How To Create Irresistible Desire In Relationships

Marriage and Family Therapist By Shelly Bullard, MFT
Marriage and Family Therapist
Shelly Bullard, MFT, is a marriage and family therapist with a holistic and spiritual approach to relationships. She has worked with thousands of clients on improving their relationships with others and themselves.
How To Create Irresistible Desire In Relationships

Desire. It's that energy that wakes us up, focuses our attention, gets our blood flowing and makes us feel alive! Desire is one of the most enjoyable human experiences there is: wanting something and anticipating getting it. Desire is the energy that surges us into evolution.

So what are the qualities that inspire this delicious feeling of desire between two people? I had the pleasure of listening to the lovely Esther Perel speak, and she had some phenomenal tips on the subject.

Below are four qualities that Esther mentioned as being paramount in creating desire in relationships. If your relationship ever starts to feel a little stale (which, of course, is natural from time to time), infuse yourself with these qualities to bring yourself, and your love, back to life.

1. Playfulness

Even the word playfulness makes me feel giddy, so it makes sense why it's a key to desire. Playful energy is light, silly, flowing and uplifting. In a world where we get bogged-down by responsibility of all sorts, playful energy can be the antidote.

The reason playful energy makes us feel desire is really simple — it's fun! We all want to laugh and enjoy ourselves. When we experience playfulness with another person, we want more. Voilà! Desire is created.

In life, we don't tend to prioritize playfulness over "responsibility" (picking the kids up at school, finishing up a project at work — the to-do lists feel never-ending!). But this seems crazy! What's the point of life if we're not enjoying ourselves?! So, let playfulness take the stage in your relationship and you'll absolutely reignite the spark.


2. Admiration

I love that Esther listed admiration as one of the qualities that creates desire, and here's why:

We feel admiration for others when we recognize them as separate, other, external to ourselves. They are complete individuals in their own right. You are you, I am me. This healthy separation — or recognition that we are each individually whole — is so important in the feeling of wanting more.

We're all familiar with the fantasy-delusion that another person is supposed to "complete you." Well, as it turns out, if you want to feel attracted to another person for an extended period of time, this isn't the actual case. Because if you truly believe someone "completes you," you're in a dependent relationship — and that can be one of the biggest relationship-buzz-kills ever.

Dependency leads to neediness, and we all know what that does to the spark of passion. So instead, work on allowing your partner to be completely separate from you, and then admire him or her for their differences. By doing so, you are sparking the flames of passion in your relationship.

3. Novelty

Ever notice how you love having sex on vacation? Traveling induces the feeling of newness into our lives, and this a huge aphrodisiac.

So, you might be wondering, how do you create novelty in an ongoing, long-term relationship? It's actually easier than you think. Here's the thing — you're always growing. You are an expanding being. You're in a constant state of evolution.

When you're fully committed and engaged in your own growth (through self-exploration, by pushing your own limits, by pursuing your passions, etc.) you are constantly becoming new. This not only creates an interesting life for you, but it creates excitement in your relationship, too. Relationships that value and support the growth of each individual thrive. When we grow, we become new and exciting, both to ourselves and to each other.

4. Presence & engagement

Schedules — while necessary — smolder desire. Why? Because in the midst of day-to-day life, we turn on autopilot and turn off life force. Needless to say, autopilot isn't sexy.

Here's the thing: autopilot (or unconsciousness) is the same thing as disengagement — from ourselves and others. We do it as a preservation mechanism, but it backfires. When we shut off, the juice of life shuts off, too. So, what's the solution?

Well, it's simple: meditation! Meditation is so helpful in increasing our satisfaction in life because it re-engages us to the present moment. It turns us on!

If you find yourself moving through your relationship in autopilot, stop, get present and spend some quality, engaged time with your partner. Doing so will be sure to reignite your flame.

As I'm sure you recognized from the list above, desire is all about the feeling of expansiveness — growing, being engaged and becoming more of who you really are. When you commit to exploring the freshness of life — in yourself and in others — desire emerges. Get back in contact with the spark that lives within you, and your relationship will surely come alive as a result.

Shelly Bullard, MFT
Shelly Bullard, MFT
Shelly Bullard, MFT, is a marriage and family therapist with a holistic and spiritual approach to...
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