When we encourage couples to continue their courtship no matter how long they have been together, we find the suggestion seems to fall flat.  By courtship, we mean going on dates, doing special things, holding hands, giving gifts, kissing like you mean it, and saying lots of nice things to your partner.   It seems like there is a general consensus that this feels a bit awkward as we are already together so why keep trying to impress each other.  Of course everyone agrees to do it and then doesn’t, unless a breakup is inevitable.


What most relationship experts will agree on is that when these things are done in long term relationships they actually pack a bigger punch and have more impact.  Why?  It’s simple.  All of those nice things mean more because you do not have to do them.  Your partner knows this and that’s why it’s more special.

 The longer you have been together the bigger bang you get for that thoughtful gift or surprise.   So in economic terms this is a huge rate of return on your investment.   -

A win/win relationship is to always look for ways to make your partner’s world more special.  This is a bid for connection, which is hopefully turned toward and noticed.  If not be warned that couple’s research also says that when these bids are not returned, they eventually stop, and can lead to a breakup.  Every relationship works based on the effort both partners put into its success. Seems so simple and fun, so why not give it a try?


This will also impact a couple’s sex life.  Couples often struggle with keeping the physical part of their relationship alive after kids come and the pressures of life heat up.  What makes this even harder is when a romantic connection is not there.  Both men and women in relationships want to feel wanted and desired.  It is a well know fact in research that men want to connect through sex and women respond better to sexual advances if there is connection.  


In an amazing book titled The Normal Bar, authors Chrisanna Northrup, Pepper Schwartz and James Witte conducted an online study with 70,000 people in 24 countries.  The book seeks to discover what couples who have been together for a while are doing around the world to keep their relationship fun and exciting.  One of the Key findings in The Normal Bar Study: 

Fact: Couples who had a great sex life everywhere on the planet are doing the same set of things. Couples who do not have a great sex life everywhere on the planet do not do these things. 


The Gottmans, inspired by this study as well as their own research on more than 3000 couples, identified 13 things all couples who have an amazing sex life do. 

People with a great sex life:

  • Say “I love you” every day and mean it.
  • Kiss one another passionately for no reason.
  • Give surprise romantic gifts often.
  • Know what turns their partners on and off erotically
  • Are physically affectionate, even in Public
  • Keep playing and having fun together.
  • Cuddle.
  • Make sex a priority, not just the last item of a long to-do list.
  • Stay good friends.
  • Can talk comfortably about their sex life.
  • Have weekly dates.
  • Take romantic vacations.
  • Are mindful about turning toward their partner’s bids for attention.

In short there is an emotional connection component to a great sex life and romance is not dead around the world.  What is clear is that being more intentional and loving towards your partner has a lot of side benefits for all. 

Darren Wilk, Registered Clinical Counsellor (RCC) and Co-founder of Bestmarriages.com, has been working with marriages and families since 1988.   This includes being a foster parent providing care as a professional parent loving and inspiring children with various challenges.

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