Updated: Dec 20, 2018
Do you seem to be desiring less and less sex in your relationship? Even wondering if this waning sex drive means you might be ‘falling out of love’?
This can be very frightening. Couples who stop having sex are less likely to stay together, so I do understand the concern.
Not to panic!
There are several logical explanations and reversible actions for waning sex drive.
Length of a Relationship
The duration of a relationship can make a significant difference one’s desire for sex. Let’s explore mother natures role in all of this!
The Nerdy Science Explanation
"Falling in love” is a biological response. Attraction and coupling leads the body to release a flood of fabulous, and even addictive chemicals. In the beginning, this flood can lead to making our cheeks extra rosy or flush, sweaty palms and racing hearts.
The chemicals responsible for encouraging us to fall all over another person, trip up our words, act like we have obsessive ‘check the phone to will him or her to call or text’ syndrome, stare dreamily into a lover’s eyes for deliciously long lengths of time and want nothing more than to touch our kiss the object of our affection is dopamine, adrenaline and norepinephrine. These are the internal love drugs!
Dopamine elicits feelings of euphoria while adrenaline and norepinephrine are responsible for the pitter-patter of the heart, obsessive day dreaming, and flushed cheeks!
These bodily and emotional experiences are designed to last about 2 years, with a ‘slow fade’ beginning after about 12-18 months.
Next in line is oxytocin. Oxytocin is the chemical that allows people to feel bonded together. In happier and healthier relationships (or for people who are temperamentally very loyal), oxytocin takes the place of the ‘falling in love’ elixir.
Because over time, once the rush of feel-good, fall in love chemicals begin to wane, we can begin to wonder! Especially if the relationship bends more toward the unhealthy end of the spectrum. This doesn’t necessarily mean that people leave for this reason alone, but it does open the door for a growing desire to leave and for unhealthy and every destructive emotional cycles to take root.
For example, around the 1-2 year mark is when people begin to show their ‘true colors’. And we wonder, “what happened to that sweet guy who always did… or said…?” Or, “what happened to her easy going attitude or patience?’”
This is how we know the delicious elixir is slowing down production!
There are many people who are in the habit of using this as the only stick by which to measure a relationship, thus tend to leave at the stage when the relationship ‘in love’ chemicals begin to deplete.
There are also those who become sort of addicted to this rush of chemicals. These people can become serial relationship creators. Meaning they get into relationships for 1-3 years at a time, and almost always have a relationship that begins just before a break up or right after. Or, this type of person can become easily and repeatedly drawn into affairs. These chemicals are very strong and sometimes seem quite persuasive.
There is so much greatness, joy, connection and fulfillment to be experienced in later stages of love. But we must be committed to the process and doing the work necessary for relationship greatness at all stages.
This is not my realm of expertise, but I know very personally how the physical can be extremely trying and disheartening. I myself have had several years of hormone imbalances for a handful of reasons. And I can say for sure, hormones have everything to do with healthy sex drive. Fortunately, even during the time I was struggling badly with hormone imbalances, Chris and I were able to stay connected and remain sexual.
The process of discovery was not without struggle. For me, feeling guilty and ashamed while working to find solutions were huge barriers. Which then led to resentment and deep sadness at times. But, what we figured out on the emotional side, while working with experts to figure out the physical hormone side, was that once my body was ‘activated’, I was down to clown! So, then over-riding the mind and activating the body became our joint goal.
This required each of us to be patient, tender, gentle and very caring, to carve out sacred time and emotional space for one another and for sex, and be extremely vulnerable and communicative. And while this process was not without pain, it actually bonded us even closer together... gifts and miracles can emerge from any pile of shit - if you are willing to unearth them.
Just to reiterate, this is not an easy process, I assure you. And it is extremely trying emotionally. When all you want is to feel sexual, but your body is working completely against you... it s quite tempting to feel rotten, guilty, sad, ashamed and resentful…
But, I can attest, and so can many of my clients, this situation is far from insurmountable. IF you have a waning sex drive, and are perhaps questioning whether or not you are still in love with your partner, especially if there are other challenges, keep up the hope and get some help.
