We want comfort and familiarity, but also mystery and surprise. Easy enough, right?

When a couple has been in a relationship for so long, the sexual attraction can diminish. Our minds tune out things that stay the same because our brains often only register things that change. Because of this, our attentiveness can diminish as we turn our attention elsewhere. This process, referred to as the process of habituation, causes us to become completely desensitised to our partners over time.

But we don’t have to.

In fact, world-renowned sex therapist Esther Perel once explained that we expect our partners to provide everything in one being. We want comfort and familiarity, but also mystery and surprise. Easy enough, right?

Well, based on Perel’s research of long-term sexual desire, here are five things you need to know in order to reignite passion and sexual attraction in your long-term relationship:

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1. Understand the ingredients of sexual attraction so you can recreate them

The main elements of sexual attraction include adventure, novelty, mystery, risk, danger, surprise, and spontaneity. To hold your partner’s interest for any length of time, you must mix these elements into your daily lives and use them in the bedroom from time to time.

2. Spend time apart

Absence and longing are critical elements of desire. When we feel attracted to someone, our imagination conjures up thoughts of what it would be like to be with them sexually. But, when we remain with our loving partner, we stop imagining. When we spend time apart, though, we begin imagining again. This is essential to keeping the spark alive.

Absence and longing are critical elements of desire

3. Be out of sight and out of reach

We are most drawn to our lover when they are just a little out of our sight and reach. For example, when you attend a social function together and you see them mingling with others across the room, you suddenly feel an urge to take them to the bathroom and do bad things to them. This is because our brain recognises these moments as a challenge. When our partners give us their full attention constantly, though, the challenge is gone and we lose interest. So, spend time in a room together while focused on entirely different things every once in a while. It can prove a fun challenge to distract each other from your work.

4. See your partner in their element

Think back to a time when you’ve seen your lover doing something they are highly skilled at. They likely exuded confidence. It turns out that we are automatically attracted to that type of confident glow.

When we see our partner in their element, they become an elusive being that we desire. They become a separate entity and look even more sexually appealing than normal.  This, in turn, enables you to remain, as Esther Perel puts it, “open to the mysteries that are living right next to you”.

5. Become independent of your lover on all levels

We all know that there is nothing sexy about someone who is needy. In fact, Perel describes caretaking as a “powerful anti-aphrodisiac”. Therefore, you should make yourself as independent as you can to enable optimum desire.

So now that you know how to kick-start your desire for your long-term love, try a few out with your partner! If you implement all these into practice over a period of time and still you feel nothing, talk to your partner and see what other ideas you can try to strengthen your relationship.

Article by YourTango