There is often a lot of excitement at the beginning of a relationship: you want to discover the other person, their story, their personality, their body… You want them to open up to you in a way they’ve never done with anyone before. And at this stage, sex is usually quite important for both of you.

But over time, this extreme excitement can progressively fade and completely disappear. Sexual intercourse then become more and more rare for various reasons (busy schedule, priority to kids, frequent arguments, new feelings, etc.). If you came across this article, it’s probably because you are in a sexless relationship and wonder if a couple can ever be happy without sex.

Can a couple survive without sex ?

Yes, if the two of them are 100% ok with such decision and if their feelings for one another are very strong.

But let’s be honest, unless you’re an asexual couple, this almost never happens.

The partner’s frustration in a sexless relationship

Most of the time in this kind of situation, one of the partners is losing interest in sex. So the other one tries to get something but when they understand their attempts generally end in failure, they’ll stop trying and start accepting this new implicit rule. There’s no point in insisting if they have to face rejection and if sex is no longer appreciated.

It’s obviously very frustrating for the partner who still wants to have sex, even if they don’t think about it. As a matter of fact, the frustration that comes with the situation can lead them to act in a hurtful way. They can become cold, aggressive or sometimes, they can also cheat on their significant other.

In fact, both partners are suffering in a sexless relationship

However, a sexless relationship is not only painful for the partner who didn’t really choose to live like that.

In many cases, when someone doesn’t show any interest in having sex, it’s not because they don’t desire their partner, or because they don’t love them anymore, or because they’re selfish. It’s simply because they may be going though an ordeal and sometimes, they’re not even aware of their own suffering. It can be due to several factors: depression after the children leave the nest, menopause, loss, pressure at work, relationship rut, etc.

If both partners haven’t agreed on not having sex at all, a couple without sex means there is suffering from both ends that you need to tackle.

How can you rekindle the spark when intimacy is missing?

As you certainly guessed it, communication is the key to your problem.

If your attempts at initiating sex didn’t work, maybe try a different approach. Meaning, instead of focusing on desire, solve your couple problems first in order to make room for sex. So if your partner is giving up on sex and you don’t feel comfortable with that, just talk to them. Tell them what you feel. For example, let them know that you don’t feel loved and that you need the physical contacts as well as the closeness from sex because it’s part of who you are and part of what makes you a couple and not just best friends. Then ask your partner why they’re less interested in sex so that together, you can find some solutions.

And if you are the one who tend to refuse sexual intercourse, don’t let your significant other worry about it. Again, communicate. Explain how you feel and why you feel that way and together, you can find a solution that works for everyone.

In any case, don’t be afraid to reach out for help and go see a couple therapist or a sex therapist.