There’s ongoing debate among experts about the best time to begin making love in a dating relationship, if you want to find true love. There’s no debate about the dangers in letting the sexual spark die in a marriage. Get sex advice for singles and couples in highlights of my radio conversation for A Lasting Love with Dr. Ishmael Major.
Dr. Ish is a board-certified psychiatrist and infidelity expert, who’s helped thousands of men and women find love and create happiness in their relationships. He wrote the book, Little White Whys – A Woman’s Guide Through The Lies Men Tell and Why.
Hadley: I’ve interviewed an MD, Dr. Veronica Anderson, who said if you don’t feel sexual chemistry on the first date you’ll never feel it, so don’t waste your time going on a second date. What are your thoughts on that?
Dr. Ish: I don’t agree with it. Understand that we’ve all got different past experiences. We rarely react to what’s going on in the present moment. We typically react to things that happened last month, last year, 10 or 20 years ago.
All of those past experiences are telling us what’s going on in the moment. So depending on if you’ve had positive or not so positive sexual experiences in the past, it may take you longer to feel comfortable, longer to feel sexual chemistry with someone.
Hadley: I agree. Sometimes a friendship that turns into a romance can build a fabulous relationship. If you believed in the dating philosophy that you must feel instant chemistry or move on, then you’d miss a great chance to let a friendship catch fire into a romance.
Dr. Ish: I agree. It’s about your value system for a relationship. Is sexuality a top priority? If that’s not there, then everything else is dull in comparison? Or do other things get you intrigued and excited about this person? Their accountability? Their responsibility? Their humor or outlook on life? From those things, your passion ignites.
Hadley: Researchers have proven the health and longevity benefits of having an active sex life in a committed relationship. How do you help couples reignite the sexual flame, after they let it die?
Dr. Ish. Again, ask yourself, “Why did that happen?” Are you withholding sex as a punishment for doing something you didn’t like? Are you withholding sex, because you just aren’t interested?
In relationships, when people do things, it rarely has anything to do with you and more to do with them.
Relationships are places to go to give. Sex is one way to give. If you’re not giving sexually, then it’s only a matter of time before your partner’s sexual needs will be met elsewhere.
Hadley: Should marriage licenses be renewable?
Dr. Ish: A secret of a successful marriage is to keep checking if things are working. A renewable marriage license could be the guide.
With a life-long commitment, people feel they’ve got plenty of time. Things go on and on without being addressed, and decades can go by.
It could be good to decide you’ll sign up for another 5 years of marriage, or not, if you don’t improve your issues.
Hadley: What gets measured gets improved. Even if we don’t legalize renewable marriage licenses, couples can measure your monthly or quarterly progress to make sure you stay on the love and happiness track where you belong.
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