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How to Survive Sexual Dry Spells in Your Relationship

How To Cope with Sexual Dry Spells in Your Relationship

While it should never be a foundation for closeness, sex is a significant pillar in your relationship. If you and your partner have hit a sexual dry spell, the following strategies can help you get back on track.

Talk about the issue.

A sexual dry spell can become a distressing elephant in the room. Break the ice by having a respectful conversation. Acknowledge how relationship discord or daily obligations have diminished your spark. Be honest about your feelings and express your need for desire and physical attention. Own your role in the situation, regardless of whether you are the “distancer” or the pursuer in the relationship.

Have realistic expectations.

If you set the bar too high, you're bound to be disappointed. Cultivate a mature, reasonable outlook on sex. Understand that you are not a TV couple who can have passionate, spontaneous sex at the drop of a hat. Accept that daily stress, fatigue and familiarity can dampen a person's sex drive. Then, try to set reasonable standards that will be achievable for both parties.

Strive for quality instead of quantity.

Some couples have a mental baseline for an "acceptable" amount of sex. They might think they should be having sex three times per week or at least four times per month. In reality, every couple is different, and there is no right number that defines a healthy sex life. Take the pressure off by prioritizing the quality of a single experience over the number of times you have sex. Remember, there's no sexual scoreboard and you don't have anyone to impress.

Value emotional connection.

In healthy relationships, emotion and sex are intertwined. When sex chronically diminishes, it can often result from reduced intimacy. Instead of demanding more sex, try to cultivate greater closeness with your partner. Talk more, complement each other and express gratitude. Hug, hold hands and touch without having expectations that these acts will lead to the bedroom.

Acknowledge your partner's desire, even if you say no.

Never ignore or harshly reject your partner's desires. Instead, try acknowledging them with understanding and flattery. Try not to act annoyed or put-out by the proposition. Remember, it's a good thing that your partner desires you. Try to express your appreciation even if you can't find the energy or desire to reciprocate every single advance.

Look for practical windows of opportunity.

When busy schedules make sex impractical, look for opportunities of brief sexual connection. This can include long, lingering kisses or even light foreplay. However you choose to show it, let your partner know you still see him or her as a sexual being. This can go a long way toward reducing feelings of resentment, while building closeness that will later turn into more robust sexual connections.

In every relationship, sex comes in peaks and valleys. By approaching those peaks and valleys with honesty, understanding and compassion, you can survive inevitable dry spells while avoiding resentment and discord.

Foundations Counseling offers couples intimacy counseling for partners who struggle with emotional or sexual intimacy. If you and your partner are considering intimacy counseling, contact us today!