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How Long Is Too Long Without Sex in a Relationship? The No BS Guide

Steffo Shambo

Updated on Apr 27, 2024
how long is too long without sex in a relationship

Still scratching your head over the million-dollar question: “How long is too long without sex?”

It’s the kind of question that turns you into a makeshift philosopher faster than you can say the word “tantra.”

Look, this isn’t about tallying the days like you’re marking a prison wall.

Relationships aren’t math equations. There’s no set formula for love, lust, and intimacy.

But if you’re navigating through the maze that is a sexless week, month, or—dare we say it—a whole year, then you’re in the right place.

Now, I’m not here to dish out generic advice like an overzealous fortune cookie. In this guide, we’re diving deep.

And let’s be real, being in a love drought feels as good as stepping on Lego barefoot.

I will answer all your questions on when you should be concerned about a sexless relationship, including what you can do to start having sex again.

So, don’t throw in the towel just yet before learning how you can rebuild the lifeline of your sex life!

How much sex in a relationship does a healthy couple have?

Research suggests that having sex once a week is a good frequency. However, it ultimately depends on what the couple is happy with.

If you’re both satisfied with sex every two weeks or even once a month, then it’s still a healthy relationship.

But if you’re having sex every month yet you’re not satisfied, then it’s time to open up that conversation with your partner.

A healthy couple has sex as many times as they’re both happy with.

It only becomes unhealthy when one partner or the other feels unsatisfied and they bottle up the dissatisfaction.

once a week is a good benchmark for most couples

How long is too long without sex in a relationship?

Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. How long is too long without sex in a long-term relationship is a difficult question.

The closest definitive answer is when it feels problematic for one partner or the other.

When the relationship starts to feel stale because of the lack of sexual intimacy, that’s a clear indicator that you’ve gone on for too long without sex.

To be more specific, I’ll answer your questions based on the length of time.

Is 2+ weeks without sex too long?

Two weeks isn’t that bad for most people. In this case, it’s usually a minor issue. One partner or both could be experiencing the following:

  • Increased stress
  • Busy schedules
  • Minor health problems

In this instance, the key to resolving your sexual needs is through open communication.

Talk to your partner about how you feel and work together to address any concerns. Find something that works for both of you.

Is 1+ months without sex too long?

A one-month hiatus from sex could be a sign that you’re heading into a more serious problem.

If it’s been over a month, it’s essential to discuss your concerns with your partner to explore the possible reasons for lacking intimacy.

Understand the issue from your partner’s point of view and determine a plan of action to reinforce the foundation of your relationship.

Is 3 months or more without sex too long?

Okay, 3 months or more is quite a long time. This indicates there are relationship difficulties or health concerns that should be addressed.

You may experience a sexless relationship for this long because a few things are lacking:

  • Communication
  • Trust
  • Unresolved conflicts

All the small things going on should be kept in check to ensure a healthy relationship where both partners are on the same page.

Otherwise, the tiny seeds of doubt can become a parasite that destroys the relationship.


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Is 1 year or more without sex too long?

I hate to break it to you, but a year or more without sex means there’s something wrong in the relationship.

Now, that probably sounds harsh. I’m telling you this because if you’re at this point, there’s a good chance you’re hurting inside.

You might feel lonely, unappreciated, and devalued because it seems your partner no longer has any sexual desire for you.

It’s worth sitting down and having a serious conversation with your partner.

You might even want to consider getting professional support from a trained coach or couples sex therapist.

However, ignore this if you’re in an asexual relationship. Some couples can still decide they’re content without engaging in sexual activity.

This could be because of a few reasons, such as their partner’s menopause.

What’s normal and not normal in a healthy relationship when it comes to sex?

The amount of times couples in a normal and healthy relationship have sex varies.

However, what’s common between healthy couples is that they openly communicate their needs.

Both are also willing to compromise for one another for mutual satisfaction. The key is that they’re still intimate and passionate toward one another, regardless of the sex.

A fulfilling sex life isn’t just about f*cking each other’s brains out daily like there’s no tomorrow.

It’s more about your emotional connection and desire for each other.

On the other hand, an unhealthy relationship will lack intimacy and trust.

It’s quite normal for the number of times you have sex with your partner to decrease slowly over time.

But what’s not normal is a lack of passion for one another.

When you begin to see your partner as less attractive and more like a roommate, that’s a sign that things have become sour.

This indicates that the relationship is heading south because you’re no longer feeling satisfied or fulfilled by your partner.

a warning sign is if you feel irritated due to a lack of sex

The primary causes of a sexless relationship

There are various causes of sexless relationships. Here are some of the most common:

  • Psychological blockages
  • Unresolved relationship conflicts
  • Mismatched sex drives
  • Open communication problems
  • Sexual health issues
  • Lack of effort to attract your partner
  • Unrealistic expectations
  • Tiredness

Understanding the root cause of a sexless relationship helps you and your partner attack the root of the problem.

Below, I’ll go through each of the causes in detail.

