How To Have The "I'm No Longer Attracted To You" Conversation

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Discussing attraction in a relationship is difficult, but experts say there is a right way to do it.

"Weight gain and clothing are probably the two biggest physical complaints people make when they talk about losing attraction to their partners," says psychotherapist and relationship coach Heide Banks. "But if you were attracted before and now you're not, something deeper may be going on with you."

This may sound like the ultimate retort, but it actually makes sense. We often differentiate between physical attraction and emotional/intellectual attraction, but the two are intertwined. Emotional attraction can increase or decrease physical attraction, and vice versa. The origins of attraction—and consequently, unattraction—may also differ by gender.

"More than anything, women are attracted to the security that comes from an emotional need being met," Banks explains. "If that need is no longer met or a woman feels taken for granted, she might register that as losing attraction to her partner. For men, attraction is connected to self-esteem. If a man doesn't feel good about himself for any reason—whether it's stress or a setback at work—he may look down on everything he has, including his partner."

Think before bringing up lack of attraction. Is your concern something legitimate that you've observed over a period of time, or might it be a side effect of something going on with you?

2. Identify the target.

It's true that diminished attraction to your partner is often a product of your own emotions. But your partner probably has something to do with it, too. In the Power of Attraction survey, both men and women identified poor personal hygiene (87 percent) and bad personal style (45 percent) as two factors that can kill attraction over the long haul.

But 76 percent attributed loss of attraction to boredom and lack of adventure. How we look and what we do go hand in hand, so you may not even have to call this the "I'm no longer attracted to you" conversation.

"People tend to stop trying as hard when they're in a relationship," Banks explains. "They may stop exercising, pursuing their own interests or spending time with their friends. Investing in yourself and not always being available is attractive to a partner. It makes you more interesting."

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