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How does sexual desire change during long relationships?

Madeleine M. Castellanos, MD
Psychiatry
As time goes on, you become more familiar with your partner and experiences become more predictable. Inevitable differences in sexual desire often emerge and a couple's frequency of sex declines, which can make you panic that the relationship isn't right or leave you reminiscing about the "good old days".

The fact is, sexual desire becomes less urgent in a long-term relationship and sex happens less frequently. It's a natural part of the relationship cycle. Sexual desire also changes with age, as a result of declining hormone levels and other health conditions. The focus shifts from the quantity of sex to the quality of sex, and you become more comfortable with each other, with your bodies, and what else the relationship has to offer you.

Although sexual frequency tends to decline over time in long-term relationships, sexual satisfaction tends to be very high among committed couples, thanks to the effects of greater trust, growing comfort with each other, and plenty of practice to find out what works well with each other's bodies. Keep this in mind before automatically assuming that one of you is dealing with a low libido.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.