5 Ways Happy Couples Deal With Mismatched Sex Drives
Cynthia|Jun. 03, 2019
Tip to Try When Your Sex Drive Differs: Laugh
In happy couples, sex was really important, but it wasn’t everything, notes Gabb.
If you’re looking at a dip in sex drive as an issue that will always remain, it raises the pressure to do something about it immediately. But happy couples found ways to put it aside instead of thinking it to death.
Not ruminating on the issue helps takes the pressure off, Gabb says.
Try laughing instead. “If you laugh about something together, there’s this sense of being in it together,” she says. Not only are you easing the tension on the issue at hand, but laughter boosts intimacy outside of the bedroom, too. In fact, some studies find people are more likely to open up when they’re laughing.
Added bonus: Make her laugh could turn her on, too. Previous research published in the journal Evolutionary Psychology finds women are more likely to initiate sex with a funny partner.
Tip to Try When Your Sex Drive Differs: Date Her
Even if she doesn’t want to get busy under the sheets, it doesn’t mean she doesn’t want you close.
So plan date nights, weekend trips, or even an evening walk with your partner, and make cuddling and kissing a priority. Nonsexual closeness is important in relationships, too, and can build other forms of intimacy, says Gabb.
Building intimacy in these ways can flow over into the bedroom, too, says Gabb, because you’re focusing on one another. Enhancing intimacy by ‘touching base’ can help you feel more connected and committed, she notes.
Tip to Try When Your Sex Drive Differs: Have a ‘Sex Bed’
In the study, kids falling asleep in the bed or a partner snoring were listed as some of the common barriers to a bustling sex life. One way to fight back: separate beds.
But before you assume that’s the opposite of sexy, think about it this way: Getting shuteye away from your partner can allow for a better night’s sleep, which might make the two of you more likely to be up for sex at other times. This can also make sex seem more like a date—which can help keep sex on the calendar.
If your children sleep with you, choosing another bed in the house for sex can re-introduce intimacy, too, Gabb notes. We won’t tell the guests.
Tip to Try When Your Sex Drive Differs: Find Your Independence
Another tactic happy couples used: Living apart, but together.
Sounds confusing, but it doesn’t have to be as extreme as actually maintaining a separate living arrangement from your other half.
Happy couples who lived together focused on their lives away from each other, notes Gabb. “When you live together, you share everything. A lot of couples were talking about the need to be apart.”
Gabb says: “The adage that ‘familiarity breeds contempt’ or at least boredom was not particularly prevalent in our data.” But, she notes, happy couples reported feeling more ‘themselves’ when they took time to focus on themselves every now and then.
A man cave in your home, a guy’s night once a week, or finally signing up for those boxing classes can be the escape you—and your sex life—need.
Tip to Try When Your Sex Drive Differs: Be Thoughtful
Thoughtful gestures—picking up her favorite candy on the way home from work or taking the dog for a walk in the rain so she doesn’t have to—go a long way in feeding into a relationship, says Gabb.
“Sexual relationships benefit when positive relationship behaviors are taking place because the relationship as a whole feels more nourished and appreciated,” she says. “That can feed into greater sexual intimacy.”