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How Long Is Too Long Without Sex in a Relationship? A Relationship Coach Answers

Sarah and Mark sat across from each other at dinner, the mood tense. Date night felt less fun and romantic this time. An awkward silence. They poked at their food. An elephant in the room lingered.

Four months, no sex. At first, it’s no biggie. Busy at work. That happens. But after weeks of no physical connection, it began taking a toll. Sarah wondered if Mark found her attractive anymore. Mark worried they were drifting apart. But it dragged on. They felt distant. Insecure.

Sex might seem like just a physical act, but for couples, it’s so much more. It’s a vital way partners intimately connect and express love. Relationships can feel hollow without that bond, and partners may drift into isolation. When too much time passes without intimacy, couples risk damaging their closeness, affection, and security.

But when is too long without sex actually a problem in a relationship? What causes intimacy droughts? How do couples get their groove back? I’m a relationship coach, over a decade. I’ve helped many navigate this.

This article sheds light on how long is too long without getting busy. We’ll cover practical tips to spark that fire again. Stay with me – I’ll help you reconnect and revive your love life!

How Long is Too Long Without Sex?

I get asked this a lot – how often should couples do it? Truth is, no magic number. No “have sex x times weekly” rule.

As a broad-stroke measure, two months without sex is not a cause for concern. No sex for six months or more though, that can be a sign of issues in the relationship. Keep in mind that each relationship is unique and will have their own timelines for the frequency of sex. In other words, each relationship has their own “normal” for how often they have sex.

In addition, if you’re looking for a more formal baseline, a study found that, on average, couples aged 18-44 have sex about once or twice per week.

Frequency of sexual activityMenWomen
Not at all16.5%12.6%
Once or twice a year9.1%7.9%
1–3 times a month27.7%26.2%
Weekly or more46.7%53.3%

But averages only tell part of the story. Going below that average doesn’t automatically mean your relationship has an intimacy issue. The real and more important question to answer is – why is your relationship experiencing a lack of sexual frequency?

There are many potential reasons, including:

  • Busy schedules and shifting priorities
  • Stressful events or challenges
  • Health problems
  • Mismatched libidos and sex drives
  • Unresolved conflict
  • Losing the spark
  • Unrealistic expectations

Figuring out the root cause will help you evaluate whether your sexual dry spell is a short-term blip or a more severe issue. Is it just a phase, or are you headed towards a sexless relationship? When you identify the root cause, you can better address problems and get your intimacy back on track.

Every couple has a norm that works for them. The key is understanding what’s typical for your relationship and why you’re experiencing less sex compared to your norm levels. Suppose you can get to the bottom of your dry spell. In that case, you’ll be better positioned to resolve it and reconnect physically with your partner.

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The Effects of Prolonged Dry Spells in a Relationship

Going without sex for an extended period can have negative consequences for couples. It will feel like the couple is physically together, but might as well be having a long-distance relationship. Here are some potential issues that can arise:

  • Feel lonely or isolated – Physical intimacy fosters emotional closeness. Without it, partners may start to feel distant and crave deeper connection.
  • Feel frustrated or resentful – Unmet sexual needs can build up feelings of rejection and annoyance over time.
  • Feel insecure or inadequate – Partners may worry they are no longer desired or start questioning their attractiveness.
  • Feel bored or dissatisfied – Sexual variety and exploration keep things exciting. Lack of passion? Relationship feels stale.
  • Develop sexual problems – Infrequent sex can lead to erectile dysfunction, vaginal dryness, premature ejaculation, and other issues.
  • Drift apart, lose touch. Sexual chemistry keeps you engaged, interested in each other.
  • More conflicts and arguments – Tension caused by unfulfilled needs may lead to more fights and disputes.
  • Seek satisfaction elsewhere – Prolonged sexlessness may tempt partners to stray into infidelity.

Sex isn’t just physical – it’s how couples deeply connect. When intimacy dwindles, distance grows.

Minor frustrations may build up over time into more enormous resentments. An occasional dry spell can spiral into a long-term dead bedroom if you’re not proactive.

Your once hot-and-heavy relationship cooling off? Pay attention. Prolonged dry spells are trying to tell you something needs attention.

Don’t ignore the potential fallout – make rekindling your sexual connection a priority. You can regain that spark and avoid more significant relationship issues with some understanding and effort.

Practical Strategies for Couples to Deal with a Lack of Sex

Sex is crucial in romance, but maintaining a satisfying intimate life takes work. If you’re lacking, effective ways exist – if both partners are willing.

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  • Open, honest communication – Discuss thoughts, needs, feelings about your sex life. No blaming. Listen too.
  • Seek professional help – Sex therapists can uncover underlying issues impacting intimacy. Teach reconnection techniques.
  • Explore your sexuality – Experiment with new positions, role-play fantasies, and watch ethically made erotic films. Discover new mutual turn-ons.
  • Spice it up – Try couples massages, romantic getaways, or even an aphrodisiac menu. Build anticipation and variety.
  • Schedule intimacy – Life gets busy. Put sex dates on the calendar and make them a priority.
  • Focus on quality over quantity – Don’t stress about numbers. Make the intimacy you have meaningful and memorable.
  • Show affection non-sexually – Cuddling, kissing, and thoughtful acts let your partner feel loved between sexual encounters.
  • Reignite romance – Plan regular date nights, share your feelings, and surprise each other with gifts and compliments.


I want to assure you – there’s no shame in going through dry spells or having a sexless marriage, as long as both partners are content. However, reflection and action are needed if one or both of you feel unsatisfied with your intimate life.

Physical intimacy provides a vital connection for couples to express love and affection. When those encounters become infrequent, insecurity, tension, and distance can occur. But there is hope! With understanding, creativity, and effort, you can absolutely reignite that sexual spark. Do so, and you can have as much sex as will make both of you content and grow closer through the process.

Benefits of Regular Sex: Much Health, Very Happiness, So Trust Meme

If you’ve noticed your once steamy relationship cooling off, don’t ignore it – make reconnecting a priority. Talk honestly, try new things, and focus on quality over quantity. Need help? Don’t be afraid to get professional support. With the right strategies, you’ll get your groove back.

Have you experienced long, dry spells in your own relationship? What has helped get your sex life on track? Share your thoughts and advice – another reader may be searching for the perfect solution you found. And if you know a couple who could use encouragement, send them this article – they’ll thank you later!

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