So, You're No Longer Attracted To Your Partner. What Now?

The beginning of a relationship is often filled with passion and excitement, but what happens when that wears off and you settle for stability and comfort? Feeling at ease in your relationship is a beautiful thing, but it can also make us less eager to try new experiences, spend quality time with our partner, and break out of the monotony of routine — and this could lead to a loss of attraction.


"In long-term relationships, it's not uncommon for attraction amongst partners to dissipate," sex therapist and Sexology podcast host Nazanin Moali told HuffPost. "We take for granted that just because we were attracted to our partner once, the same attraction will stay forever without effort." But what happens when you are no longer attracted to your partner? Does this mean the relationship is doomed?

Not so fast ... there are some steps you can take to try and reignite the spark and rediscover what it is about your partner that drew you to them in the first place.

Try to get back to basics

Was there a time when you felt connected to your partner? You may be able to return to this point, but it will take some work, and you'll need to shift your focus to get back to the basics. This step can be easier said than done, but spending more time together and prioritizing the relationship may remind you why there was that initial spark.


"Loss of attraction tends to develop over time when partners no longer share new or exciting experiences," therapist Rebecca Phillips told Fatherly. "When you're no longer curious about your partner, you can feel stagnant and bored."

Focus on what your relationship was like in the past and what you found attractive about your partner. You may also have to get to know them again and take the time to learn what makes them happy or excites them. Putting in the effort may feel tiring, but doing this could help you to realize the attraction is still there. It just needs to be nurtured.

You may need more physical contact

Over time, especially in long-term relationships, it can be easy to become too comfortable with your partner. You may also find that life gets in the way, and instead of ensuring you are spending enough time together, you are neglecting your relationship. Physical contact and attraction go hand-in-hand. And for some people, this is their love language (and focusing on your partner's love language can be beneficial).


"If someone's love language is physical touch, they may or may not know it, but they enjoy the release of the 'feel-good hormones' our body secretes like serotonin, dopamine, and oxytocin," marriage and family therapist Kiaundra Jackson told mindbodygreen. "Oxytocin is known as the bonding hormone."

Show your partner that you care about them with simple gestures. This could include kissing, hand-holding, or massages. It is true that physical attraction may weaken over time, but if you feel the relationship is worth saving, putting effort into reconnecting can make all the difference.

It's time to break out of your routine

In long-term relationships, some people find themselves falling into a comfortable routine. In some ways, they may even start giving up things they love for a stable and uncomplicated life. This could include neglecting things like physical contact and sexual intimacy. Obviously, this is a mistake, but it is one that you may not realize until it is too late.


It can be easy to get into a routine, especially when you feel like you have so little time in the day. However, the same patterns and not prioritizing each other could lead to relationship dissatisfaction.

"Unconsciously, people may become stuck in their specific daily roles — like parent, boss, caregiver, etc. — and consequently communicate with their partners with the same demeanor," Nazanin Moali told HuffPost. "Long term, this can change our image in our partner's eyes and reduce attraction."

Be honest and communicate clearly

A communication breakdown can damage your relationship. Those who can speak openly and honestly are less likely to harbor resentment and other negative feelings toward their partner because they have been able to get their feelings out in the open. Addressing how you feel is one of the first steps to acknowledging what needs to change in your relationship and potentially connecting with your partner again.


So, what does this mean? If something has been bothering you and you have chosen to ignore it, it may be time to address your concerns with your partner. Communication can help you find a solution. Of course, telling them information, like how you feel disconnected or unattracted, will hurt their feelings, so you must approach the subject respectfully and sensitively. You also want to avoid blaming them for the situation you find yourself in, as this will be counterproductive.

"Say what you mean and mean what you say, be direct and considerate, choose battles wisely, treat your partner well, and avoid destructive things like yelling, insulting, and judging," psychologist and relationship expert Kelly Campbell told Brides.


Go on date nights and be present

Sometimes life gets in the way, and even the strongest couples lose their connection and attraction to one another. One of the biggest problems, especially in long-term relationships, is you settle into everyday life, which can feel mundane. This means you forget to take time to be with each other, where you are completely present and not distracted.


