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.

If your partner used to enjoy working out and eating well, but have stopped doing so, you can bring this up without mentioning weight gain. "Focus on health, not weight," said YourTango Expert and relationship coach Melodie Tucker. "You can mention side effects, like having more energy and sleeping better, instead of saying 'looking better.'"

Bring up how much your partner enjoyed former activities, whatever they were. Tucker recommends offering to help make these activities possible again. If your partner doesn't hang out with friends much, it may be because he or she feels like there's not enough time to do so. If your partner doesn't put much attention into eating healthy foods, it may be because he or she feels crunched for time or knows that the rest of the family doesn't enjoy healthy food. "In the case of eating better, that's something the whole family can work on," said Tucker. "Everyone benefits from that."

 

YourTango expert Jean Fitzpatrick, a therapist and marriage counselor in New York City, advises using "we" instead of "you" when having this difficult conversation. "This conversation isn't an attack on one person—it comes from a place of caring," she said. "You should say, 'I feel like we're not paying as much attention to each other as we could be' or, 'Maybe we should go out and act more like we're dating.' Make it a shared project. If you think your partner might be depressed, express your concern."

3. Choose the right time and place.

A conversation this sensitive is not something you should have off the cuff. You may permanently damage your relationship if you do it the wrong way. Most people broach the topic when they reach a breaking point, which often happens before or during sex. "Take this talk out of the bedroom," said Banks. "Don't approach it before you've had time to think."

Have the conversation privately in a neutral space when you're not already arguing. Do it when you know there's plenty of time to talk—you don't want to be interrupted.