'Your heart might soar when you hear your partner describe you as their best friend, but it can be the kiss of death for your sex life'
Good sex that lasts isn’t a gift, it’s an achievement. Like all good things, the more you put into it, the better it gets - and the more variety you have, the higher your desire and satisfaction levels.
But sometimes the emotional intimacy that comes from a long-term devoted relationship can actually hinder passion between the sheets.
Friendship is the foundation of every solid relationship but can you in fact be...
We need to see our partners as individuals, people who are their own person rather than one-half of ourselves, in order to fancy them. Become ‘emotionally fused’, to the point where you lose your sense of where you finish and they start, and you don’t just lose your identity, you lose interest.
In other words, genuine closeness turns out to be a turn off. Familiarity and comfort are welcome bedfellows for relationships but they’re lethal for your love life.
Healthier, is what’s called ‘differentiation’: you’re emotionally engaged and connected but you accept you’re two separate people who don’t have to agree on everything, do everything together or like the same things.
You don’t merge but complement.
A crucial ingredient to having good long-term sex is novelty: if you’ve become matching bookends with the same tastes and views, that’s hard to achieve.
Differentiated couples embrace their differences and push each other out of their comfort zones, challenging their partner to try new things and see things from a different point of view.
In short, we should push ourselves sexually, then when we’ve mastered that particular thing, aim for something that’s just a little further out of our reach.
Something we haven’t done before is something that’s unknown. Unfamiliar.
So, the answer to the question ‘Are you too close for great sex?’ could well be ‘Yes’.
But you’re not being asked to ditch intimacy, just to unpeel the Velcro which is attaching you hip-to-hip and stand facing each other, rather than side by side.
To take a little tiny step away from each other. To wave each other out the door occasionally.
When couples do dare to expand their range of ‘solo’ interests and become more engaged and stimulated by the outside world, their attraction for each other typically grows, says Morin.