheating behaviour in their current relationship, it’s pretty likely they’ll cheat over and over again in others.

Today, couples that have a solid friendship are far more likely to work through their baggage, issues or hard-ships and remain together. It’s not just about communicating as friends but encompasses the mutual respect, validation of opinions, understanding, acknowledgment and all the other goodies being best friends involves.

Friendship in new relationships

If you’re on the market or just beginning a new relationship, great! Hold off on the sex and concentrate on the friendship. It doesn’t matter what gender you are either. Simply spend time together, communicate and build a solid foundation for a strong, sustainable relationship.

Avoid placing a time limit on initiating intimacy because that will become the focus. It really doesn’t matter. As a guide when you feel comfortable being able to strip naked in front of your partner and jump up and down, you’re probably pretty comfortable with each-other! Although holding of on sex maybe easier said than done it’s much easier to begin as friends and work toward intimacy than the other way around.

Concentrating on friendship in established relationships

If your relationship is based on physical attraction and lust you’re in serious trouble if you want it to last long term. We all know the passionate side of relationships is awesome but there’s got to be more. Eventually that will subdue and you will need to have a friendship for it to last.

Rather than suddenly stopping the sex to work on your friendship, continue as you would when you want to befriend someone. Work on what you have in common, likes and dislikes, family history, strengths and weaknesses, fears and life experiences. You should know all the things friends know about each other and concentrate on building mutual respect, understanding and trust.

Why friendship?

So why is friendship the secret ingredient to a happy, satisfying long term relationship? Easy. Best friends look out for each other no matter what. They are comfortable in extended periods of silence. Everyone needs down time. They treat each other as equals with respect, dignity, validation and compassion, not as possessions or objects to be abused. They have fun together, laugh together, communicate and enjoy each others company.  Plus, when the s### hits the fan, who do you want to turn to? Not the friend with benefits which some couples resemble, but your best friend.

If your intimate relationship doesn’t have a solid foundation built upon friendship it will eventually crumble. It might last a few years, maybe even a decade or more but the most satisfying and happy relationships seem to have this one essential ingredient. Thankfully this is something we can all build upon, achieve and improve with age.

Image via nedhardy.com

Put The Fun Back Into Foreplay

The key to great sex is great foreplay. Plain and simple. When you first hook up with a partner the foreplay can last for hours. The two of you are up all night talking, kissing and canoodling your way to passionate love-making. Neither of you care that you’ve had no sleep and need to get up for work in the morning. You’re both running on adrenaline. Awesome, isn’t it?!

After you guys have been together for a while, you can begin to lose that passionate honeymoon spark. No one intentionally sets out to lose it, but the lust you once had for each other develops into a deeper love. Hey, there’s nothing wrong with love but it can replace lust. Somewhere along the way lovemaking turns into a quickie whenever you can find the time.

Quite often, women are left feeling unsatisfied and the foreplay, which initiates sex can get monotonous and boring. It all becomes like a routine. Let me tell you, it doesn’t have to. It’s after deep love develops that you should actually be having better sex than when you first hooked up. If you’re not, you’re probably skimping on the foreplay and heading straight to the happy ending. So what’s a girl to do?

This is where fun enters the equation. “Fun” can look like a lot of different things to different people. I’ve got a few suggestions to get you started:

Role play

Now role play can be whatever you like. It might involve costumes like a scantily clad maid or nurse. Play the part and lose yourself in the fantasy. Lots of ladies like a man in uniform so get him to dress up like a fireman, cop, doctor or whatever your fantasy is. The key is to have fun while you’re doing it.

Role play can be played outside the home as well. You might want your partner to pick you up from a bar or nightclub, and pretend to be strangers, meet up in a dark picture theatre, whatever floats ya boat. Remember though, if you get caught having sex in public you can get charged with a criminal offense, so just a word of warning; be discrete!

S&M

Fun might consist of a bit of bondage. You don’t need to go the whole way, like dressing in rubber suits or buying sex related furniture and props. Unless you want to, of course. Tie each other up with scarf’s or belts and maybe grab a pair of handcuffs. Once again, play the part and lose yourself in the fantasy.

Add sex toys

Add some toys to your sex life. There are thousands of different items on the market. Why not jump online together, have a laugh and talk about what you’d like to try and purchase a few. That in itself can be great foreplay if you discuss what you’d like to do to each other.

Purchase sex games

You can buy sex related board and card games which give you both the opportunity to take turns giving and receiving. If you find talking about sex difficult, these sorts of games can get you to open up and be able to communicate your needs and wants to your partner. They are also a great way to introduce new activities to try out together.

Home-made sex games

A great game to play together is the scavenger hunt. Go around the house individually and meet back in the bedroom with what you’ve found to use as sex toys. You might want to try naked blind man’s bluff. One of you has on a blindfold and tries to reach out and find the other. What about strip poker? Turning everyday kids and adult games into sex games can be a lot of fun. Dig deep into your imagination and discover what you can both come up with.

These activities I’ve listed are just the tip of the foreplay iceberg. Have fun together, laugh, get creative and be daring. If you have any other fun foreplay ideas, please feel free to share them. We’d all love to hear about how you and your partner are getting creative and putting the fun back into foreplay!

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