How to Keep the Spark Alive

In long-term relationships, everyone can fall into ruts now and again. So, what little things do you do to keep the spark alive? Sex therapist Esther Perel shares her #1 tip…

“Be playful,” says Perel, who has a gripping new podcast about couples therapy. “What makes a difference is doing something else, and that doesn’t necessarily mean physically.”

So! The next time you go to a party (or even a bar) together, she suggests pretending you’re strangers. “Make a playful pact not to talk or touch at first, only to make eye contact,” says Perel. Maybe send a flirty text during the course of the evening. “It’s all about talking about sex without talking about sex,” she says.

After all, flirting comes from the french word, fleuret, which is a kind of sword used in fencing. “You get points only when using the tip of the sword,” she says, “So, to flirt is to play, to tease, without going in for the kill.”

This party game works, Perel explains, because it creates mystery. “When I look at you from a distance, you’re somewhat unknown. I see you through the gaze of others — this separate person from me, not just my significant other. I watch you radiate.”

Fun, right? I’d love to try it this summer. There’s something so electric about looking across a crowded room and catching a person’s eye :)

Thoughts? Would you do this? Does it sound fun, or would you feel self-conscious? It reminds me of this movie scene:)

P.S. Scheduling sex, and the secret to a great date.

(Top image of The Meeting, 1872, by Auguste Serrure.)