How often do you have sex?
What about sex?
How often do you and your partner have sex? One a week? Twice a month? Every day? Almost never?
These are all of the varied answers from real long-term couples ? whether they’ve been together ten years, two years, or decades.
I think it?s generally fair to suggest that a ?long-term couple? can be a pair of people who have been in a relationship for longer than approximately two years. These partners have probably been introduced to family members and there may even be co-habitation or children involved as a result of the relationship.
But what about sex?
How is the actual time and energy a couple is investing in sex affecting their relationship?
The answers are surprisingly varied ? depending on each situation.
For instance, I know one couple who are best friends and highly compatible partners in life yet they haven?t been sexually intimate in years.
The reasons for this are complicated and sensitive but even with the looming sexual frustration surrounding the relationship, this couple has stuck together for many other positive things like their mutual respect for one another, their love of their children, and the life that they have created together.
If you?re reading this and wondering how on earth anyone could stay together without having sex for years ? you?re not alone. It?s okay to think that. But you also need to know that not every person or couple is the same as you or I and, quite often, circumstances force us to expand our previous notions of what a ?normal? relationship should be and what our expectations are.
We all have expectations ? and those of us who have experienced long-term relationships know that the expectations of our partners and how we think our relationships should be are usually the toughest and most painful challenges to work through.
Moving on to a different type of couple ? the kind that has to have sex almost daily if not more in order to be satisfied. There are plenty of couples who thrive on very active sex lives and it?s really a deal-breaker for them if the sex dwindles too much.
Unfortunately, what happens after many years in a relationship is that one partner may lose that lust for sex every day and the other partner doesn?t. This can lead to resentment and in worst-case scenarios ? infidelity.
At the beginning of a relationship, the sexual connection is usually quite strong. It?s new, it?s exciting, it?s that tantalizing haze of sexual infatuation.
But after several years, and especially if children enter into the picture, it takes more and more effort to keep those sexual fires burning. Some couples just give up completely due to the exhaustion and monotony which daily life can bring.
Most couples I know have a pretty balanced routine of connecting sexually on a regular basis and discovering what works for them. It?s not every day. It?s not five times a day. Perhaps it?s two or three times a week depending on privacy factors and energy levels. Certain women friends that I have say that the frequency they have sex with their partners also depends on their hormones.
It?s a fact that at certain times of the month, a woman has a higher libido than other times. For some women, it?s right before their menstrual cycle and they may end up initiating sex way more in that one week before their period than they would at any other time of the month.
Relationships as a whole are a cycle of ebb and flow, stagnation, and reinvention. Sex does matter. Not only is it a fantastic physical release but it does connect two partners on an intimate level. But not every relationship has that sexual connection as often as other relationships do. But many of those relationships still work. They still thrive on other aspects of the partnership.
If you?re in a relationship and you?re unsatisfied with the amount of sex that is being had, have you talked to your partneraboutit?
Similarly, are you in a relationship where you just aren?t interested in your partner sexually anymore but love everything else about the relationship? Please, let me know in the comments.
Every relationship is unique and we can learn from the experiences of each and every one.
More from Michelle: How Morning Sex is Changing My Marriage