It’s time to make a fresh start. Fall heralds the unofficial New Year, not January. Embedded in our consciousness is the beginning of a new school year. Work also becomes more vigorous in the fall, no more long leisurely weekend escapes; retailers are busy with winter holiday selling in October. This helps to explain why love relationships are scrutinized in the fall: Who am I going to nest with in winter? And for those of us who have ended a past relationship, we get motivated to date again, to find a partner who has many fine qualities dropping the idealized, projected prerequisites to see the real person.
Instead of the fifteen-minute speed date, fall corresponds to the part of our heart that gives a person a second chance even if there is hardly any chemistry initially. We now know that friendship can trigger chemistry. And if you have been in a relationship that has become routine, feel like you have been married forever, it’s time to see the details that have been hidden from your view, the tree architecture of your relationship. You might find that sex and sensuality are the most submerged parts of your identity, so your libido might need a jump-start. Here’s how:
- Use your head because the mind is the most erotic organ. Rehearse sex in the brain, choreograph and direct it – the way athletes do to pump themselves up before a competition. Give your mind permission to travel. Our body responds to imagined realities the way it does to realities.
- Fall means being physical like raking leaves, bicycle riding and long walks. Take your cue from nature and get physical. If you have been married a long time, do not use it as an excuse to neglect the physical part of your relationship, acting like you have no feelings from the waist down. Activate your vitality with exercise and so your health as the American Medical Association advises; better yet, work out together. If you are looking for love and feel a bit nervous about intimacy, discovering your rhythm with another person is a friendly adventure. When there is an existing friendship, you feel comfortable that you are already liked. What could be easier than making love to a friend?
- Don’t let your duties - children and aging parents - deter you from romance. Many couples channel all their energy into the children. Often their kids are dressed fashionably, while they are sloppy and neglected. Whether your beloved is your spouse or you are dating a good candidate for a lasting relationship, don’t allow others to steal your sensual energy. Happiness is contagious. When you are happy, floating on air with the romance of life, all those in your circle will be happier.
- Flirt! Show some teeth and smile! Whether you are with someone new or someone you have known for years, flirting is mandatory. The art of flirting is in the eyes. While the other person is talking, look from eye to eye and then down to the mouth. Repeat. Listen attentively and ask key questions to prove that you are listening. And don’t forget to use words that have double meanings to hint, “Sure glad you’re here. Things just got a lot better.”
- Customize romantic coupons for your lover: “This entitles you to an aromatic massage” or “This entitles you to a sexy Saturday afternoon.”
- Act out a fantasy or a scene from a favorite movie. See your beloved with the adulterous eyes of someone who wants what you have. Hunt your quarry.
Debbie Mandel, MA is the author of Addicted to Stress: A Woman's 7 Step Program to Reclaim Joy and Spontaneity in Life, Changing Habits: The Caregivers' Total Workout and Turn On Your Inner Light: Fitness for Body, Mind and Soul, a stress-reduction specialist, motivational speaker, a personal trainer and university lecturer. She is the host of the weekly Turn On Your Inner Light Show on WGBB AM1240 in New York, produces a weekly wellness newsletter, and has been featured on radio/ TV and print media. To learn more visit: www.turnonyourinnerlight.com.