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The Sexiest Word in the English Language

May 29, 2023

Hey there, Leah from Couple Health with some thoughts for you today. 


I have come to believe that the sexiest word in relationships is EFFORT.


Effort is the most overlooked resource when it comes to desire discrepancies in love relationships.


What’s a desire discrepancy? 


Let me explain with an example ...

Do you feel your partner has low desire? 


Consider looking inward -- what does your daily level of effort look like in your relationship? How has it changed over time? 


(We look inward, because, if you think about it, it’s easier to change our own habits than anyone else’s, so we start there.)


I’ve encountered many people who focus on grand, over-the-top annual gestures for their partner or loved ones -- like a big trip or an expensive gift -- but overlook the small, regular contributions that are, frankly, much more powerful. 

In fact, when we don’t make regular contributions to our loved ones’ emotional piggy banks, the huge gestures can actually feel insulting. Who wants to go on a trip with someone who doesn’t even maintain a basic level of effort, attention and respect?


On the flip side -- when we give too much effort and assume a caretaking role for someone who is well, we begin to see them as being dependent, kind of like a child. 

Dependency clashes profoundly with seeing them as a peer, and a viable romantic or sexual partner. 


So, what is the answer? I have 2 ideas, depending on where you stand.

  1. Stop over-caretaking, and let your partner show up for themselves. Ask them for the support you need to not feel like their parent.
  2. If you’re on the other side of the coin (the other person is over-care taking you) know that small, ongoing displays of effort and consideration show your love and care for your partner. These humble acts prove your reliability and strengthen trust in your partnership -- more than grand, expensive ones ever will. 


Will asking for more “partner” than “parent” energy work? 
Will picking up the vacuum be better than viagra? 
We’ll see … You need to try it and let me know how it goes. 


My clients are always surprised how “little actions” can lead to bigger changes.

Leah Valian


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