Lack of Sexual Desire in a Partner: Does It Mean the Relationship Is Over?

Does a lack of sexual desire in a partner mean the relationship is over? In this article, we'll discover some possible solutions to the kinds of problems that often cause a lack of sexual desire.
Lack of Sexual Desire in a Partner: Does It Mean the Relationship Is Over?
Sergio De Dios González

Reviewed and approved by the psychologist Sergio De Dios González.

Last update: 29 December, 2022

For many couples, sex is an important part of their lives. It provides a moment of intimacy and connection and makes them feel fulfilled. However, we all know that the effervescence of emotions and feelings experienced at the beginning of a relationship tends to settle down and the bond gains other nuances as the years go by. So, what happens when there’s a lack of sexual desire in one of the partners?

Lack of sexual desire in a relationship is often a serious problem. However, as the psychotherapist, Xavier Serrano Hortelano pointed out in a lecture he gave in 2003, “Even when the desire has been lost, there can still be well-being, communication, complicity, development, and common growth”. Difficulties arise when this isn’t the case.

Xavier Serrano Hortelano has an encouraging message for those wondering why their partners seem to lack sexual desire. Moreover, he considers that an absence of desire isn’t a circumstance that should necessarily preempt a breakup.

Next, we’ll discover how a lack of sexual desire can be solved, even though at first it might appear to be the beginning of the end of the relationship.

Worried woman about conscience with her partner

Lack of sexual desire in a partner

There are multiple reasons for a partner’s lack of sexual desire. Furthermore, each one requires a different solution. Moreover, each coping strategy has a certain degree of difficulty and will require a corresponding amount of effort. We’re going to look at the different scenarios that can cause a lack of desire in a partner and the possible ways of resolving them.


The newspaper, La Razón, compiled data on a study carried out by a dating portal. It claimed a lack of sex “is one of the reasons why someone might consider an extramarital relationship”. However, taking this decision, instead of solving the problem, only complicates the issue. Indeed, having other relationships promotes a loss of interest in the existing one.

What can couples do in these cases? To begin with, they can try couples therapy. It helps many people to trust their partners again. Indeed, if they want to save the relationship, therapy can be extremely useful. ln this environment, it becomes easier for them to communicate with each other.

Problems in the relationship

If they argue too much or there’s emotional distance or problems due to jealousy or infidelity, it’s normal for sexual desire and attraction to decrease and the desire to make love might disappear.

Sexual dysfunctions

Premature ejaculation or vaginismus, among other possible sexual dysfunctions, can cause a lack of sexual desire in a partner. The discomfort or fear the sufferer feels will make sexual encounters become increasingly sporadic.

In this type of situation, it’s advisable to see a doctor. There are multiple causes of sexual dysfunction. The doctor will be able to rule out any organic causes, which is extremely important.

Sexual dysfunctions can also appear at specific moments, caused by external agents, such as alcohol. However, a misattribution of causality can cause anxiety to appear, producing a permanent problem where there was none. This can be resolved with the help of a doctor and a sexologist.


Another reason for a lack of sexual desire in a partner could be boredom. When partners have been together for years, it’s easy for sex to become routine and any surprises and experimental behaviors to disappear.

In the sexual field, for a relationship to work, it must be taken care of. It’s like adding wood to a fire so that the flame will continue to burn. Relationships are the same. Dating, using sex toys, and trying new positions are all ways of maintaining sexual relationships. Tantric sex can also be useful.

Stress and/or anxiety

Daily stress, worries, and anxiety cause alterations in hormones and a series of physical and psychological changes, which end up affecting the degree of sexual desire.

Consequently, when tension builds up and situations become overwhelming, blockages occur that often affect a couple’s sex life. In fact, stress usually promotes feelings of apathy and the inhibition of desire.

Couple turning their backs

Sexual boredom

Always practicing the same sexual positions and repeating the same thing will end up killing anyone’s desire. Therefore, it’s extremely important to take the initiative and experiment with new ideas, in order to discover new forms of pleasure together.

Fear of not satisfying their partner

A partner might feel fear or worry about not being able to satisfy their partner in bed. This can lead them to avoid or reject having sex.

What to do if your partner is lacking in sexual desire

As you’ve seen, there are multiple factors that could be causing a lack of sexual desire in your partner. Although the solution depends on the specific circumstances, it’s important to know the best way to address this problem with your partner.

Speak openly

This is most important. The first step is to talk to your partner about any issues that are distressing or worrying you. Express to them how you feel and convey how important it is for you to lead a more active sex life. Also, let them tell you what they feel and think about the problem. Try to be totally honest, understanding, and respectful.

Identify the obstacles and how to solve them

The factors that can affect sexual desire are diverse, so you must find out the cause of the problem and act accordingly.

For example, if your partner is going through a difficult time or is more stressed than usual, try and understand and offer them your support to help them relax and calm down. In the event that the problem is physical, you should offer your help and schedule an appointment with the right doctor.

Review your expectations and beliefs

In our society, there’s an implicit norm that sex is essential in a couple, and the more the better. Therefore, its absence is synonymous with problems. However, studies are continuing to uncover the complex and diverse nature of sexuality. In fact, research suggests that, for some people, a lack of sexual desire is totally acceptable in a partner.

If there’s no disorder associated with your partner’s lack of sexual desire, it could be the ideal time to rethink your own values in this regard. Why doesn’t your partner desire you anymore? Does it mean they don’t love you? Are your levels of sexual desire compatible? There’s a lot to think about.

Seek professional help

In the case of a physical condition, your partner should be treated by an appropriate specialist. Similarly, if the problem has a psychological origin, it’s best to seek professional help. They can seek help from a sexologist or couples therapist.

Does it mean the end of your relationship?

As we mentioned above, in these kinds of cases, it’s always advisable to seek professional advice. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. Quite the opposite. Indeed, it’s normal that, over time, sexual desire decreases. Children, lack of time, stress, everything has an influence. But, there are solutions.

Sometimes, a lack of desire can be linked to a loss of love, resulting in a breakup. That said, there are other situations in which the relationship can continue. However, for this to happen, both members of the relationship must agree. If one partner doesn’t want to make an effort or show interest in working on a plan set by a therapist, then perhaps it really is the end.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Fernández Delgado, D. (2014). La eyaculación precoz: actualización del tema. Revista Clínica de Medicina de Familia7(1), 45-51.
  • Medina, J. L. V., Colín, B. G., Martínez, M. U. M., de Oca, Y. P. A. M., Fuentes, N. I. G. A. L., & Muñoz, M. A. T. (2013). Las causas que llevan a la infidelidad: Un análisis por sexo. Acta de investigación psicológica3(3), 1271-1279.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.