Should You Stay in a Sexless Relationship?

Couple not looking at each other in bed
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Sex can play a different role in many relationships, as some relationships become sexless over time, while others are sexless from the beginning. And if you're currently in a sexless relationship and are wondering if you should stay or if you should leave, it's important to look at your relationship from many angles in order to determine the best way to proceed. 

Why Is Your Relationship Sexless?

If you're wondering if you should stay in a sexless relationship, the first step is to understand why your relationship is sexless in the first place. For example, since you and your partner are likely busy and have numerous commitments and responsibilities, there are many couples who simply don't put aside moments to be intimate.

In sexless relationships it's important to talk openly and honestly with one another, as well as seek out counseling and support from a professional.

For some couples, the sexless nature of their relationship comes in other forms, as you may no longer feel physically attracted to your partner or vice versa, or you may no longer desire sex because of other happenings or stresses in your life that are making sex a chore rather than a meaningful act. "The answer to great sex in [a] relationship lay in healthy ways of communicating, not blaming each other, finding empathy, and finally forgiving each other for pain incurred," says Frances Cohen Praver, Ph.D. In addition, there are other couples where sex stops after children enter the picture, as they find it more challenging to view their partner as a sexual being and not just the mother or father of their kids.

There are also couples who have relationships where sex was never a key component, and they view their partner as a companion and friend rather than a romantic mate. In addition, there are couples who lose sexual desire for one another after infidelity, as the betrayal and broken trust seem to break the desire to be intimate going forward.

How Important Is Sex in a Relationship?

"Sex is an essential component of an intimate relationship," says Praver. Many believe that sex is an essential way for you to truly connect with your partner, as there are both physical and emotional components to this intimate act. Many people view the desire and frequency of sex with their mate as a barometer of how the relationship is going. For instance, if you're very into the idea of having sex with your partner and are regularly engaging in intimate acts with them, then you're keeping your connection and relationship strong. However, if you've suddenly lost the desire to have sex with your partner or you're rarely intimate with one another, this may be an indicator that your connection is fading, and your relationship has become more platonic than romantic. 

How Important Is Sex to You?

If you're wondering if you should stay in a sexless relationship, you need to assess how important sex is to you. For some people, sex is an absolute necessity in a relationship, and it's not possible to remain in a romantic situation where sex is rarely an option or is completely off the table. For others, having an emotional connection with their partner is enough to sustain a meaningful, successful, and long-lasting relationship. There are also other options, as many couples have an agreed-upon type of open relationship where they're able to have their sexual needs met outside of their relationship with their partner, but they still remain fully committed to her or him. 

When it comes to sex in a relationship, the bottom line is that you have to do what's best for you. There's no cookie-cutter answer, as it simply depends on the importance you personally place on sex. Some of the best steps for couples in sexless relationships are to talk openly and honestly with one another, as well as seek out counseling and support from a professional. Relationships can be complicated, and having an expert in your corner who can provide guidance and insight can help you determine what's right for you and your relationship going forward.  

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