Woman bored with her boyfriendWhen Vicky, a secretary, first started dating Joey, a coworker, they were constantly scouting out new restaurants, going out with friends for weekend all-night bar crawls, and best of all, they couldn’t get their paws off each other in bed. “The first few months, we’d laugh nonstop and always top off our nights with amazing sex,” Vicky recalls. But two years later, they’re in a passion holding pattern. “We don’t make love as often as we used to. And we seldom go out anymore,” says Vicky. “I never thought I’d feel like half of an old married couple at my age (she was just 26 years old)!”

There comes a time in almost every relationship when the sizzle starts to fizzle. But with a little work, you can overcome obstacles together and set the stage for a relationship that’s capable of lasting long-term. Here’s how to climb out of common relationship ruts and get on the road to rejuvenated romance.

1. Some things, you need to keep under wraps.
Romance rut: You already know each other so well, you feel there’s nothing you can’t do in front of one another, burp or fart without a hint of embarrassment, pee with the bathroom door open. Behavior like this is your subtle way of saying “We’re a couple now. I wouldn’t do this on a date, but I can do this when we’re alone together because we’re that close.” But there’s a fine line between letting go of mega-modesty and letting it all hang out. Mystery is what keeps us interested in a person. Though of course we have to be open with our partner on a lot of personal things, there’ll be nothing anymore for your mate to be curious or excited about if you allow every aspect of your life to be exposed.

Relationship remedy: Keeping your hygiene routine under wraps is a start: Do your toilet activities with the door closed and forbid his entrance into the bathroom even if he just has to brush his teeth. And don’t complain in his presence that you’re out of tampons. Don’t let him see your dirty panties lying around in the bedroom or even in the toilet. Also try to minimize the time you spend strolling around naked before him (except before and after sex). With a little selective rationing, you can revert to that mysterious girl he fell in love with without forgoing any of the intimacy you’ve built.

Now, on to him, it’s time to ban any behavior that sets off your own repulsive radar. If he balks at your suggestion to can his alphabet belching or toenail picking, play up the lack-of-sexual-attraction angle. “My boyfriend and I used to joke that it was so great that we could ‘talk’ even through farting (he would fart and I would ‘answer’ with my own),” said Salvi, a 24 year old nurse. But soon, she started to realize that being so casual made her feel like he was just her older brother, not her father. She pointed this out to him and after they agreed to adopt a more formal rapport, it became easier for her to find him as sexy as he was to her before.

Continue to Read Part II