Is it normal to not feel attracted to your partner?
Sexual attraction and desire are part of what make relationships hot. In the early stages, you can’t keep your hands off your partner. You revel in kissing and making out. You have sex until four in the morning. You stay up for hours just chatting and touching and exploring each other.
In long-term relationships, desire is harder to sustain. It doesn’t disappear automatically or overnight, but it does require intentional effort. That’s because desire and attraction are partly linked to novelty and newness. No matter how intense your connection is at first, once a partnership is no longer new, it can start to feel a little stale.
This can be true especially for women, who may be more likely than men to find that their desire type is “responsive.”
If your desire is spontaneous, you feel mentally into sex before you experience any physical stimulation or arousal. If your desire is responsive, you usually need physical stimulation before you feel mentally into sex. People with responsive desire often mistake it for a low sex drive. In fact, responsive desire is more common than spontaneous desire. It also has nothing to do with the quality of your relationship, but in a long-term partnership it can be harder to work with.
Long-term relationships also involve more everyday stressors and life commitments, which can distract you from fully experiencing and making room for desire.
Like any change in how you relate to others, take time to reflect on whether your loss of attraction has deeper roots. Is it really a loss of heart? If so, what would you like to do next? You can address diminished sexual desire in several ways, but a loss of heart might require some extra help.
Whatever the reason, it’s very normal to lose some attraction to your partner over time. The important thing is to approach each other with compassion instead of ringing alarms. Although many couples deal with this issue, many are also able to work through it. Here’s how.