Hollywood and social media would have us believe that if we were once sexually attracted to our partner, the same attraction will stay forever without effort.
There are many factors for why sexual attraction dies
If you’ve noticed that your feelings of attraction for your partner have faded, you’re certainly not alone. It does not necessarily spell the end of your sex life or the relationship but you will need to understand the factors driving it and find ways for navigating this tricky issue.
Whilst it is expected in long-term relationships for attraction amongst partners to decrease in the context of real life, most couples are able to rekindle some of that spark under the right conditions including sufficient time, feeling relaxed and having a romantic setting. This accounts for why so many couples report having quality sex during their holidays. Such experiences are a reminder to couples of the importance of setting aside time in their busy lives for reconnecting at this level. We cannot afford to be complacent in this regard as the opportunity to take a holiday does not conveniently present itself when needed. The same attraction will not last forever without effort put into nurturing it on a regular basis.
There was once sexual attraction but the spark has died
It’s a different matter when you have lost all sexual interest in your partner. Some have to do with specific changes within a person over time that has altered their attraction to their partner. If you were relatively young when you got together with your partner, you might find that the attraction you had at the outset for them has faded as result of your own personal growth and maturity.
Other reasons pertain to the relationship itself. Relationships are fluid rather than static and evolve based on normative changes as well as extraordinary life events that affect the sexual attraction that initially existed. These include emotional and/or sexual betrayals and a lack of communication over what turns each other on which then leads to sexual boredom.
Poorly managed relationship conflict can breed resentment if not worked through in a fair and respectful manner. Unexpressed or suppressed anger translates to decreased attraction and leads to distancing from your partner. Anger driven underground due to a power imbalance in the relationship is commonly seen in women and often manifests in a loss of sexual desire.
Historically, women are taught to preserve the harmony of their relationships at the expense of defining a clear self and taking a position on important matters. In her book, The Dance of Anger, Harriet Lerner talks about how many women typically stay silent or become tearful or “hurt” in situations that might realistically evoke anger or protest. The accumulation of a storehouse of repressed anger ends up trapping or shutting down their sexual and creative energy. I highly recommend this empowering book to any person (not just women) who is struggling with the personal costs (such as a loss of sexual desire) of not expressing themselves from a clear and authentic place.
Stability and security are important ingredients in a healthy long-term relationship, but getting too comfortable with each other can make the partnership feel overly predictable and therefore stale.
It’s all too easy for busy couples to unconsciously slip into being task-oriented. People may become stuck in their specific daily roles, of parent, caregiver etc. and consequently communicate with their partners from the same mode, rarely stopping to nurture the erotic side of the relationship. In other words, you stop interacting like lovers. Long term, this can change the way we see our partner and the way they see us. The feeling of too much familiarity means that many people start to view their partners as family members rather than lovers which is clearly anti-erotic and spells disaster for sexual attraction.