In the beginning of a relationship, it's normal for couples to have a lot of sex, but once the so-called honeymoon phase ends and some of that initial excitement fades, libidos have a tendency to wax and wane. In a recent Salon article, contributor Rachel Bussel shares some advice for how to deal with this without hurting your partner's feelings or jeopardizing the relationship:
- Allow yourself some mental buildup – Just because you're not in the mood at the moment doesn't mean you won't be later on. "Once the idea for having sex has been suggested and I'm starting to think about it, I'll sometimes change my mind, within a few minutes or few hours," Kristina Wright, author of "Bedded Bliss: A Couple's Guide to Lust Ever After," tells Bussel. "So rather than saying a flat-out no, if I think circumstances might change I'll put it this way: 'I'm not really in the mood right now, but check back with me after ____.'"
- Give a specific reason – You may know very well why you're not feeling up for a roll in the hay, but your partner can't read your mind! If you just say "no" without providing an explanation, he or she may be more apt to take it personally and feel rejected. Instead, be open with your partner about why you're not in the mood—whether it's because you're stressed out, your head hurts or anything else.