Love and Desire- Can we have both?

I work with many persons in committed relationships who have lost or nearly lost their erotic connection. Desire does not have to fade when a loving long-term relationship ‘matures.’ Couples who connect skillfully can enjoy a lifetime of both love and desire. Here’s a nice paragraph about the delicate balance between love and desire:

Love enjoys knowing everything about you; desire needs mystery. Love likes to shrink the distance that exists between me and you, while desire is energized by it. If intimacy grows through repetition and familiarity, eroticism is numbed by repetition. It thrives on the mysterious, the novel, and the unexpected. Love is about having; desire is about wanting. An expression of longing, desire requires ongoing elusiveness. It is less concerned with where it has already been than passionate about where it can still go. But too often, as couples settle into the comforts of love, they cease to fan the flame of desire. They forget that fire needs air.

Perel, Esther (2009-10-13). Mating in Captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence (p. 37).

However, be forewarned. When you try to have both secure love and erotic desire with the same person, you will sometimes encounter roadblocks in yourself or in your partner that have to do with our sociocultural conditioning about sex and love. It can get pretty complicated and quite emotional. Reading the book mentioned above is a good start. Better yet, read it together with your partner. If you dare…

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