But how can you find a way back to each other and see if you can reignite the spark? This could be achieved by making quality time and going on dates. You may find that this time together helps you feel closer and more attracted (maybe it even brings back those feelings you had when you first started dating). 

"Date your partner again," Date/able podcast host and co-creator Julie Krafchick told Bustle. "Oftentimes, the magic is gone when we fall into routine life. Remember why you were attracted to them in the first place and recreate some of the experiences you had when you first met."

Take a break from the kids and focus on each other

Stability is important but should not come at the cost of attraction and intimacy. Many people forget about the importance of attraction, slowly letting it fade until they wake up one morning and realize how their relationship has changed. What happened to the desire to be with your partner all the time? Why don't you have that urge to suddenly kiss them anymore? And it's incredibly easy for things to change, especially with busy schedules, small children, and other familial demands.


Couples with kids often find themselves putting the needs and wants of their children first. These little humans need so much, so you feel you have to attend to them first. But this can result in you neglecting your romantic relationship (often unintentionally). Add to this lack of sleep, no time for yourself, and feeling burnt out, and it's difficult to want to do exciting things or spice up your sex life. Over time, this could result in a loss of attraction because there's not enough time for each other and little or no intimacy.

Therefore, if at all possible, take some much-needed time away from the kiddos so you can focus on your relationship — even if that means spending an extra hour on the couch talking when the children go to sleep.


Sexual intimacy can be incredibly important (but not for everyone)

We all have different love languages and needs, and understanding whether you and your partner are on the same page about things can help you understand why you are feeling this way. One of the reasons for the disconnect could be due to sexual intimacy.


If one of you finds being connected through sexual actions to be incredibly important, while the other person does not crave this connection as much, it could be making you feel unattracted to your partner or disappointed in the relationship. And you would not be the only couple to experience this.

"To some individuals, a rewarding sex life is the need and expectation of a committed relationship," relationship expert and author Susan Winter told Bustle. "To other individuals, it isn't that important in the grand scheme of things. True, they'd prefer feeling excited by their partner, but the upheaval caused by ending the relationship isn't worth the price."

Could their physical health be the reason?

Do looks matter? For many people, attraction is based on appearance, at least to some extent. "If you are not physically attracted to someone at all, despite a friendship, it might make a sexual connection difficult to maintain," psychologist Lucy Beresford tells Metro. "It might even make it hard for you to feel like holding hands or cuddling, which could prove problematic further down the line."


However, physical attraction is not the only thing that draws you to someone; you'll need to connect on a deeper level to maintain your connection. It's also important to note there's a difference between your looks and how you care for yourself, such as hygiene. The comfort and stability of long-term relationships mean that people may neglect their health. If we feel that our partner is no longer paying attention to their appearance, not showering regularly, not brushing our teeth, or taking care of their skin, it could cause dissatisfaction. 

"Neglected physical health and hygiene can be conveyed as a sign of disrespect to the other person," psychologist and health speaker Debi Silber explained to SheKnows.


Try something new and exciting

Boredom and the same routine over and over again can make you feel exhausted, but there are ways to combat this and potentially get you back to where you once were. As for how you can do that? Well, it helps to try something new and exciting.


These could be activities you have always wanted to do together, a unique experience, or travel to exotic places. Have you said you would love to visit Paris together and gaze at the Eiffel Tower while holding hands? Maybe you want to try a pottery class or cooking lessons? All of this is possible if you are willing to give it a shot.

"When you try new things together, you are creating shared experiences that are new and exciting," dating coach and marriage and family therapist Pella Weisman told Bustle. "That shared excitement is a way to have both closeness and stimulation, which is a great combination for sparking things back up." Sounds simple, right? It's definitely worth giving it a shot before you give up on the relationship. 


Take time for yourself and make your needs a priority

Having time for yourself can help you evaluate what is important in your relationship. It can help you better understand why you are losing attraction and what you could potentially do to reignite it. "If we wish to get our relationship mojo back, it's important to begin looking at the underlying issues to help us identify if the trouble is in the relationship alone or within ourselves," marriage and family therapist Desiree Basl told Fatherly.


