If you are relatively young or holding out until marriage, your relationship may not include sex.
This is perfectly fine, as long as you’ve reached a mutual understanding with your partner.
But what if you are married or dating a guy who – for some reason – isn’t interested in sex? Is that even still considered a relationship?
And if so, what is a sexless relationship called?
Sexless relationships are technically considered celibate relationships. But if you are cohabitating, it may be viewed more as a roommate situation than as a relationship.
While romantic relationships can be non-sexual, if there is no intimate contact at all, the relationship is closer to a platonic friendship.
If you are young or stand firm to traditional values, this certainly doesn’t mean that you need to have sex to cross the line over from friend status to dating.
But every romantic relationship should have some level of physical intimacy – even if it’s just making out.
If you’ve only been dating your partner for a few months and haven’t hit the sack yet, your relationship is not technically considered sexless.
Even if you’ve been married for years and your husband has recently started rolling over and complaining that he’s too tired for sex, it’s not yet considered a sexless marriage.
Sure, this definition may sound ridiculously unfair, but a sexless relationship is one in which there has been no sexual contact in a year or more.
If you have only had sex with your partner fewer than ten times in the past year, it would be considered a low-sex relationship.
But you definitely don’t need to wait for an entire year to address the issue.
Let’s say that you really like a guy and are psyched when he finally asks you out on a date. Maybe you go see a movie or go out to dinner a few times.
He always calls you or texts you back. You have an awesome time with him and love to fill your friends in on all the juicy details.
Eventually, he may agree to become exclusive and both of you change your relationship status on social media.
But there’s one tiny issue…You’ve never had sex with each other.
If you think about it, you will probably grab a bite to eat with your platonic male and female friends, too.
You may even attend cookouts together or even go out to concerts. And you always have a great time with them, too. But you know that they are just friends.
So, what is the difference between your platonic friendships and a new relationship that hasn’t yet made it to home base?
The difference is in how you feel about the person. It really doesn’t matter whether or not you have sex.
While you may love your BFF, you certainly don’t get butterflies in your stomach or draw hearts around his or her name.
Yet you are so ready to drop the L-bomb on your new dude. Even if you aren’t ready for sex yourself, you may still fantasize about that time coming someday.
Even if you aren’t the type of girl who is quick to get in between the sheets with a new partner, you will still want to make out with them and cuddle together while you stream a movie on Netflix.
And that is fine. Even kissing and cuddling are forms of intimacy.
While your relationship may be celibate – either temporarily or indefinitely – it’s still a relationship and not a platonic friendship.
But if your dude pulls away from you every time you try to kiss him in public, it’s more like a friendship than a relationship.
Maybe he’s just not the touchy-feely type or really isn’t ready to make the relationship public, but you need to have a good long talk about where the two of you stand.
If you’ve been dating your partner long-term and have finally moved in together, chances are that you crossed home base a long time ago.
But what if he suddenly loses interest in sex?
Since couples learn a lot about their compatibility when they live together, this could be a sign that the relationship is in trouble.
And it could be over a petty annoyance, such as leaving clothes on the floor or dishes in the sink.
Or maybe he just got cold feet and realized that he was not ready to go this far.
But, if you’re not having sex, it can start to feel more like roommates than a relationship.
Of course, relationships do eventually fall into a routine, and it’s normal to have sex less often once the initial fire has died down.
As long as you still occasionally have sex with your live-in boyfriend or engage in some form of intimacy, you’re still considered to be cohabitating partners, not roommates.
Technically, it’s not necessarily even a sexless relationship.
While any romantic relationship could be sexless, it’s more common between young partners and married couples.
It’s much less common for girls to wait to have sex until marriage in the 21st century, but celibate relationships occasionally still occur within the younger generation.
Of course, if you’ve been dating a guy for a while and are ready to get all hot and heavy but he’s obviously uninterested, you will probably suspect that he’s cheating, or the relationship will dissolve for other reasons.
But married couples are more invested in their relationship and may tolerate the lack of sex longer out of loyalty.
Even so, the lack of intimacy needs to be addressed or the marriage could be in trouble.
There are several causes of a sexless relationship, including the following.
Couples may decide to abstain from sex for religious reasons, such as waiting for marriage or fasting as a form of worship.
In other cases, a woman may be open to sex but informs her partner that she wants to get to know them better first.
If a couple doesn’t have access to birth control or one partner is battling a serious illness, they may agree to temporarily abstain from sex.
As long as both partners have a mutual understanding, the lack of sex doesn’t mean that their relationship is in trouble.
However, it’s hard to find a guy who is devoted enough to abstain from sex. If your guy respects your values and cares about your health, he’s a real keeper.
As guys get older, they may have trouble getting up or staying up, for lack of better words.
If this is the case, they are probably telling the truth when they say that they aren’t in the mood.
Or they simply don’t want to admit that Mr. Johnson isn’t working right.
Age is known to affect libido, but this is purely individual.
While it’s certainly possible to be a sexy grandma, it’s common for older men and women to start to lose interest in sex. Once you reach menopause, you’ll understand.
Medications may also reduce sex drive. If this is the likely culprit, you should talk to your doctor about alternative medications.
Of course, if a person is struggling with chronic pain or undergoing chemotherapy, sex is probably the last thing on their mind.
If your boyfriend has been studying for final exams or working long hours and claims to be tired or not in the mood, he might be telling the truth. But hopefully, the sexual drought won’t last long enough for your relationship to be considered sexless.
After a married couple has settled into a routine and started a family, sex may go on the back burner.
Instead, they become consumed with the stress of work, bills, and kids, leaving them little time to spend together as a couple.
Of course, this is the last thing that you want to hear, but if your partner isn’t interested in having sex with you, either the relationship may be losing its spark, or he could be cheating.
When a guy is suddenly no longer wanting to have sex with his partner, he could be getting his satisfaction elsewhere.
While it could very well be an affair, he could also be battling porn addiction.
But it may not have gotten that far yet. Frequent arguments over major decisions can place a strain on the relationship and affect the couple’s interest in intimacy.
If this is the case, working out your differences and coming to an agreement may resolve the tension that’s affecting your sex life.
Now, a sexless relationship may not necessarily be an unhappy relationship.
If the couple still has a close bond with one another, and both of them are content with the lack of sex, their relationship may continue to thrive.
But often, sexless relationships may leave one partner feeling dissatisfied or insecure, which can place the relationship in jeopardy.
Here are a few suggestions for bringing sex back into your relationship.
If you are in a sexless relationship, talk to your partner about why they are suddenly uninterested in sex.
If they insist that they truly aren’t in the mood, they may agree to talk to their doctor or be receptive to spicing up their love life.
If your partner is simply bored with vanilla lovemaking, you could try wearing sexy lingerie, trying new positions in bed, and playing out fantasies to bring the passion back into your sex life.
Sometimes the problem really isn’t you. If you’re married with a full-time job and kids, your sex life is going to suffer.
Take an evening or weekend off, hire a babysitter, and spend some time alone with your partner.
Most likely, you’ll end up in bed. If not, it will at least be a welcome break.
If your relationship seems to be in real trouble, you’ll need to sit down and have a heart-to-heart talk with your partner to work out your differences. Otherwise, you may need to move on to a relationship where there’s more passion and intimacy.