Many people in long-term relationships find it difficult to keep alive the passion and romance that was so abundant in the early stages of the relationship. It is common that life stresses, work and parenting cause people to become less interested in sex. Often it happens that one person becomes completely disinterested, while the other person craves intimacy, but finds that they cannot even hug, kiss or hold hands with the disinterested partner because then that person feels pressured into having sex and becomes rejecting. Sometimes this problem can go on for months or years, even in very loving relationships. It can be hard for couples to begin to talk about it.

Thankfully, there are steps that a couple can take to change this pattern. One method that I recently came across in an Australian newspaper was the “Six second kiss” challenge.

Australian sex and relationship columnist, Maureen Matthews, described an interesting way “reboot” to your relationship. It is based on an idea by Dr Rosie King, author of Good Loving, Great Sex, that avoiding sex for a certain period of time paradoxically increase one’s interest in it.

The idea is that couples agree to not have sex for one month (e.g. February), but that everyday of that month they will kiss each other on the lips for six seconds. Why six seconds? Acclaimed relationship expert Dr John Gottman states that this period of time is long enough to feel romantic, but short enough to fit into a busy day. It’s ideal to do the six second kiss when you and your partner are reunited after a day apart (e.g. at work).

Maureen Matthews says that if you do this six second kiss everyday for one month but don’t have sex, by the first day of March you will be ripping each other’s clothes off with your teeth! If you feel that one month is too long to go without sex, then your relationship is not in need of re-boosting. But you may enjoy doing the six second kiss anyway!

Happy Valentines!