Relationships: Truly wonderful things that make you feel adored, wanted, and happy. You find a special someone in your life who just seems to "get you," and then suddenly you find yourself not imagining how you ever were without them. That's how it always starts, isn't it?
Let me tell you my story about my partner and I.
I met my partner and I fell in love before I could even blink. My partner was more respectful, loving, honest, and kind than anyone I have ever dated in the past. We went out on dates, we went to the park, we got a puppy, bought a house together, settled down, got engaged, and the sex was better than anything I could have imagined. I'm talking amazing sex and lovemaking that I thought you could only found written in erotic novels.
Years went on and the amount of sex we had started to lessen. I went from constantly feeling adored and desired, to barely getting any action for months. If I did get any action, it was a quickie with barely any spark to it and it always felt like my partner didn't actually want to do anything. Now don't get me wrong, I still loved and craved my partner in every other way other than sexually. I know that a relationship is not based on sex, but it's perfectly healthy to want sexual attention in a relationship.
Both men and women want to feel attractive and desired in their relationships, and our partners losing the interest they used to have can definitely take its toll. I started to feel insecure about myself: my looks, my body, my weight, the stretch marks on my thighs, my hair, my skin, and even my personality. I started to worry about if my partner even felt a spark with me anymore, if they were bored with me, and perhaps they wanted to see other people. I started to get jealous of the littlest things, things I never got jealous of in the past.
I had tried bringing up different things in order to spice up our relationship, and not just things I thought would make my partner happy, but things I actually wanted to do as well. Nothing was working or igniting that spark we used to have, and I finally had enough and broke down.
My partner was shocked and had no idea this is how I felt. We talked for hours and hours, but my partner just didn't have the drive they used to have. My partner made more of an effort after we talked, and we made a plan to start checking in with each other more. I still don't get as much action as I would like, and it's like pulling teeth trying to get them to initiate anything with me, but it's definitely a lot better than it was.
Here are a few things I learned along the way:
1. Communication is key.
Talking about what bothers you is the most important part of relationships. You need to communicate with your partner about everything. If you're feeling detached to them, sit them down and have a talk with them. Assure them you still love them and want to be with them (if that's the case in your situation), but express what you need from them personally to keep yourself satisfied in the relationship.
2. Be HONEST.
Do not hold anything in. If you don't feel a spark, tell them you don't feel a spark. Tell them if you do or do not want to feel this spark. Tell them what you need and want from them, and in return ask them what they need and want from you. Don't hide how you feel when you're upset or feeling unwanted/undesired.
3. Find other ways to help your partner make you feel wanted.
Suggest other options if sex isn't one. Ask if they would be willing to go out more with you: dancing, movies, dinner, bowling, picnics, beach days, coffee dates, etc. Whatever you both enjoy doing together.
4. Don't expect anything from your partner.
Even if your partner promises to change, don't expect them to. It just leads to complications in the relationship. Sure, your partner might change, and that's wonderful news, but celebrate after they actually do. For now don't expect them to change who they are, and don't get bitter when you don't see any progress. This shows your willingness to accept them if they cannot change, and ultimately leads to it being easier for you to accept as well.
5. Learn to love and please yourself again.
You might still need sexual attention to be happy. If you find yourself in this situation there are a few different options you can try, but it all comes down to what you are comfortable with.
6. Don't take the small stuff for granted.
A kiss good morning, a snuggle session on the couch while watching television, if (s)he grabs you a coffee on their way to work, if they clean the house or wash the dishes for you, or even a simple "How was your day?" after work. These are all little things that demonstrate their love for you, and it's better to have some affection than nothing at all, right?
7. Be persistent.
If you find that you're not making the progress you want, don't give up. Keep trying, keep talking to your partner, and keep trying to come up with solutions. If you need to actually spell it out for your partner, do it. Continue to make the effort and progress will surely happen, you just need to be a little patient.
8. Know your value.
If you keep trying everything I've mentioned above and there still isn't any progress made, or perhaps your partner won't give you the decency to try, maybe it's time to move on. Taking care of yourself is the most important thing you can do, and if going separate ways is the solution for that, then leave on good terms and set off for bigger and better things. You can only do so much, but you also deserve someone who makes any effort they can to make this relationship work.
All in all, I can't be the one to tell you what to do in this situation. Believe me, I know it sucks and I wish my partner would show the sexual affection they used to. However I have learned to cope with this in my own way, and I'm no longer feeling insecure about myself. My partner and I are still checking in with each other frequently, and my partner does initiate things from time to time. I've found that keeping myself busy and that not clinging to the sexual attention helps me in the long run, and I do not become bitter towards my partner this way.