A mismatched libido refers to a difference between your and your partner’s sex drives. Even if you have the same libidos when you first start dating, everyone goes through changes, and you may eventually find yourselves with mismatched libidos. Your libidos can also be affected by the stresses of work, life, family planning, responsibilities, hormonal changes, aging, and numerous other problems.
If you have mismatched libidos, you may wonder if there’s something wrong with your relationship. Perhaps your partner doesn’t find you as attractive anymore? Perhaps your relationship is suffering? Individuals in relationships with mismatched libidos often doubt themselves and their partners. But it’s important to realize that it’s completely normal for sexual desires to wave, wane, and change shape.
Whatever the root cause of your mismatched libidos, desiring more or less sex than your partner doesn’t mean there’s something fundamentally wrong in your relationship. In fact, you need to navigate these natural changes in a healthy, communicative, and loving manner to keep your relationship alive. After all, the strength of a relationship is measured not by how much sex you have but by how well you navigate your differences.
This article describes how you can deal with mismatched libidos in your relationship.
Start the dating process all over again
Sexual desire and libidos can wax and wane throughout your life. It’s perfectly normal (and even expected) that individuals in long-term relationships will have moments when their libidos simply don’t match. When you first start your relationship, you might have activated similar libidos because of the excitement of new love and passion. But as time progresses and the mystery fades, your libidos may change.
One of the best ways to improve your sex life is to return to activities that once brought you together. Couples in long-term relationships often stop dating each other because of other responsibilities. If that’s the case, you should resume a culture of weekly or bi-weekly date nights. Your date night can be anything you want as a couple — a quiet night watching movies together, a date in a restaurant, a weekend getaway, or a luxurious bubble bath.
During your date, touch each other intimately and affectionately — not necessarily with sexual intentions. You need to rediscover your passion for each other, and that should come naturally. You can also leave each other little notes or send sexy text messages to get each other excited. You must remember that every encounter doesn’t have to end in sex, and every sexual experience doesn’t have to end in an orgasm. It’s important for you to rediscover intimacy.
Be honest about your needs and desires
You need to be completely honest about your needs and desires. Not just with your partner but also with yourself. Do you feel like your partner isn’t as sexually interested in you as you are in them? Or do you feel like you can’t match your partner’s level of sexual excitement? Whichever end of the spectrum you find yourself on, you must be willing to engage in conversations with yourself (and your desires) and your partner.
And while it’s important to be honest with your partner, you should also give your partner the same grace. Give your partner the space to be honest with you. And when they communicate their desires and changing expectations, be supportive and understanding. It’s important to address your sexual differences with tenderness and love. Once you acknowledge the difference in your libidos, you can work together to find a solution that’s fulfilling for both.
Make time for intimacy, love, and passion
Sex and intimacy take time. With busy work schedules, family responsibilities, and competing demands for time, it might seem like intimacy and sex fall off the list of priorities. No matter what happens in your life, you must learn to prioritize intimacy and passion. Try not to push sex off until bedtime, when you might both be exhausted and decide to skip it. Instead, make sex an important part of your life together.
If you have a family with children, you can also enlist the help of friends and family. Ask your family to watch your children once in a while, so you and your partner can enjoy each other’s company. If you have a busy work life, find time in your schedule to enjoy some intimacy. If you’ve scheduled a dinner or movie, maybe sneak some time for sex before your appointment!
Get your engines revved up with some foreplay
Most people view foreplay as something that can only happen during sex or in the bedroom. But that’s not true. Foreplay can happen anytime and anywhere. You can initiate foreplay with a simple text message or phone call… or even a secret note on the fridge! Once you initiate foreplay, you don’t immediately need to have sex. You can stretch the foreplay out over several hours, dropping little hints and sexual innuendoes throughout the day until you finally find time to act on your sexual desires.
Share your sexual desires and fantasies
Individuals in long-term relationships often develop sexual desires and fantasies they may not feel comfortable sharing with their partners. Your sexual identity, desires, and fantasies may change over time — the sexual interests you had when you first met might not be the same anymore. Instead of shying away from those desires, you should have an honest talk with your partner about your sexual desires and fantasies, whether that’s bondage, voyeurism, foot fetishism, or anything else.
Your partner might be thrilled to engage in your sexual desire, and they may even open up to you about their reciprocal desires and fantasies. Once you communicate your sexual desires and fantasies, you can rediscover each other anew. Once you identify a gap in your sexual desires or libidos, actively working to address that gap can bring you even closer together. This is an ongoing project that will require time, patience, dedication, and lots of honesty. But the effort is completely worth it.