If you are struggling with this situation, please reach out. Don't suffer silently. I can coach you through this and offer resources for you get your hormones back in the saddle as well! firstname.lastname@example.org .
Hormone imbalances are but one physical barrier to sexuality. There are many. Please do not hesitate to seek the support of trained herbalists, functional medical doctors, or holistic doctors. I have a preference toward working with people who heal instead of treat symptoms. This is in no way to disrespect traditional medical doctors, it is simply to say, I have not had personal experience or client experience that has been favorable in this arena with traditional doctors.
Many women share that doctors often tell them that it is NORMAL with age or long-term relationship, which it ABSOLUTELY not. Or that hormone related sex-starvation are in her or his head.
There is MUCH that can be done to ramp up your sex drive!
Deep emotional connection is vital to creating and sustaining any great relationship. As well as being paramount to maintaining sexuality and sustainable sex-drive.
There is the occasional couple who has a terrible, chaotic, tumultuous relationship, where both partners sustain a healthy sex-drive for a lifetime. This is not the norm! This is quite rare actually.
Couples need to feel deeply connection in order to feel like being sexual. In most couples, there is one partner who seems to need connection more than the other to elicit consistent sexual desire. Usually it is the woman. But this is certainly not always the case. Men always want and need closeness and connection in their relationships, but, a small percentage need this in order to feel sexual desire on a regular basis. This is true, whether the nature of the relationship is gay or straight.
Here’s a shocking news flash! Women are not often ready at the drop of a hat to ‘rock out with your ___ out” until she feels close and connected! Men, take a note – it is worth the effort to connect with your sweetie!
I get it. Now ‘sex is work’! And this was not likely the case during those first 2 glorious years of there never ending sex; 3 times a day sex; and morning, noon and nite sex!
Trust me, I get it, and I miss that at times too.
But, what I can say with 100% certainty and joy, is that what Chris and I share in the bedroom now, after almost 9 years, is a million times more amazing and electric than it was at the beginning, when our brains and bodies were on fire with the ‘in love elixir’!
We have more fun. We know each other’s bodies, noises, likes and dislikes – like the back of our hands. And what’s even more awesome, sex gets better and better and better. I honestly don’t even know how, but it does! And this is solely due to the greatness that has been intentionally cultivated between us.
Our relationship is a product of deep, committed, daily intentional growth and attunement to connection, radical self responsibility, vulnerability, love, passion, kindness, play and adventure!
Having a great sexual relationship, in later stages of a relationship, is DOMINANTLY related to intentionally cultivated relationship greatness. This speaks to several areas of a relationship or marriage:
· You talk openly daily.
· You do not shy away from conflict or upset.
· You approach conflict or differences with a LOVING tone of voice and self accountability.
· You do not hide or walk on eggshells, but face problems head on.
· You are vulnerable, even when you are scared shitless.
· You do not practice habits like blaming, criticizing or attacking one another… EVER.
· You praise and appreciate each other daily.
· You shower one another with unconditional kindness.
· You live in ceaseless harmony.
· You do not shut down, yell, check out, or escape with spending or alcohol (other) when difficulty arises.
Yes, of course, the above dynamics are a result of disciplined practice and most couples need help to achieve this. Yet, it is all more than possible.
Achieving relationship greatness and having a beautiful and healthy sex life is everyone’s birthright. Though, it is the road less traveled and not many choose this path.
Experiencing a lack of sex drive is far from insurmountable. If you have a waning sex drive, and are perhaps questioning whether or not you are still in love with your partner, especially if there are other challenges, keep up the hope and get some help.
If you have been struggling with a waning desire for sexuality, don’t despair, there is help available Seriously, there is no need to suffer alone, waning sex in relationships is more common than you think, AND there is so much that can be done!. Reach out to our team for help. We will get you and your sweeting moving in a positive direction!