1. Psychological blockages

Psychological blockages are compelling enough to prevent you from wanting to have any sexual interactions with your partner.

Here are a few examples of psychological blockages:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Stress
  • Guilt
  • Shame

Any one of these is powerful enough to push you into a sexless relationship.

They become a barrier to love, making it difficult to experience more intimate moments with their partner.

Some of these could be because of one’s upbringing or a past toxic relationship.

It’s entirely normal for most people to experience psychological blockages at one point in their romantic relationships.

2. Unresolved relationship conflicts

Constant arguments, infidelity, emotional cheating on your partner… Conflicts deteriorate the trust and passion in a relationship.

Any negative feelings harbored lead to disconnecting partners from engaging in sex plays. It reduces the overall relationship satisfaction.

Abusive behavior also leads to a sexless marriage or relationship. This prevents any couple or average adult from wanting sex.

3. Mismatched sex drives and libido

A mismatched libido can cause frustration, resentment, and low levels of intimacy between partners.

When one partner desires more or less sex than the other, it creates tension and dissatisfaction in the relationship.

Now, I’m not expecting you to have sex daily. But a healthy relationship is all about being on the same page regarding intimacy levels and passion.

However, keep in mind that age can have an impact on lower levels of libido.

It’s also been shown in research by NCBI that decreased sex drive is an important issue among older men.

lower libido is more common in older couples

4. Communication issues

Communication is vital for all relationship stages, even married couples.

It’s no different when it comes to addressing your sexual needs. Ultimately, a lack of honest communication leads to unmet needs.

Some couples constrain themselves from opening up for a long time, resulting in future conflict.

Discussing your sexual desires helps you work together to ensure a satisfying sex life.

Planning out your days to make time for each other and the bedroom is perfectly normal.

5. Sexual health problems

You could sexually desire your partner, but you’re never able to deliver because of sexual health problems like the following:

All of which contribute to a lack of sexual intimacy in a relationship.

It’s a painful situation to have to deal with. But, it’s more common for older men to experience sexual blockages.

If any of these issues continue to persist, it’s worth seeking professional support.


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6. Lack of effort to attract your partner

Do you know what happens when you get too comfortable with your partner? The effort drops.

More specifically, the effort to attract your partner drops. There’s a decrease in sexual behavior because you know you can get it whenever you want to.

You might think you’ve already won her heart, so there’s no need to put the effort in.

The reality is that you should maintain the same level of effort as when you first met her. In fact, you should put more effort in now that you’re together to keep the passion alive.

7. Unrealistic expectations

All too often, men have unrealistic expectations for different reasons. The most common reason is porn.

Being a porn addict f*cks up your perspective on sexual pleasure. It distorts your views on sex and relationships because it abuses your dopamine.

No matter what you watch, a feeling of dissatisfaction will linger. You’ll always be in pursuit of something more.

8. Tiredness

Perhaps you just had a long day. You’re drained and simply too tired.

Fatigue impacts one’s sex drive by a great deal. It’s not surprising for a sexless relationship to happen because you or your partner are always busy with work.

The main concern could be ensuring you don’t fall behind deadlines at work.

And after a long day when you’re exhausted, engaging in sexual activity might be the last thing on your mind.

it is harder to get in the mood after a long hard day at work

The effects of going on in a relationship without sex

Here are the main consequences of going on in a relationship without a healthy sex life:

  • Mental health issues
  • Physical health concerns
  • Temptations to cheat
  • Reduced loyalty, trust, and affection
  • Separation and breakup

Mental health issues

You or your partner may feel like you’re not good enough. This alone can drive negative thoughts and emotions.

Sexless relationships often lead to loneliness, frustration, and even depression.

These emotions take a toll on your mental wellbeing. Relationship issues such as lack of trust will arise since you no longer feel desired by your significant other.

Physical health concerns

Sexually active couples usually have a healthier well-being.

However, a sexless relationship can negatively impact physical health. Here are a few consequences of going on without sex for a long period of time:

  • Decreased libido
  • Lower testosterone levels
  • Increased stress hormones

These hormonal changes and physical health implications can exacerbate the emotional toll of a sexless relationship.

This puts you on a vicious cycle of dissatisfaction and unhappiness. It’s a spiral powerful enough to put even married partners on the route to divorce.

Temptations to Cheat

We all get horny and want to f*ck each other’s minds out. But if your partner isn’t giving you the orgasms you like, what can you do?

That’s where the thought comes in: cheating.

Partners may seek sexual satisfaction outside the relationship or engage in emotional affairs to fulfill their unmet needs.

Reduced trust, loyalty, and affection

A lack of physical intimacy reduces trust, loyalty, and affection in romantic relationships. This is especially true when your primary love language is physical touch.

Either way, you may feel disconnected and unloved. After all, your partner isn’t giving you the attention you want.

This makes it harder to stay committed to and continue investing your energy into the relationship because it seems like the bond is dying.

