Couples struggle to reconcile love and lust. Love brings you a sense of safety while lust requires wild abandon. One is considered holy, the other sinful. This week, my client Don and I discussed his lack of sex life with his wife and he asked me, “When it comes to love and lust, can you have both?”
They do have sex with each other but the experience is mediocre at best. He named routine, lack of initiation on her part and lack of presence during sex as problematic. At times, he has even referred to his sex life as “horrible”.
This dilemma repeatedly shows up in long-term relationships, although it can also present at the onset of any romantic relationship.
When partners are newly attracted to each other in the early courtship phase, lusty sexual acts seem to arise more spontaneously. The mystery, excitement and high from sexual engagement register in your body with the release of oxytocin. It feels so good you keep going for more (usually).
But your body cannot sustain the heightened level of excitement consistently in the long term. Over time, your brain begins to settle and the chemical releases shift. Through it’s natural wisdom, your body attempts to find balance.
Esther Perel addresses this issue of love and lust beautifully in her wildly popular book, “Mating In Captivity”. She identifies the difficulty couples face making room for both the role of domesticity and the need for erotic adventures.
When couples fail to address the discrepancy between love and lust, at least one partner remains emotionally and/or sexually unfulfilled. This renders your relationship vulnerable to loneliness, resentment, conflict, affairs and divorce.
This Valentine’s Day, ask yourselves:
- Where do we want to grow as a couple?
Take an honest assessment of your relationship. Talk about love and lust. On a scale of 1 (dissatisfied)-10 (Satisfied), ask yourselves:
- How satisfied do I feel with our emotional connection?
- How satisfied do I feel with our physical connection (affection)?
- How satisfied do I feel with our sexual connection?
To help you bridge what can seem like two opposing needs, I’ve engaged with 2 product companies to help you connect all three levels. Choose from products to enhance your sex life and/or a subscription date night service to strengthen your friendship and emotional connection!
In addition to this, check out our powerful e-course for couples that will help you reconnect and strengthen your emotional, physical and sexual intimacy.