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Can sexual attraction grow over time?

February 27, 2024

Black man and woman, looking at each other with love and smiles in Manhattan. Sexual attraction can grow in the right relationships.

The short answer is: Yes, sexual attraction toward your partner can grow and evolve over time in many relationships. However, it’s important to remember that sexual attraction is a complex aspect of human relationships influenced by various factors, including emotional connection, intimacy, trust, and personal growth.

If you aren’t attracted to your partner, get curious about why this may be. Sex and sexuality are major parts of many romantic relationships, and if you don’t feel a spark it’s okay to choose not to be with someone. Here are some reasons why sexual attraction can develop or deepen as a relationship progresses:

1. Emotional Intimacy

As emotional intimacy deepens through shared experiences, vulnerability, and trust, it can enhance sexual attraction. Feeling deeply connected to your partner on an emotional level often translates into increased physical desire.

Two women in leather jackets, smiling and enjoying each other in Brooklyn. Comfort and trust can establish a sexual attraction even if there isn't one from the start.

2. Comfort and Trust

Over time, couples often become more comfortable with each other. This comfort can lead to increased sexual attraction as you feel more secure and trusting in the relationship.

3. Variety and Exploration

Couples who are open to trying new things in the bedroom or exploring each other’s desires can experience a renewed sense of sexual attraction. Variety and novelty can help maintain or reignite passion.

4. Personal Growth

Couple standing in the mountains, hugging and backlit by the sunset. Communication is a huge part of sexual attraction, even when you don't have it from the start.

As individuals within the relationship grow and evolve personally, their sexual desires and attractions may also change. This growth can lead to new attractions or an increased appreciation for certain qualities in their partner.

5. Communication

Open and honest communication about sexual desires and preferences can lead to better sexual satisfaction. When couples talk openly about their needs, they can work together to enhance their sexual connection.

6. Closeness and Affection

Physical closeness and affection, such as cuddling, kissing, and holding hands, can foster feelings of intimacy and sexual attraction. These gestures help maintain a connection outside of the bedroom.

Woman hugging her partner from behind. Relationship satisfaction can improve your sexual attraction to your partner.

7. Relationship Satisfaction

When a relationship is overall satisfying and fulfilling, it can positively affect sexual attraction. Feeling content and happy in your relationship often leads to increased desire for your partner.

It’s important to note that while sexual attraction can grow and change, it can also fluctuate over time for various reasons. Periods of lower sexual attraction are common in long-term relationships, but they don’t necessarily indicate problems in the relationship. Open communication, a willingness to adapt, and a focus on maintaining emotional and physical intimacy can help address these fluctuations and keep the sexual connection strong.

Every relationship is unique, and individuals may experience changes in sexual attraction differently. If you’re concerned about changes in your sexual attraction toward your partner or if it becomes a persistent issue, it can be helpful to discuss these feelings with your partner and, if needed, seek guidance from a therapist or counselor who specializes in relationships and sexuality.

Other Therapy Services Offered in Manhattan, Brooklyn, & Throughout New York

We offer a diverse range of individual counseling services and couples therapy. Our dedicated therapists can help with stress management, symptoms of depression, self-esteem challenges, and college student counseling. Additionally, we specialize in offering support for addressing body image concerns, and navigating the unique challenges faced by women, among other aspects. If you need support reach out to connect with a therapist.

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