I tend to be pretty bad about hanging onto work stuff. I’m a self-proclaimed workaholic, and a good majority of my time is spent thinking of ways I could be making more money. (Hey, it’s an unfortunate fact of life – life requires cash.) I don’t mean to neglect the rest of my life, but I’d be lying to myself if I said it didn’t happen sometimes.
Add a little bit of anxiety and perfectionism into that, and you’ve got a recipe for 12-hour work days and only having sex once a month.
I’m not proud of it, though, and while I do value ambition as one of the biggest virtues in life, I’m always trying to find a way to spend less time thinking about work. Apparently, for some people, that just comes naturally, and they’re perfectly content to work as little as possible in order to get their financial needs met.
Then, on the other hand, you have me. I’m the type who would drop lottery winnings into a savings account and go back to work the next day like nothing happened. Not that I’d actually play the lottery, though – there’s no way I’m going to put my money towards maybe getting more money. The risk of loss is too much for me.
But, one thing I tend to overlook is the wealth of things I already have. I’m not actually big on owning things or stockpiling anything. I was raised by borderline-hoarders so I’ve got a constant urge to purge things. Somehow, I have to force myself to purge things from my brain, though. I can’t stop thinking about the next six months’ worth of bills so that I can think about the next sixty minutes of sweet, sweet lovemaking that lay ahead of me.
If you’re trying to stop focusing on work so much before bed, here are a few tips to help you get started.
1. Shower at night – and don’t forget to moisturize.
For many of us, taking a shower in the morning is how we get into the mindset of work. The brisk water wakes us up and clears away everything from the day before.
But taking a shower in the evening helps clear our minds, too, and warmer water can help us relax. While it’s purely personal preference whether you shower in the morning or at night, your sex life will probably be better if you shower in the evening – and invest in a good massage oil, too. Sensual back massages release the remainder of the attention and quite frequently spark the mood. Give it a try!
2. Unwind, together.
Sometimes, when workday stress is too much, we can forget to talk to one another. But your partner is usually one of your best friends – why not share the details of your days?
Not only does talking help you to physically unload the things that are stressing you out, but it also brings you and your partner closer. Of course she doesn’t have to hear every detail, and you don’t have to hear about every minute of her day, either. But sharing little stories with one another is a good way to keep the spark alive.
3. Disconnect. (From the WiFi, that is.)
Most of us keep our electronic devices right on our nightstands, so that we can quickly check something if we need to. But I’m going to let you in on a little secret: Nothing needs your attention after hours.
A great deal of us actually use our phones as alarm clocks these days, but there are a number of reasons that’s not a great idea. First, we tend to pick songs for our alarm tones, and waking up to a song you like every day will eventually cause one of two problems: Either you’ll start to hate that song, or it’ll start working its way into your dreams. Not only that, but phones and tablets should actually be turned off while charging. It saves the battery, and for most smartphones, every precious minute of juice you can save is a victory in and of itself. Many of the apps we all use every day have a bluish tone to them, too, which actually tricks your brain into thinking it’s still daytime, so you’ll stay up later than you should!
(Besides, it should go without saying, but if you’re playing on your phone or tablet, you’re probably not paying attention to your partner. Buy a standalone alarm clock and give your phones a bedtime.)
4. Give yourself some background music.
I’m not sure how you feel about music, but I can’t get through a whole day without listening to something. Pure silence is one of the few things that scare me, and in almost-pure-silence it’s just too easy to hear every miniscule noise.
Music actually has a proven scientific effects on the brain, too, aside from the emotions that specific songs will elicit. This actually means a number of things for your personal gain. Not only will creating a “sex playlist” help get you in the mood for sex (hint: pick the songs together), but you can also train your brain to react to certain frequencies in certain ways, and use that to your own advantage in life. The MyNoise website has a number of sound generators that can be used for literally any reason, along with preset frequency settings that can help to create a specific feeling. (I’m actually a paid member of this site, because it’s helped me out so much with focus and relaxation, but you can listen to most of the sound generators for free, as well as creating a custom hearing curve.)
5. Never forget the goodnight kiss.
Sometimes, after a long day at work, we just want to roll over and go to sleep. I get it – why make a long day even longer?
But we tend to take our partners for granted sometimes, especially when other areas of our lives are really starting to take off. (I actually just recently got in trouble with my girlfriend because I promised to try to keep Sundays off, and I’ve worked several Sundays in a row now. Whoops.) We get so wrapped up in the parts of our lives that we think we still have to prove – such as our career – and we neglect our partners because we’ve still got them.
But the spark isn’t going to stay there on its own. You actually have to work at it, and make sure that you’re doing your fair share. This means you have to consciously talk yourself into it sometimes! It should never feel like work to be with your partner, but it’s not going to be effortless, either.
Stop thinking of your girlfriend as a “have to” situation. She doesn’t have to be there. Realistically, the two of you have no real obligations to one another – so why would you treat her like she’s stuck with you?
Even something as simple as giving her a goodnight kiss and telling her you love her will do wonders for things, and you’ll probably find that some nights it turns into something more. Roll with it! If you want to make your partner a priority, make her a priority – don’t make excuses.