How to revive a Relationship that’s Flatlined
Cathy Vartuli (CV): So what happens when your love life kind of die and withers? Can you ever bring it back? I’m here with Elizabeth Wood and Dan Powers from Beyond the Bedroom and I’m CathyVartuli from the Intimacy Dojo.
Dan Powers (DP): Hi.
Elizabeth Wood (EW): Oooh, great question. So do you want to talk personal experience or do you want to just talk practically and let the viewers know?
DP: Go for it.
EW: OK. So for anyone who– well, we women, we fluctuate so often and there’s something that’s really on your mind emotionally or something that you’re not feeling well medically, you can always just simply touch to reconnect. Even if you’re not feeling in the mood or you feel like things have dried up, starting that by just simple touch, even if it’s just nurturing and comforting touch, that seems to always get the juices going.
DP: I think also doing unique and different things. When you’re in a rut and you’re doing kind of the same stuff over and over again, if you just reach out and just, like, going to a movie if you haven’t done that in a really long time or would like to go to a nice dinner or something more provocative than that.
EW: And we’ve actually changed it up in the room that we normally are intimate in, we’ve gone into a guest bedroom in our house or even the downstairs room where we typically have house guests that come from far and wide, so we actually change the atmosphere as well.
DP: And we have a room that is really specifically for– well I shouldn’t say completely specifically– but very specifically for sex and that kind of entertainment.
CV: So when you go in there, there’s not all the worries, the day-to-day stuff, the bills and stuff going in. That’s nice.
DP: Yeah. Yeah, because we found that if you’re using your bedroom all the time for sex– like for me, that’s where I go to sleep, so as soon as I’m laying on the bed, especially in the evening…
EW: That’s the truth.
DP: I drop out.
EW: 9:01, curfew. No more playtime.
CV: Whereas if you go in the other room, your body kind of goes, “Oh this is…”
DP: Yes, let’s kick into gear for that.
CV: I found it’s also really useful sometimes to get clear on why you want to have a connection. So sometimes people are maybe doubting their relationship– and when there’s trouble in the bedroom, it can be, “Are we compatible? Is there still a connection here?” Getting clear on what we’re both getting out of the relationship and that, you know, having the sexual touch, how it strengthens the relationship– getting clear on that can help us both be focused in the same direction and really clear that we do want to be there or maybe we don’t, maybe we should think about not being together.
EW: Yeah. And any given situation. If one of the two partners isn’t in the right frame of mind, if you’re not in the right relationship with the right person– even if you’re like, “Ehhh I’m not in the right frame of mind,” that’s a time to then not go into being sexual or intimate and saying, “Hey, can it just be a back rub tonight?” Because not all touch is sexual.
DP: Well we’ve also found that being sexual when you’re not in the right frame of mind works as well. I’ve had times where Elizabeth hasn’t really been in the mood, she’s been a little upset, and I kind of pushed the issue– now not just to get my own gratification–
CV: Right, and not non-consensually.
DP: Right, oh yeah. Of course not. But yeah, when it’s not just for me and all about me and I’m focusing attention on her then it really beings her back to a space for that.
CV: If I ‘m kind of not in the mood but I cuddle, someone says to me, “Cuddle,” usually after about 15 or 20 minutes, I start feeling a little bit like, “Hmm, maybe I want to do something more,” and sometimes I’m just too tired or it’s not the space.
EW: I can imagine, Cathy, if someone wanted to play with your hair…
DP: That’s why I’ve separated these two.
EW: So I can’t reach her.
CV: We’d love to know what you think. Would you leave your comments below? Do you think you can resurrect a love life that’s kind of withered?