Taking time to figure out exactly how you feel is important. Perhaps you just need a break from everything to reset. Maybe the loss of attraction toward your partner is not about them at all but an external factor in your life that is making you feel this way, like stress or anxiety. You must also love yourself and feel worthy of a healthy and stable relationship. Self-love is directly linked to your own happiness and feelings of fulfillment in a relationship.

You may realize you're not compatible (and need to address this)

When you first start dating someone, it is usually a time filled with excitement. You may be so caught up in these early days and the flurry of emotions that you fail to realize that you and your partner are not as compatible as you once thought.


Perhaps you have completely different life goals, or you didn't take the time to get to know them properly. Or your personalities are just too different! After being together for a longer time, you will also find new challenges to deal with, and how your partner reacts to tough decisions can reveal a lot about who they are.

"As relationship progresses life can deal you new cards such as illness or job loss which can change a person," psychosexual therapist Jo Coker told HuffPost. "Sometimes these life events and the changes can mean the drift apart is too much to sustain the relationship as you have become too incompatible. Before deciding, professional help may help you see the situation more clearly."


Figure out a solution and what you want for the future

You might think life is too short and you are wasting your time. But does that mean you need to move on from your loving (and potentially otherwise great) relationship just because you have felt the physical attraction fading? Before making rash decisions, it's essential to think about what is important to you and what you want from the future.


Approaching this situation clearly and knowing what you want to change will help you take the right steps to rekindle the attraction with your partner. Perhaps you need more one-on-one time together. Or maybe it's time you took that vacation you have been planning (and putting off for years). You must know how you feel and what went wrong to achieve this. "You can't address the problem unless you figure out why it happened, and if you try, you'll be frustrated when it doesn't work," psychologist Tanisha Ranger told Fatherly.

Not everyone will feel the relationship is worth continuing, and knowing when it's time to move on is also important. Just take your time to make these decisions to minimize the chance of regret.


It could be the small gestures that make a big difference

Regaining attraction doesn't have to be about big gestures; sometimes, the small things are important. This could include letting your partner know you value them and being present when they speak to you (and not scrolling through your social media). When you hang out, put down the phone and block out other distractions.


Showing physical affection is also crucial, and this could be something as simple as a hand touch, a hug, or a kiss. In long-term relationships, we sometimes become too comfortable and forget this is an essential part of how we can connect. And what about sexual intimacy? This will vary depending on your relationship, but some people find that focusing on other aspects — without sex — could work in their favor.

"For some couples, removing the pressure of having sex can help rekindle romance and connection," therapist and certified sex expert Dr. Juliana Morris told Oprah Daily. "Kiss and hold hands and go to second base, but that's it. Not going all the way can help relax the situation, as well as allow vulnerability and create a build up of sexual tension."


Think about what you still like about them (and write it down)

What was the reason you initially fell for your partner? Was it their beautiful smile that attracted you to them? Or perhaps their kind and giving nature made your heart skip a beat. If you have started to feel like you are no longer attracted to your partner, revisiting what initially drew you to them could be helpful. Writing them down in a notebook (so you can physically see the list) goes one step further to reinforce this. After all, these things could still be there, but you have lost sight of everything.


You could also revisit places you love to create new experiences together. "Going somewhere you have great memories together can remind you that you're still interesting people who like each other," author Amiira Ruotola told Oprah Daily. "Sometimes we need a sensory kick in the butt to reignite a dormant spark."

Being able to find what you still like about your partner may help you to appreciate them more. It will also bring you one step closer to addressing the real issue of why you are no longer attracted to them. 

Recruit the help of a professional

You may follow all the steps on this list and still feel you are no closer to achieving your goal. If this sounds like you, and you have exhausted all of your options and think your relationship is heading toward its end, it could be time to seek the help of a professional.


If you want to save the relationship or better understand your feelings and the decisions you intend to make, discussing it with a therapist first could be incredibly beneficial. In this safe space, you can reveal all your concerns and determine how you want to proceed. The therapist could suggest reading material to help you, couples counseling, or prepare you for your new normal without your partner.

"People are constantly growing and evolving in a relationship," psychologist and sex therapist Shannon Chavez told HuffPost. "Sometimes it happens that they grow apart or what you are attracted to changes over time. It's important to talk to someone about these changes so you can make an informed decision about the relationship."