Why Planning "Sex Dates" Won't Fix A Sexless Relationship (& What Actually Will)


Desire doesn't depend on a schedule. Why should your sex life?

In a long-term, committed relationship, sex and physical intimacy often take a backseat to your everyday needs. Over time, you might even find yourself in a sexless marriage.

When you were younger and had fewer responsibilities, it seemed like you could make love for hours and hardly leave the bed. But now, there are things standing in your way, like work, your kids or day-to-day activities that take time away from you and your partner.

If you want to fix your sexless relationship, you've probably considered this advice, prescribed by many relationship advice books: Schedule a "sex night" or “sex date,” where you and your partner put everything else aside and spend time being physical together for a portion of the evening.

The only problem with planning out when to have sex is that people aren’t machines, says Dr. Stephen Snyder, author of the new book, Love Worth Making: How To Have Ridiculously Great Sex in a Long-Lasting Relationship.  

Desire isn’t a switch that you can flip on and off again.

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It takes time, effort, and energy to build up that feeling. And forcing yourself to have sex when you aren’t in the mood can lead to completely ruining your evening with bad sex, which can make you want to be romantic with your partner even less. 

Nobody is going to be turned on all of the time. And couples are going to want sex at different times, especially if they’re on different schedules. Planning out a "sex date" and deciding it’s “now or never” can make the situation feel unpleasant and forced.

That's why "sex dates" aren't a good idea, and can, in fact, could be making the problem even worse.

So just what should you and your spouse plan on doing to fix your sexless relationship, instead of putting yourselves on a sex schedule? Rather than having a "sex date" with the sole purpose of having sex, just make a date to get in bed together and plan for nothing to happen.

Yep, that’s right. No plans. Just show up, get in bed, and see how you’re feeling.

Maybe neither of you is in the mood. Perhaps you’d prefer holding one another, or just talking and spending time together.

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These are all completely OK to do. Sex and intimacy are difficult to understand at times.

And while sex is an important part of your relationship, it’s not the only way to be intimate with one another.

Getting in bed and spending time together doing “nothing” is a great place to start. You’re not obligated to do anything together, and you aren’t required to fulfill some kind of strict schedule where you have to perform despite not feeling it.

You and your partner can begin to feel each other out, spend time together, and just feel comfortable in each others’ company. If things lead to sex, then great! You’ll both have a great time and feel like you’ve gotten the intimacy you wanted.

And if it doesn’t, then maybe you can learn to understand why, or perhaps just recognize that you needed some quality time together instead. 

Your sex life is a great part of your committed relationship, but forcing it to happen will never work. 

Stop putting the pressure on having sex, and start focusing on bonding, building intimacy, and spending time together instead. Try Dr. Snyder’s method to see how much your intimacy with your spouse will improve. 

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Stephen Snyder, M.D. is a sex therapist, psychiatrist and author of the book, Love Worth Making: How to Have Ridiculously Great Sex in a Long-Lasting Relationship, who helps committed, long-term couples regain passion, sexual intimacy and closeness in their relationships. Connect with Dr. Snyder at SexualityResource.com for more information and to get started on your journey of sexual fulfillment today.

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