A new study says the key to keeping sexual attraction alive in long-term relationships is being responsive to each others needs outside the bedroom.
American and Israeli scientists found that women reacted more strongly to ‘responsiveness’.
For the study, a hundred couples kept a diary for three weeks and reported on the sexual desire they felt for their partner, in addition to their perceptions of how responsive their partner was.
The results, which found sexual desire increased along with responsiveness, were reported in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.
Gurit Birnbaum, a psychology professor at the Interdisciplinary Centre in Herzliya, Israel, who co-authored the paper, explained:
Our research shows that partners who are responsive to each other outside the bedroom are able to maintain their sexual desire.”
Responsive partners – who are aware of their companion’s emotional needs – demonstrate a high level of understanding of their partner and are thought to have deeply invested in a relationship.
‘Being nice’ and things like that are not necessarily based on who the partner is and what the partner really wants. When a mate is truly responsive, the relationship feels special and unique and he or she is perceived as valued and desirable.
Responsiveness, which is a type of intimacy is so important in a relationship because it signals that one is really concerned with the welfare of the other, but in a way that is truly open and informed about what the other cares about and wants.
Sexual desire thrives on increasing intimacy and being responsive is one of the best ways to instil this elusive sensation over time; better than any pyrotechnic sex.”
So, ‘being nice’ doesn’t necessarily work, but being ‘truly responsive’ to your partner’s needs makes your relationship feel ‘special and unique’.