OK, this is definitely a tough one.
It can feel a little scary, overwhelming, or even relieving, if you’ve found yourself here.
Maybe you’re worried you’re not attracted to your partner, or perhaps you know you definitely aren’t.
So, now what?
I’d like to begin by saying that you, and only you, know what is best for you and your relationship. The following are just some ideas, however it sounds as though you might need some time and soul searching to consider how to move forwards in this area.
Tip one: is this normal?
To begin with, doubts and worries are totally normal.
Of course we’ll all go through life at times, not feeling 100% about our partners. I’d argue doubt is normal. Intimate relationships are often the only relationships in our lives in which we’ve made solemn vows or social commitments to remain with this person forever until death do we part. That’s pretty intense!
Times also change, and so do people. So the person you met at the beginning of the relationship is likely a little (or a lot different!) after you’ve settled in, created routines, got to know them, let down your guard, and you’ve created more closeness through moving in, getting married, having children etc.
This is a great article that normalises it. And that’s OK.
But the problem comes when you think you don’t like what you’ve found.
My suggestion is to consider whether your feelings are about your partners emotional or physical unattractiveness?
I’m a sucker for getting confused with this one, but I’d encourage you to consider if your feelings are about your partners physical appearance, or whether these feelings have been created because of something going on emotionally between you.
Resentment, frustration, hurt or anger can all make our partners seem less attractive to us, whereas when we’re lighthearted, close, laughing, we might see them in their best light.
I’d suggest, if it’s both, to begin with what’s going on emotionally between you and try to resolve that, before you consider your partners physical attraction, as this may change the closer you get.
If it’s emotional, read tip three. If it’s physical, read tip four.
Tip two: communicate
This is really the cornerstone to every good relationship. Tell your partner how you feel.
I’d encourage you to be as gentle as you can- it’s pretty upsetting to be told that your lover doesn’t find you attractive anymore.
Be hopeful. You’re coming to them to work this through together. You’ve told them this with a view to make things better and fall in love all over again.
Be prepared for them to also feedback the same thing too! It’s often a two-way street if we’re unhappy in a relationship.
Tip three: create an emotional connection
Distance between the two of you may have opened up some rifts, and could be the cause of your percieved unattraction to your partner.
This might revolve around learning better conflict resolution, new ways to communicate, and reducing the space that might be the cause of or caused by your low sex drive.
If this is your experience, check out the section of the blog on creating warmth affection and intimacy, about how to spice up your relationship (and particularly Esther Perel’s tips on novelty), as well as this great article by Good House Keeping.
Tip four: reignite physical connection
Once you’ve communicated with your partner gently about your feelings, hopefully you’ll have found a way forwards together. This might involve a plan of how you can build the attraction between you.
At this point it’s worth considering whether the attraction is something of a temporary nature, or something more permanent.
For example, perhaps you’ve already thought of ways together that you can increase the attraction by encouraging your partner to lose weight- for example, working out together or cooking healthy meals.
Or, if your partner has less than acceptable hygiene habits, you’ve agreed a minimum amount of cleanliness needed, or discussed whether these might be a physical representation of something much deeper- depression or trauma, and in which case you’ve hopefully discussed outside help or a way forwards involving support and acknowledgement.
You’ll also find some good tips in this Lovepanky article too about more general increasing the lust and attractiveness together.
P.S. if you’ve stumbled across this, you might like to check out the relationship patterns and habits guide to your sex drive here.