what to do when your partner doesn’t want sex.

01 17 19 — health

Just as everyone is hungry at different times of the day, there's a good chance that your sex drive will rarely coincide with your partner's 100% of the time—it’s basic human biology.

That said, when your partner turns down sex, it can be easy to take it as a personal rejection, which, understandably, can cause conflict in a relationship.

So, what can you do if you feel like your significant other is never in the mood? You might have heard about the guy who kept a spreadsheet of all the times his wife turned down sex—let’s just say that’s a good lesson in how not to handle the situation.

Here are some more positive ways to address it.

Try to be objective.

While it’s easy to feel as though you (and your desirability) are the reason that your partner doesn’t want to have sex, that’s rarely the case. There can be many contributing factors, including the fact that some people just have higher sex drives than others. Stress can also be a big mood killer, so perhaps your partner is under a lot of pressure at work. Or they may be experiencing a physical issue, such as erectile dysfunction, that they are embarrassed to talk about. Try to keep this in mind before assuming the worst.


Talk about it.

As with many issues relating to sex—or life in general, for that matter—talking about it can help a lot. Without being accusatory or emotional (we know that spreadsheet might sound tempting), be open with your partner about the fact that they are regularly turning down sex and ask if there’s anything you can do to help change that. It could be a matter of determining the time of day that they feel most open to sex (they really could just be extra tired in the evenings). Or perhaps they need a little more romancing—like going out on a date—in order to get in the mood.


Try something new.

In long-term relationships, sometimes sex can become a little transactional and monotonous, which could be another reason why your partner doesn’t seem as into it. If that’s the case, our tips on maintaining desire in long-term relationships might help.


Read more about what to do when your partner says no to sex.