Quiet as it’s kept, every couple within a long-term relationship experiences a slump in sexual desire, yet this is one of the issues within relationships that aren’t spoken about openly. It’s difficult for many to believe that two individuals who are in love and started off with such “fire and desire” could end up barely mentioning sex as an option for bond building. Whether married, dating monogamously or living in a “common law” marriage, time can take a toll on the passion felt between two people within a union, leaving many wondering why this shift happens and what (if anything) can be done to avoid it.

There are several reasons why a shift in passion can occur amongst two people within a long-term relationship, but overall, “change” is responsible. Love is often viewed as a constant feeling, state of being or call to action that will remain strong and stand the test of time. But love in all of its forms is not impervious to the effects of change in its various capacities.

Change can alter the way a person views life and the relationships around him or her. Within a relationship that’s been established for a period of five years or more, each individual is going to change in more ways than one. Gaining a new job brings about new perspective from coworkers who may now become new friends. New friends bring about fresh experiences that open the mind to new possibilities of what life has to offer. Gone are the ideals or ambitions of the past as soon as a new variable is introduced into one’s life, and now each individual is faced with returning home to a partner who may not have changed in the same way.

Change is inevitable and will always be a constant, but it’s only detrimental to a relationship when these changes are allowed to cause separation between lovebirds. And a lack of communication is the catalyst that sparks the shift in passion and desire. Growth can sometimes pull people into different directions, and there’s nothing wrong about that. But when these developments in new interests or outlooks on life aren’t discussed with a partner, misunderstanding and a breakdown in connection can occur. (Couples must learn to grow with each other even in their differences.)

Life changes like health issues, drastic diet switches, lack of sexual activity, increase in work responsibilities, the introduction of children into the relationship dynamic, and even one’s lack of growth within a relationship are all variables of change that can cause one’s passion to diminish dramatically. But the question still remains: can the passion once felt between lovers at the beginning stages of a relationship be maintained? Can a couple preserve the heated sexual energy that prompted nightly fits of erotic expression and great sex during the infancy of the relationship?

The answer is yes, but it’s going to take collective work from both partners to make that happen. (You thought this was going to be easy, didn’t you?)

As a preventive measure, honest and constant communication comprises the bulk of the work that will help keep passion intact as the years roll by. It’s common for each person within a relationship to blame the other for why sexual desire has left the bedroom. “He works too much” or “she’s always tired” seem to be common complaints heard during venting sessions with friends. But instead of focusing on the other person’s faults, one must take his or her own actions into consideration.

Have your interests shifted elsewhere? Have you let yourself go? Are you allowing the stress of the job affect your life at home? Is the influence of your friends and the stories about their sexcapades affecting how you view your relationship? These are just a few of the self-evaluation questions that need to be answered before having a discussion.

The goal in regular communication is to pinpoint issues that could become reasons for why interests fade over time. By addressing issues as they arise, and facing the unadulterated truth about them to find solutions, desire and passion can be renewed regularly.

If passion has long left the relationship dynamic and you’re seeking ways to bring the spark back, the most important thing to do before applying solutions is to determine the reason behind the loss of interest. If a low libido is the cause, examine diet choices and make better decisions to incorporate foods that will boost sex drive. Reduce the amount of stress experienced daily by incorporating exercise into a daily routine. (This will also help with keeping libido at a healthy level.)

If sex has become boring, invest in sex education through self-help books or taking classes to learn new sex positions or sexual techniques that can bring new senses of arousal. Incorporate the use of sex toys, have sex in a new environment, or take a rejuvenation retreat where nothing is allowed but relaxation, intimacy and intercourse.

If you can’t afford to make it to a tropical island or a distant location, a staycation in your own city will do the trick. If a loss in physical attraction has caused sexual desire to diminish, try out a new look. A change in hair color/style or a new fresh haircut and wardrobe change can make anyone look like a completely different person. It’s not about swapping out the equipment you have, but polishing it to make it appealing once again.  Investing in self-improvement is vital within a relationship that will always experience change.

Waning passion within a relationship shouldn’t be viewed as the demise of a union, but as a sign that there’s something causing a disturbance of a natural feeling that needs to be addressed. Sexual desire is innate in all of us, and there’s no better sex than sex with someone who you can trust and be completely uninhibited with. Make a commitment to check in with your partner and with yourself monthly to prevent a decline in sexual passion.

Glamazon Tyomi is a freelance writer, model and sex educator with a deeply rooted passion for spreading the message of sex positivity and encouraging the masses to embrace their sexuality. Her website, www.glamerotica101.com, reaches internationally as a source for advice and information for the sexually active/curious. Follow her on Twitter at @glamazontyomi.