How the Thrill Can Last a Lifetime

It’s up to us to awaken passion when it’s waning, and mindfulness can provide the tools.

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You are sitting on your meditation cushion, at one with your breath. You feel good—mindfulness is working! Right here right now there is nothing more interesting than this very moment.

Suddenly you hear a voice you know so well, asking for the hundredth time “Honey, have you seen my keys?” You now spend your time wondering was this man, who counts picking up the car from the mechanic as a date, this woman, who forgets to feed the cat but knows the plot of every reality TV show, really once the most fascinating person in the world?

If you’re bored with your spouse, I am here to tell you that attention and curiosity don’t just belong on your cushion. They belong in your life, in your relationship, and in your bed. Your spouse is not boring. You are just not being interested.

Desire thrives on novelty. When you awoke this morning did you look over at that familiar face and see with fresh eyes?

Maybe the problem is that you are not celebrating the small things that make up the moments of a day together. I work with many couples who take each other for granted. Desire thrives on novelty. When you awoke this morning did you look over at that familiar face and see with fresh eyes? Lovingly brew tea in their favorite mug? In other words, did you make the effort you did when you were falling in love? Probably not.

Often we wait for our partner to do something to capture our interest. I mean, if he’d take me for tango lessons I’d definitely feel more frisky, right? Hmm. Let me point out that since caveboy met cavegirl people have tried to change their spouse. It doesn’t work. But you know what you can change? Your mind. Stop waiting for passion and become passion instead. It’s up to you to awaken intimate emotional communion and sensual physical connection—and some mindfulness can give you the tools.

What tools? Well, how did you connect when you were still crazy about your sweetie? You paid close attention, you wanted to learn everything, and you tried not to judge. And let’s face it, you couldn’t wait to touch them.

All that from being aware. To cultivate passion, you need to bring an open, loving, curious mind to your beloved as well as to your breath. Because whether you are with her in a Darjeeling tea shop on your honeymoon or sharing a steaming cup over the wooden table he made for your 20th anniversary, this moment, this warmth in the palm, these eyes looking into yours are absolutely new. If only you have the mindfulness to see.

Tips for Mindful Loving

Learn something new
You don’t know everything about your lover. Allow yourself to be surprised. Ask each other daily questions, from the sublime (how would you define the meaning of life?) to the ridiculous (what breed of dog would you be?).

Touch with deep presence
Focus deeply on every sensation—fingertips intertwined at the grocery store, toes touching calf in the night. Break up the tired routine. No more nipple-nipple-crotch-goodnight. Make love to your partner with fascination and exploration.