long term relationship

Couples Who Learn Together Stay Together

sex therapist open relationships therapist couples counseling for sexual difference desire and passion in marriage

Relationships with room for learning and growth are more fulfilling over time.  

The couples I see stay together keep learning alive in three key ways:

Couples Who Learn on Their Own

Staying connected to your own passions and interests is critical to the long-term success of your relationship.  Of course it's easy to set aside your independence early in a relationship when you're caught up in new relationship energy- but to stay together long-term each of your individual wellness needs to be fostered. 

Get out and try something new, get creative, read a book- just for you.  It can significantly improve the health of your connection.  

Couples Who Learn Together

One of the great parts of starting a new relationship is all the excitement that comes from learning together.  Every date with a new person is about discovery and exploration.  And that newness is intoxicating. 

Over time we stop discovering together- and that is some of why passion and excitement can wane.  Commit to learning together to keep discovery and fascination alive.  

Challenge yourself:

Many of my couples make a bucket list of things they want to learn - together and independently- from wine tasting, to tango, pottery to poker, they create a long list of possibilities to draw from.  Once the list is created (without editing) you can decide together which you want to commit to trying out now.

Try something new together this weekend, learn together and watch your love grow. 

couples therapy online couples counseling

Hi!  I'm glad you're reading.  Let me know if I can help you:

  • reconnect with passion in your long-term relationship
  • repair trust after infidelity or dishonesty
  • move beyond jealousy, fear, and insecurity 
  • resolve sexual dysfunction and disconnect
  • change unhealthy communication and codependent patterns
  • open your relationship and practice polyamory with care

Call me for a free consultation to rethink your relationship.


Gina Senarighi, MS, MA, CPC is a communication consultant, sexuality counselor and certified relationship coach specializing in polyamory, open relationships, jealousy, and infidelity.  

Two Questions to Find Passion in Long-Term Relationships

Passion in Marriage | Uncommon Love Relationship Coaching

Yeah, it happens.  Desire and passion fade in long-term relationships.  

Most of us believe terrible myths about desire; that if we're in love, our sex should be intuited without conversation, consistently fulfilling, and if it waxes and wanes there is a problem in the relationship- and one of us is doing something wrong.  

God, it stresses me out just to type that.  It's an awful lot of pressure to put on a relationship.  The truth is desire does fluctuate in long-term relationships.  But if you are unsatisfied with the frequency of quality of sex in your relationship there are some things you can do.  

Yeah, this post if about you- not your partner.  

All too often the couples I support point fingers at one another.

Finish this statement: I turn myself off when...

Not the same question as "I turn myself off when..." or "you turn me off when..."   Both of those questions look outside of you to blame.  We all choose to turn ourselves off sometimes.  Here are a few examples of responses:

  • I don't have time for myself

  • I'm overwhelmed with too much work stress

  • I'm distracted by the kids

  • I feel old

  • I don't believe I deserve pleasure

  • I don't feel safe 

  • I feel dead inside

  • I am too busy hating my body

  • I don't trust you

When do you shut yourself or your desire off?  Knowing when gives you a new access point for the conversation about passionate connection.

Now finish this statement: I turn myself on when....

Take a minute and actually write out your responses.  When are do you turn yourself on?  Learning to turn yourself on will only amplify the desire you feel from others.  Here are a few examples of responses:

  • I am sweaty from a workout

  • I wear special underwear, shoes, and perfume

  • I am well-rested

  • I'm on a dance floor

  • I am doing something I know I do well

  • I make people laugh

  • I'm making music, cooking, painting, or writing

  • I'm the center of attention

  • I feel respected

  • I have space for friends, rest, and play

Learning what fuels your desire is critical to keeping desire alive for two reasons:

1.  It helps you feel strong and confident- not clingy.  Instead of relying on others to get your needs met, knowing how to meet your own allows you empowered independence instead of codependence. 

2. It helps you know what to ask for in partnerships.  Once you're clear when you turn yourself on you can set up a life that fuels your inner fire of passion.  Create space for the things that turn you on.

These notes are based on a video I recommend to most of my clients.  If you want to watch the full TED Talk from Esther Perel check it out below. 

And if you want to talk more about passion and desire in your relationship give me a call, I'd love to help you.

Gina Senarighi Portland Couples Counselor

Gina Senarighi offers non-judgmental sex-positive, gender-affirming, LGBTQ relationship support online and in the Pacific Northwest. 

She often says, “I love love, in all its forms!”

She’s helped thousands of couples deepen their sexual connection, repair trust, and build sustainable lasting partnerships.

She uses her multi-disciplinary professional training to teach communication skills and help her clients handle conflict with compassion.

Gina has supported many couples experimenting with open relationships based in trust and integrity. If you’re considering polyamory you should check out her online resources here.

Although most of her couples are experimenting with less traditional relationship structures, even her more mainstream clients appreciate her open-minded non-judgmental approach and diverse expertise.

If you’re interested in taking this work further contact her for a free consultation.