Dr. Adam Sheck identifies common roadblocks couples encounter when trying to build passion, and offers solutions to move past them.
My work is about helping couples who are committed and really love each other to restore and reignite their passion. There are many reasons why a couple’s passion fades, and of course each couple is different. There is no cookie cutter solution that fits everyone.
One of the challenges is that over time many couples have lost some of their spontaneity, some of their imagination and they become a little more reserved and guarded with each other. They stop (or perhaps have never started) sharing their sexual fantasies with each other. They have many reasons for this, which I will address later in this article.
Sharing, exploring and acting out your fantasies is a really important part of keeping the passion alive in a long-term relationship. Once the newness of a relationship wears off, once the novelty has passed, we begin to move out of that “honeymoon” stage.
Biologically, we are novelty-seeking creatures. From an evolutionary psychology standpoint, being interested in a wide, diverse gene pool is good for the survival of the species.
For the survival of the relationship, however, we must take steps to stay passionate and aroused about our long-term partner. We must create a fresh relationship each day. Part of that is to share our fantasies, our imagination, our longings and our desires with our partner. Doing this means we can stay with the same partner but have the relationship feel new.
So, what are the blocks to sharing our fantasies? Really, they fall into three categories:
1. I don’t know what my fantasies are.
2. I have shame and self-judgment over the fantasies that I AM aware of.
3. I’m afraid that my partner will have judgment over the fantasies that I am aware of.
The key to sharing your fantasies with your partner is to overcome each of these three categories of block. They are interconnected, but I’ll address each one separately. Be aware of the fact that this is a process, and as one block begins to crumble, the others may also become less restricting.
The first block of “not knowing” is more accurately “not connecting” to your fantasies. They are inside your psyche, whether you are fully conscious of them or not. I encourage you to set up a time and place where you can be alone. Play the music that will set the tone, light the candle or spray the scent that will take you there, adjust the lighting. Set the mood to call forth your fantasies into your awareness.
And literally, that is exactly what you will be doing, calling them forth. Say it to yourself, write it down, say it out loud or, even, into an audio recorder: “I wish to become aware of my sexual fantasies.” Take a deep breath, hold it for a moment and then release it.
Repeat this a few times. And say again, “I wish to become aware of my sexual fantasies.” And begin to write or speak. Write or speak WHATEVER enters your mind. Don’t censor yourself! No one but you will ever see or hear this, until YOU are ready to share your fantasies. Let yourself go!
You are “priming the pump” of your unconscious. Some of you will be able to connect to your fantasies on the first try; most will have to repeat the process a few times before achieving the desired result. And, don’t be surprised if a fantasy pops into your head at a later time “spontaneously.” You’ve planted the seeds and they will grow in their own time, perhaps while you’re taking a bath, perhaps while you’re driving somewhere. They WILL show up though, I promise.
The second block to sharing your sexual fantasies is about shame and self-judgment. There is no quick fix for this, as we all have internalized various degrees of judgment and criticism around sexuality, mainly from our early childhood and adolescent experiences. I would suggest for now that you create three positive affirmations about your sexuality that you repeat to yourself out loud five times each, twice each day.
Examples could be:
“I am a sexual being with healthy needs and desires.”
“Knowing my sexual fantasies is a sign of self-knowledge and self-love.”
“Sharing my fantasies is a sign of intimacy and love.”
The third block is that you fear how your partner will react when you share your fantasies. For the most part, my experience in working with couples over the last twenty years is that your partner will be relieved and excited that you share your fantasies with them. It then becomes about communicating and understanding on both of your parts, and co-creating a way to make the fantasies come true. Again, you can prepare YOURSELF to overcome this block with affirmations that remind you that you have a loving partner and to give them the benefit of the doubt in embracing your fantasies.
Examples could be:
“I have a loving partner who accepts and loves me unconditionally.”
“I am with a partner who wants to share the deepest intimacy with me.”
“I have a loving partner who desires to fulfill my fantasies.”
AND, sometimes your partner just won’t be able to embrace your fantasy and go for it. Please don’t take it personally, just suggest another fantasy. You’re in it for the long haul and they might just be open and receptive another day!
30 Day Challenge To Share Your Fantasies:
If you’d REALLY like to use the information in this article, to have more passion in your relationship I invite you to take the following 30 Day Challenge:
Right now (or within the next 24 hours at the lastest), I want you to:
Sit down alone in a quiet, sensual atmosphere and fully imagine your fantasy. Write down as many of the details as you can. If writing isn’t your thing, you can speak it into an audio recorder or your smartphone.
Within 7 days I want you to:
Practice the affirmations recommended to deal with the second and third blocks. Begin to prepare whatever “ingredients” you will need for your fantasy including clothing, “equipment,” and location. Share with your partner that sometime in the next 30 days, he/she will need to reserve time and romantic energy for you to share and live out your fantasy together.
Within 30 days I want you to:
Share and act out your fantasy with your partner. AND, share the above keys with your partner, so that you can act out his/her fantasy this month!
I hope that this article has been helpful in giving you some tools to share your fantasies, and that you will take this challenge. For those of you that need additional help, I offer tele-coaching programs for couples as well as for the individual partners in a couple, to help bring back the passion to your relationship.
Originally appeared at The Passion Doctor