You meet, fall for one another, and the sex is amazing. But then it decreases and you wonder why? You’re left with all of these questions. Does my partner still desire me? Are they not satisfied? Will it always be this way.
Limerence is that “involuntary interpersonal state that involves an acute longing for emotional reciprocation, obsessive-compulsive thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, and emotional dependence on another person.” Limerence is a chemical reaction in the brain which I won’t go into because it’s not important (it’s fascinating though so check it out if you want to explore it deeper). The most important factor is the increase in libido, that is the I want to have sex like rabbits feeling in a new relationship and it, in particular, affects women. This can leave a partner feeling like they have been duped.
Libido waxes and wanes throughout life, a couple really needs to get through the limerence phase and create their own sexual style. Having a healthy foundation for your sexual style is important. Bad or not enough sex is a huge factor in breakups. Couples that ignore sexual issues thinking it will just improve on its own are often in for a shock. Without communication, it often does not improve. So suddenly your doing it 4 times a week and now a year into the relationship, it’s once a week.
How long does the limerence phase last? Well, that is different for each couple, some suggest it’s over as early as a few weeks to years. Couples either break up after the limerence period or move into a different stage of love.
How do we keep the sex as amazing as it was in the beginning? Maybe, you can’t! You are no longer in that same phase of the relationship and you no longer have the surge of biochemicals that are increasing your libido. Accept that the relationship is moving into a new phase. Talk to your partner about sex. Find new ways to make it exciting. Lean into the bonding and trust-building that’s happening instead of only looking at the quantity of sex. Make sex a priority……..schedule it if necessary (I know that might not be as sexy as spontaneous sex, but at least your getting it).
If you need help putting the spark back into your relationship consider working with a sex therapist to help you and your partner navigate your own sexual style.