There’s nothing like that fire you feel at the start of a new relationship. Your sexual attraction is so intense—and your sexual chemistry so heightened—that it’s hard to keep your hands off each other. But in time, you exit the honeymoon phase, your rose-colored glasses wear off and your sexual attraction fades as the novelty of your relationship does.
This isn’t an uncommon issue, and it happens to varying degrees in different relationships, Dr. Tina B. Tessina, a psychotherapist and author of How to Be Happy Partners: Working It Out Together, explains.
But just because something’s common doesn’t mean it’s easy to deal with. So what should you do if you find your sexual attraction to your partner fading? Wait it out? Work through it? End the relationship? We talked to three experts to find out.
Why It Happens
Dr. Julie Gurner, a clinical psychologist, says decreases in sexual attraction are often about more than looks. “Attraction isn’t simply about physical appearance,” explains.
Debi Silber, a transformational psychologist and health, mindset and personal-development speaker, reduced sexual attraction may be the result of needs and expectations being unmet. Not feeling as attracted to your partner is a “natural response” when this happens, as is pulling back, Silber explains.
Another factor? Living together—especially if you’re doing so for the first time. “Romantic moments are no longer automatic,” Tessina says, adding that everyday things may not feel as exciting when they become more routine.
Gurner suggests it might also have to do with the length of the relationship. People evolve over time, and they might end up less attracted to their partners in the process.
What to Do About It
According to Silber, it’s totally possible to reignite that spark you had at the start of your relationship. But in order to do so, you have to figure out what caused the attraction breakdown in the first place.
Once you’ve established the source, you can start working through it. Decreased attraction has to be replaced with “affection, a sense of humor and intimate communication” Tessina says. Worth noting: It takes two willing people to get things going again, and “you both need to create ways to communicate that you want to be close to each other,” she adds.
Another good place to start? Spend more alone time together, Silber suggests. Tessina agrees, adding that—as romantic as it may sound—scheduling sex might help get things on track again. (Be sure to communicate with your partner and try some new things while you’re at it.)
The good news: Gurner says that unless something happened in the relationship that is very painful, most partners can get the attraction back with a little time and hard work. Remember, all relationships go through ebbs and flows; if you can look back on what attracted you to your partner in the first place, figure out what changed and communicate that to them, you’ll be well on your way to figuring this out.
Originally posted on SheKnows.