Separation and breakup

This is the last resort: separation.

Now, it might seem like a shallow reason to end a relationship.

But ultimately, the emotional and physical distance created by a lack of sex can become too difficult to overcome.

So, couples will decide to end the relationship and move on to avoid further pain.

How to start having sex again with your partner

Here are my biggest tips to start having sex again with your partner:

  • Open communication
  • Prioritize quality time
  • Change the way you initiate

Following these tips will help you rekindle the passion in your relationship. Above all, it’ll lead to a more fulfilling sex life where you feel emotionally connected to each other more than ever.

3 ways to start rekindling the sexual intimacy with your partner

Open communication

This is the first step to addressing any conflict in a relationship.

Discuss your needs and desires honestly. Share how you’re feeling, starting with the positive before getting into the negative.

Work together to find a compromise that you can both mutually agree on.

Prioritize quality time

Make time for each other. Block some time out of your day to spend together where you can enjoy your partner’s company.

This could be a date night on the weekend or something more straightforward like going on a walk in the evening.  

Spending quality time helps you foster an emotional connection with your partner. And this is a crucial step to tap into their sexual desires.

Change the way you initiate

Experiment and be more adventurous when initiating sex. This keeps your sex life more exciting, which can reignite the passion.

It’s also worth trying a few different things like the following:

In other words, try to add a novel experience to your sex life to reignite the passion and excitement.

Alternative relationship models

There are two alternative relationship models:

  • Asexuality
  • Open relationships

If you’re at your wit’s end, these could be tried with your partner as a last resort.

Disclaimer: I personally wouldn’t recommend forcing yourself to change the relationship dynamics just because you’re no longer having sex with your partner.

If anything, I highly suggest checking out my free intimacy training to learn how to restore a sexless relationship using tantric secrets so you don’t have to settle for less!

Embracing asexuality

Asexuality is a sexual orientation that describes individuals who feel no sexual desire or attraction.

In other words, they don’t desire sexual activity. Sexual satisfaction isn’t essential for asexuals to have a successful romantic relationship.

Embracing open relationships

Open relationships are where both partners are free to have other sexual relationships.

This type of relationship gives you more freedom.

However, it requires a lot of trust and communication to make it work without being paranoid that your partner is building a new relationship with someone else right before your eyes.

What if the sex is not as good as it once was before?

The next hurdle after fixing the sexless relationship issue is bedroom performance. What if the sex just doesn’t feel as good as it used to?

Or, you can’t perform as well as you did before in the early stages of the relationship?

Open communication is the first route to go yet again. You could also try adding sex toys or practicing with a Fleshlight to get back into good shape.

But if the problem persists and you see no improvement, it’s worth seeking help from a professional coach or sex therapist.

Conclusion

So, “How long is too long without sex?”  Well, there’s no universal answer.

The countdown clock doesn’t tick the same for everyone. What’s most important is how you and your partner feel about it.

If you’re counting the days on a calendar, you’re overdue for a check-in with your significant other.

Now, don’t be shy. This is a problem that’s common for most couples to bump into at least once in their relationship.

Whether you’ve hit a dry spell or you’re looking to spice things up like a late-night taco run, there is still hope to reignite the passion.

One of my clients went from a sexless marriage for years to having sex with his wife 3x in one week.

If your relationship feels stale, you can find your way back to the fireworks without going on a lifelong quest.

In fact, you can reignite the passion in less time than it takes to grow a decent beard or decide on your next Netflix series.

Go watch my free tantric relationship masterclass here to bring back the spark and burning passion!

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FAQs

How long is too long to go without sex in a healthy relationship?

It’s difficult to put a specific timeline on healthy sexual activities in a romantic relationship.

Going more than 4-6 months without sex usually signifies a relationship problem that shouldn’t be taken lightly.

How long can a sexless relationship last?

It depends on the couple. If there is mutual understanding and both are asexual, then a sexless marriage can last.

However, a sexless relationship certainly won’t last long when there are unmet needs or when the trust has been broken because of issues like infidelity.

How long can a man stay without sex?

Men can stay in a relationship without sex. However, it may adversely affect a man’s physical health, such as sexual dysfunction.

What happens when you go too long without sex?

Going on too long without sex can affect your mental, physical, and sexual health.

That’s because of the lack of endorphins like oxytocin and dopamine released during intercourse. 

No sex also impacts the bond and emotional intimacy between a couple.

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Steffo Shambo

Steffo Shambo

Men's Tantric Relationship Coach

I am the founder of The Tantric Man Experience™, a pioneering transformational coaching program for men. With over 1500 hours of certified tantra training in India and Thailand and 7 years of experience helping hundreds of men worldwide save their marriages and reignite passion in their love lives.

I have over 8 million views on YouTube and have been featured on VICE and Newstalk Radio for my life’s work - helping men unleash their full masculine potential.

My holistic FLT method seamlessly integrates ancient tantric philosophy with my modern expertise in relationships, sexuality, dating, and men’s health.

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