When my partner and I first got together, we could hardly keep our hands off of each other, and we had sex almost everyday, sometimes several times in one day!
We’ve only been together for about a year, and now we have sex maybe once a week – and sometimes it’s longer than that.
I’m wondering if that means there’s something wrong with our relationship?
What you’re describing is a VERY common experience for at least 90% of couples, and there are a few different reasons for this happening.
There MAY indeed be something “lacking” in your relationship, but I will leave that to be determined by you, after you have read my answer below.
First – there’s a physiological base for that heady sense of intoxication that occurs when you begin a new relationship.
During the first stages of “falling in love” a complex cocktail of hormones and neurotransmitters is dumped into our bloodstream, causing the euphoric high we associate with being in love …. dopamine, adrenaline, testosterone – all produce a “rush” of intense emotions, passion, and drive to be together. We also produce copious amounts of oxytocin, which is considered to be the main hormone related to pair bonding.
If you’ve experienced this, you know that this chemical cocktail is an amazing high to be on.
But like every mind-altering experience, it doesn’t last.
Science says we have anywhere from 6 months to 2 years to enjoy our love drugs, and after that they’re gone for good within that relationship.
So your initial experience of devouring each other alive in every moment, and then tapering down to an occasional snack, is pretty much built into your biology.
BUT – and it’s a big one – as we all know, there are other factors at play in the sexual dynamics of any relationship.
What science has determined and I’ve observed (and personally experienced!) is that after that initial chemical “swoon” has worn off, some of our deeper emotional “issues” come up, and we can begin to have technical difficulties in the relationship.
You know that old saying “the honeymoon is over”? If we don’t have effective tools for communicating and authentically processing some of the issues that arise in our relationship, resentments can build, our hearts close down, and we feel less “connected” and therefore have less desire to be sexually intimate.
I find this is especially true with women. If we’re not having our emotional needs met in the relationship, our sex life is one of the first places our reactions show up.
So taking all of this into account, it’s also important to understand that every relationship has ebbs and flows, highs and lows, and your sexual connection will grow and change as your and your partner’s relationship evolve.
What’s important to ask yourself is not necessarily SHOULD I be having more sex, but do I WANT to have more sex, and if so – look at the reasons why you want more – sense of closeness, fun, intimacy, play, etc.
If you DON’T want to be having more sex, examine the reasons around that as well: what needs aren’t being met for you that would otherwise inspire you to WANT sexual connection with your partner?
Or perhaps you (or they) are going through a period where one of you desires more self-connection?
It’s important to keep in mind that we have very FEW role models for what a healthy sexual relationship actually LOOKS like.
What we see in movies and on TV (and from most of our peers) is a result of sexual ignorance, not education, so it’s important to spend less time comparing yourself to others, and more time inquiring about what’s really going to work for you, and why.
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