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Q: Dear Holly. I’ve been with a woman for two years, and our sex life has become almost nonexistent. Our schedules overlap, so just finding time to be together can be challenging, and then it’s often to talk about life admin stuff like paying bills and work complaints. To be honest, I’m getting tired of making a move and being rejected. What can I try or say to get some. – Ted

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A: Hey Ted! Your problem isn’t unfamiliar to couples who have been together for over a couple of years. You settle into a rhythm where sex is squeezed out in favor of the most pressing things in your lives. Bah to this, I say! Sex keeps a relationship running, and should be a priority that is worked on by both partners.

The trick here is finding time, making time for not only sex, but intimacy. If that means penciling a date night onto your calendars, so be it. You just don’t want another week to go by without a close encounter. If you want to encourage something romantic, book an Airbnb somewhere cozy, even if it’s just for one night. Being away from our responsibilities and the day to day can do wonders.

I like to remind men that a woman’s interest in sex is very much dependent on her feelings of desirability. Does your girlfriend feel sexy? Does she ever initiate sex? This is part of your job as a partner. Compliment her body and appearance, her new haircut. Treat her to a new dress she’s been eyeing at the mall. Congratulate her on a project she finished at work. Make her feel good—mind, body, and soul.

Another reminder: what you do outside of the bedroom has an effect on what happens inside it. A woman’s disinterest in sex isn’t all about her sex drive. She might just be pissed that you aren’t pulling your weight around the house, or you keep forgetting to pick up the things that she asked you to. It’s not always conscious, but an unhappy or angry woman doesn’t want to be close to the person who’s contributing to her unhappiness.

That said, intimacy is more than sex, so don’t forget to find those small moments for kissing and cuddling, caressing and snuggling. My favorite things that my boyfriend does is giving me a foot rub after dance class and brushing my hair after a bath… sometimes these lead to sex!

If you think there’s something beyond sex that’s a problem in your relationship, this must be addressed first. From experience, when sex becomes less and less frequent until almost nothing, there’s usually a deeper issue that needs attending to.

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