Those people who have already been in long term relationships know the phases. Fast forward two years and you’re popping each other’s zits and griping about work as the other listens from the bathroom.

Those people who have already been in long term relationships know the phases. Fast forward two years and you’re popping each other’s zits and griping about work as the other listens from the bathroom.

And isn’t that closeness that is true? However, for all couples, attaining that level of intimacy comes at a cost. Specifically, less sexual desire for each other, aka the so-called intimacy-want paradox. Naturally, not all couples that are longtime fall victim to bed death. Their secret? Make your partner feel special. As unsexy as it sounds, researchers have discovered that …


We’re talking about a particular type of familiarity — responsiveness — that could rekindle want even in long-term relationships, especially for women. It goes beyond feeling comfortable around each other, or treating each other nicely. When a partner is truly responsive, “, the relationship feels special and exceptional … Therefore, participating in sex feels like it’s enhancing an already valuable relationship.”

The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology study comprised three experiments, each involving around 100 or more straight couples. First, the researchers told them they'd be instant messaging their partners — who, unbeknownst to them, was truly a research worker messaging standardized answers, either responsive (such as “You should have gone through a very difficult time”) or unresponsive (“Doesn’t seem so bad to me”). The participants subsequently filled out surveys to measure just how much they needed to have sex with them, and how reactive they perceived their partner to be. Want didn’t differ between men who received reactive versus unresponsive replies — but girls thirsted after their partners more when they received reactive feedback.

In the second experiment, participants talked by using their partner in person about your occasion. Then the researchers turned up the heat, asking the couples make out, caress each other — fundamentally, behave physically close. They videotaped and assessed both the dialogue and the cuddle sesh for signs of responsiveness (listening and getting the facts right, for example) and want (like seductive smiles and gazes). The more girls and men saw their partner as reactive, the greater their sexual desire — but again, this correlation was stronger among girls.

Feeling specific and cared for revved up sexual desire, particularly for women.

Eventually, participants kept a journal for six weeks, during which they kept track of their partner’s responsiveness, their degrees of sexual desire and the way unique their partner made them feel. Additionally, they recorded their partners’ so-called “mate value,” the number of variables, like attractiveness and intelligence, which make someone desired. For both women and men, the more reactive they perceived their partner to be, the more special they felt and the higher they rated their partner’s mate worth — so, the more they wished to bone them.

Since they put money into parenting more than guys do and thus have more at stake when picking a partner, they pay a lot more attention to behavioural cues — like responsiveness — that hint in a partner’s readiness to purchase the relationship, Birnbaum clarified. In other words, “feeling cared for is in determining, not only being correlated with particularly important, women’s sexual desire,” Margaret Clark of Yale University, who wasn’t involved in the study, wrote in an e-mail.

To be sure, the couples were straight, comparatively young (around 20 to 40 years old) and of a single nationality (Israeli), and most had been together for just a couple years, therefore the findings might not show universal. She also wonders whether women’s desire grows more sensitive to responsiveness as they approach their 30s and 40s, their partner increases as well as when their very own mate value likely dwindles. Still, the use of an adroit exploitation in the instant-messaging section of the analysis to experimentally link responsiveness and want “ were pretty enormous,” and gave weight to the other two areas of the study, she told OZY. Although the writers don’t establish a cause-effect relationship, “ it’s surely a very nice effort. It’s getting close.”

In an LTR and wondering bae again and the best way to get the motor running involving you? Birnbaum suggests letting enough time to take part in the conversation and listen to each other. Your partner’s wishes as much as your own and demands, and seek new experiences to heighten closeness. Partners might also be safeguarded by responsiveness from the allure of any enticing people they see, a hypothesis Birnbaum and colleagues intend to analyse in future research, besides fueling want. It’s as they say — handle her, and she’ll make you her King.