1. Flirt like it’s your first night together.
Think back to those early days of dating. Every laugh, lingering look, or under-the-table leg brush was a guaranteed goose bump-giver. Well, you can turn back the clock to that supercharged premarried state by making a simple shift: Start flirting again. Ditch typical dinner convo topics like work, in-laws, and home renovations for entertaining stories or provocative questions like, “Imagine you could go anywhere in the world, right this second — where would it be?” If you’re at a party, slink away, get a couple of drinks, and flirtatiously introduce yourself to your spouse like you’re strangers. It may take them a second to catch on, but once they do, it’ll set a sexier tone for the rest of the night — and remind you both that there’s still a lot to discover about each other.
2. Make your spouse do a double-take.
It’s a miracle that you find each other attractive in ratty sweatpants, but yep, you do. That’s one of the brilliant things about being a couple—being so at ease in each other’s company. But there’s a line between being comfortable and letting yourselves go. (Hint: If you frequently show up to the dinner table in sweaty gym gear or go to bed with zit cream and prickly cactus legs, you’re guilty as charged.)
We’re not saying you need to haul all your loungewear to the nearest dumpster, but make a few tweaks to your routine that will give your partner a chance to ogle you. Break out that lingerie crammed in the back of your drawer. Wear something backless. Shave and put on a nicer shirt than usual when you go out to dinner. It’s about showing your significant other that they’re still worth looking sexy for. Chances are, they’ll return the favor and both of you will reap the benefits.
3. Try something new (channel surfing doesn’t count).
You and your better half love your Saturday morning routine (gym plus Starbucks) followed by your evening routine (Thai takeout plus Netflix), so why mess with scheduled perfection? Well, shaking things up every once in a while keeps the zsa-zsa-zsu in your relationship. According to a study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, couples who participated in activities that they both considered highly exciting but moderately pleasant had a bigger boost in marital satisfaction than those who did activities that were highly pleasant but moderately exciting.
So ban takeout-and-a-movie night once a month and jump outside of your comfort zone. Check out a concert you’d never think to get tickets for, explore a totally different part of town, or dare yourselves to try a new sport like rafting or repelling. The adrenaline rush you’ll have from trying something new will be an aphrodisiac.
4. Pounce … even when you’re not in the mood.
If you’re like most couples, weekday mornings fly by in a haze. You’re rushing out the door and can barely remember to grab your car keys, much less say “bye” with half a bagel in your mouth. Then, at the end of an exhausting workday, it’s a “hey babe, I’m home,” followed by a flop-down on the couch. Sex? Who has time for sex? You’re just too busy to get busy. But by skipping the most intimate act you and your spouse could possibly enjoy together, you’re not doing your relationship — or your libido — any favors.
Here’s why: Intercourse and orgasms trigger oxytocin, the “love hormone,” to be released in your bodies, which makes you feel incredibly fused as a couple. Sex is also the gift that keeps on giving: The more you do it, the more you’ll want to do it, so it actually stokes desire. So set that alarm clock a little earlier for some wake-up action, and put down that pint of mocha pecan postdinner and enjoy another kind of bedroom treat (better yet, bring in the ice cream too). You don’t need Olympic-level performances — just enough enthusiasm to get that married mojo going.