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This ‘Passion Triangle’ Quiz Shows What’s Missing in Your Long-Term Relationship

Mary Grace Garis

Mary Grace GarisFebruary 7, 2020

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Photo: Stocksy / Vegterfoto

When you first fall in love with someone new there’s a fiery, extraordinarily horny adrenaline rush that makes even a trip to the farmer’s market an erotic experience. But as it grows into a long-term relationship or, y’know, a marriage, that passion simmers down, and the farmer’s market just becomes a sleepy way to get cheap organic fruit. But if you’re looking to revive passion in a relationship and are wondering where you’re lacking, there’s a quiz that can guide you in the right direction.

But first, let’s talk about the Passion Triangle. In a blog post for the Gottman Institute, sex therapist Cheryl Fraser, PhD, explains that the Passion Triangle is a model that helps couples have (and even deepen) lifelong sexual and romantic passion. It’s broken down into three clearcut elements:

Thrill: The butterflies-in-stomach feeling, the idea that everything about your partner feels fresh and new. It’s almost like those days when you first fell in love.

Intimacy: Being best friends! You know your partner to the depths of their souls and they know you. This can really only come with time, sharing, commitment and being extremely vulnerable with each other. You share a meaningful emotional connection.

Sensuality: This is a reflection of your physical, romantic, erotic, and sexual relations. How you touch each other, how often you touch each other, and how you spark when you touch each other.

Why a triangle? Really because you want each element to be balanced, making a stable foundation for your relationship. So when we’re talking triangle, we really mean equilateral triangle, not acute, isosceles, or the others I don’t remember because I got a C- in geometry. But it makes sense that a balanced model is what truly strengthens your bond (in bed and otherwise) as a couple. Plenty of intimacy but no sensuality or thrill feels overly comfortable and boring. High sensuality and thrill with a lack of intimacy sounds almost like a sophisticated hook-up holding pattern.

And thrill without intimacy or sensuality… I can’t even imagine an adult relationship looking like that, it seems more like what you would have with your seventh-grade internet boyfriend from Canada. Passion has to be a combination of three, you feel me?

If you want to see what side of your Passion Triangle is falling short, check out out Dr. Fraser’s quiz.

By the way, there are four types of intimacy to work on, and only one involves touching. And here’s a few tip on how to bring sex back into your marriage, from an intimacy pro.

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