Sex is a basic human need, but as your partner and you grow, you may evolve at different rates. The desire for sex becomes unbalanced in your relationship-one partner wants it more than the other. And over time, sex may become predictable and the excitement fades.

If you don’t have the sex life you wish you had, it seems easier to settle and just accept the status quo. But if you let it go, you will no doubt experience some frustration and resentment toward your partner at some point. You may not even understand the origin of the anger as time passes. So the problem becomes more difficult when it’s not dealt with. Counseling can help.

Before your sex life becomes too negative, try working with your partner. Because it takes two to tango, it also takes two to solve the problem. That means talking with your partner. This can be a huge hurdle, because people often avoid talking about sex. But it’s critical-it’s the first important step to a better sex life.

1) Communicate. Have a frank discussion of your sexual needs. Ask your partner to explain his. Expose your vulnerabilities to each other, which will open your connection and enhance the quality of your relationship. Find words to express those difficult thoughts. If you want sex more than your partner, tell him how that makes you feel. If you don’t want sex as much as your partner, explain that too. Maybe you have a fear of rejection, maybe you feel you don’t measure up, maybe you feel your body isn’t as perfect as it once was. The more open you are with your partner, the more intimate your relationship, and the richer intimate sex will be.

2) Plan for sex. Making a date to have sex sounds counterintuitive. Isn’t great sex supposed to be spontaneous? Of course it can be, but planning is sometimes necessary in your busy world of kids, work, responsibilities. So it might never happen if you don’t plan. Also, planning builds suspense. Makes you anticipate sex; makes you think about things you might do. Wear a frilly undergarment. Get a nicely scented candle. Oil for massaging his back. A bottle of champagne. I’ve known couples whose desire overtakes them and they never make it to the date they planned.

3) Flirt. Remember when you were first together and everything he did seemed fascinating? Over time, though, that interest becomes familiar, and finally, you take him for granted. Make an effort to take a new look at your partner and find out what makes him tick, which may have changed since you first dated. You genuinely enjoyed him once-rekindle that feeling. Engage him in your renewal. Try new things in your relationship, including new things in the bedroom. And let him know you see him as a sexual partner-not just someone who brings home a paycheck or forgets to take out the garbage.

The best thing for a great sex life is a great relationship. Sex is the icing on the cake that can deepen an already intimate relationship. When you nurture your relationship as a whole, you are setting the stage for a great sexual relationship as well.

Nancy Travers is an Orange County Counseling professional. If you need safe, effective counseling services, please get in touch. You can reach her here:

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