This post was updated on Feb 11, 2023
Being in a meaningful relationship means being intimate with another person. Sex and physical intimacy is one aspect of a relationship and an important one at that. It is a way to express affection and the intimacy you have on an emotional level. It deepens the connection between partners.
But lack of sex can have a devastating effect on a couple, especially when it goes on for a longer stretch of time. No wonder that it is the lack of sex that is one of the most challenging aspects of a long-distance relationship. Let’s put it like this: people always say that sex makes things complicated, but that’s nothing compared to what it can do when it’s missing from a relationship, especially when this change happens all of a sudden. And if there is a history of abandonment or neglect in one’s past, this re-wounding can be destabilizing.
Does Sex Change A Relationship?
Sex can certainly change a relationship (not always for the better, but that’s a whole different subject). And so can a lack of sex.
At the beginning of your relationship, it all felt new and exciting. There was a lot you didn’t know about each other but you were eager to find out. And of course, the sex was amazing, and you two crazy kids could barely keep your hands off each other.
But what was once as a sizzling romance can quickly turn into a routine after the honeymoon phase is over and the fiery passion is gone. In the meantime, you are getting to know this person – as a person.
It may sound counterintuitive, but your sex life and frequency of your adventures in the bedroom can start to dwindle as you grow closer to each other. It’s ironic when you think about it: you are becoming closer as a couple but the spark seems to have gone, at least in the bedroom.
As frustrating as that may sound, it is not necessarily a bad thing: it just means that restoring the vibrant sex life you had before the end of the honeymoon phase will take some work. This, too, can be a fun and refreshing experience that you can share with your partner. However, you will both need to agree on one thing: prioritize rebuilding your sex life.
What Do You Do When Your Partner Has Different Sex Drives?
If you are being overly into sex, so much so that your partner perceives it as a turn-off, you may notice your partner will start to exhibit certain behaviors:
- Vagueness and avoidance
- Coming up with excuses not to spend time with you and making plans without involving you
- Being reserved and less affectionate
- Constant irritability and excessive criticism of your words and actions
You, on the other hand, may feel deeply frustrated and unhappy. But try to understand that your partner may have issues with low libido or depression.
If this happens, you need to have an open and honest conversation with your partner. This is one white elephant that’s impossible to ignore if you intend for your relationship to last. Do not pester your partner. Try not to act accusatory or aggressive. The worst you can do is nag your partner over the situation, as this only builds more pressure on the partner and puts more strain on the relationship as a whole.
The Dangers Of Disparate Sex Drives Between Partners
Sexual activity is healthy and natural. Lack of it can be detrimental to our health. But we’re not all the same and we don’t have the same sex drives. This is perfectly normal, but it becomes a problem when it happens in a relationship.
As we’ve already established, lack of sex can cause serious relationship problems as well. When partners do not have the same needs and are unable to communicate this to each other clearly, problems may arise. For instance:
- The dissatisfaction of sexual rejection outlasts the satisfaction of having your sexual advances accepted: this may lead to a communication breakdown. Being sexually rejected by your significant other hurts all the more because we seem to perceive sexual rejection as emotional rejection.
- Rejection could have a devastating effect on your self-esteem and sense of self-worth. It could ultimately lead to depression
- Infidelity on behalf of one or both partners
- Ending your relationship
The Risks Of Overcompensating For Lack Of Sex
Let’s imagine you are the one with more enthusiasm for sex. Out of despair, you may become overly affectionate, which your partner could find suffocating. They may attempt to escape any situation in which you exhibit this type of behavior, but they will probably be careful not to broach the subject directly for fear of hurting your feelings.
They will probably avoid the topic altogether instead of discussing it with you in a straightforward way. Before you know it, you may find yourself in a broken relationship that’s beyond repair, feeling bitter about all the time and effort you put into building it.
How Do You Overcome Physical Intimacy Issues?
Preferably, the first step is for both you and your partner to acknowledge that physical intimacy issues are there. Follow these guidelines to start working on these issues:
- Have an uninterrupted face-to-face conversation with your partner and explain what bothers you as clearly as possible. You could say things like We never have sex anymore because you keep rejecting my advances or You no longer want to share the bed or hold my hand like you used to. Consider the possibility that your partner might have been blissfully unaware of the situation.
- Be direct in expressing the emotional effect this situation has had on you. Do not be ashamed to speak about it openly. These crucial conversations are necessary.
- Try to understand your partner’s point of view, and do not get annoyed if they become defensive.
- State requests clearly and demand that you work on a solution together, discuss your options and steps clearly.
- Unlike neediness, which is unattractive to say the least, independence is hot. You don’t have to play games with your partner, but playing hard to get every now and then could do wonders for your sex life.
Learn To Overcome Intimacy Problems In A Relationship
We will use our knowledge and experience to guide you and help you understand what’s going on in your relationship so you can learn to overcome the problems with intimacy you and your partner may have.
PIVOT is where you can start rebuilding a healthier relationship, and you can start today, whether on your own or together with your partner. We are here to guide you through individual coaching with focus on relationship problems or workshops for building healthy coping mechanisms and relationship skills. Remember, we’re in this together.