If you are reading this article and are in a long-term relationship, chances are you are running about average!
Blame Darwin – not only was he one of the first to document a biologically-driven loss of interest in our partners after ‘conquering’ them – his work also led to the well-documented Seven-Year Itch and what every woman already knows – his wandering eye…
A study into the Itch was carried out by research professor Andrew Clark of the Paris School of Economics who looked at more than 1000 marriages and over a 20 year period.
"We were looking for a life satisfaction score, and it was interesting to compare the results to the theory of the seven-year-itch and the 20-year-ditch," said Prof Clark.
"The size of the effects seemed more dramatic for women, in that their happiness levels climbed more steadily and to a higher level than men, but then declined more sharply and to a lower level than men."
Some attribute ‘the itch’ to a genetic pre-disposition to begin searching for a new alpha male as soon as the kiddies are old enough, while others argue it takes that long for your partner to really get your goat up (no pun intended).
Whatever the reason, biology is now your enemy! That means we now need to use human nature to work for us, rather than against us.
By now, you may have read countless articles about how to set time for ‘dates’ and not to ‘let yourself go’ and a plethora of other fire starters that just haven’t worked (otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this). But how would you feel towards your partner if other people were suddenly interested in them? Protective? Jealous? Surprised?
Chances are you’ve started taking your partner for granted and if you introduce a little friendly competition into the mix, large holes of ‘us’ time suddenly start appearing in your diaries.
It doesn’t have to mean taking on other lovers - instead, consider the gentle art of flirtation. If you’re not brave enough to do it in the flesh, put up a sexy ‘single in an open relationship’ profile on Adult Match Maker asking for virtual flirtations (only). There are plenty of men online for whom this is their main ‘action’ and will be happy to accommodate your honesty.
If she has a singles profile and is getting sexy emails, maybe he should try some pornography – there is nothing quite like his appreciation for all those Brazilians and French polishes to get her to wax her legs, put on nice knickers and dim the lights…
Alternatively, do as some couples do and allow flirtation (or even pashing) into your social events. Figure out some ground rules (which might include: look but don’t touch, no work colleagues, no phone numbers, no married people) and then go out and hit the meat markets. Not only will this reinforce how valuable your partner is to other people – it will also remind you how valuable they are to you. (After all, there’s nothing worse than being with someone no-one else wants).
Rock-solid couples might also consider the swingers’ scene – these are NOT naked orgies with strangers, rather they are intimate couplings and/or small groups who have a chemical attraction for one another. They usually meet at swanky bars and clubs for pre-dinner drinks then retire to motels and private homes. Called ‘playing’ by those in the know, these events are the perfect opportunity to dip your toe in the water (or your full body in the spa!). Swingers compare their partners to ‘bottles of fine wine’ (too good not to share).
The most important thing is to ensure your partner witnesses all the new attention! If you are getting sexy emails – make sure he reads them! If some girl is swooning over him at a bar, make sure she sees it. A threesome with the green-eyed monster is not only guaranteed to get your juices up – it will remind you both that you should NEVER take your loved ones for granted.