Many couples, particularly for those who have been together for a long time, are not satisfied with that aspect of their relationship.
For example, the authors of The Normal Bar, Chrisanna Northrup, Pepper Schwartz, and James Witte, conducted a study with 70,000 people in 24 countries. They were curious about what might be different about couples who said that they had a great sex life, compared to those who said they did not. The results were fascinating.
Fact: Couples who have a great sex life everywhere on the planet are doing the same set of things. Futhermore, those with bad sex lives are NOT doing those same things.
If you are unhappy with your sex life, you might find it can improve if you are willing to make some changes. Ask yourself these questions:
1. Do you kiss or hug your partner in public?
According to the study, 32 percent of men and 48 percent of women say no. The truth is public displays of affection (PDAs, for short) are great for a relationship: 68 percent of those who keep hands off in public are unhappy or only slightly happy with their mates, while the happiest couples indulge in PDAs at least a couple of times a month.
2. Have you given up an important part of yourself to keep your relationship together?
48.9 percent of people in a relationship for 21 years or more say yes. If you’re feeling shut down, think about how you might change your daily life to support your hopes and needs, and discuss with your partner. Happy couples encourage each other’s ambitions and passions.
3. How often do you hold hands with your partner?
Among couples who’ve been together 10 or more years, more than half say they no longer hold hands. A quick squeeze of the hand can add a vital charge of connectivity to a well-worn partnership. Research shows that holding hands can even help settle arguments.
4. Have you ever read your partner’s email or texts?
39 percent of people reported sneaking a quick peek. Surprisingly, that percentage prevails in both happy and unhappy relationships. However, most people feel violated when they learn their privacy was breached – better to work on direct communication with your partner than to invade their privacy.
5. How often do you tell your partner you love them?
The happiest couples say “I love you” at least once a week. More than 90 percent of men reported saying these 3 little words to their partner regularly, while 58 percent of women say they do the same. You can keep it simple by adding “I love you” at the end of a phone call or before you go to sleep. You may be surprised at the impact this small but important change can have on your relationship.
6. How often do you kiss passionately?
38 percent of long-term couples do not kiss passionately at all anymore, which is unfortunate. Kissing bonds partners more deeply. Try to remember what was going on when you kissed often years ago – where you dancing in the kitchen? Were the lights low and soft music playing? Try to get back in the habit – you’ll be glad you did.
7. Do you compliment your partner?
If you are appreciate of your partner, you’re more likely to prompt more loving feelings in response. Only 47 percent of women and 55 percent of men say they pay their partner regular compliments.
8. How often do you have a “date night”?
32 percent of couples say they “never” or “hardly ever” have date nights. But couples who say they’re “extremely happy” plan time alone together. It’s important to set aside time with your partner to laugh and have fun together. Many people find they need to remove themselves from the distractions in the house, so they make plans to go out. Others find staying home to watch a movie or engage in a project of some sort, like cooking a meal together, yields the same feelings of closeness.
These questions are just some of those used in the study, meant to get you thinking. What’s clear from the Normal Bar study is that a good sex life involves connecting both emotionally and physically. What changes are you willing to make fo improve your sex life?