You used to do it all the time. What happened? Has the thrill packed up and gone? Not necessarily. The problem is that you’ve got what therapists call desire discrepancyyou’re out of sync sexually with your better half.
If you’re worried that you and your partner have fallen out of lust, consider this: You may never have been in sync at all. It just seemed that way because the novelty and excitement of having a new lover boosts the hormones that inspire desire. As a relationship continues, though, the initial infatuation disappears and each partner returns to his or her “normal” level of sexual desirewhich may be high, moderate, or low. And libido may wax and wane at different times in a person’s life.
The upshot is that desire discrepancy is part of a committed, long-term relationship. “I call it normal,” says Austin, Texas–based marriage and family therapist Pat Love, EdD, co-author of Hot Monogamy.
Still, experts agree that desire discrepancy is nothing to shrug at. If it’s not acknowledged, it can lead to feelings of rejection (if one partner begins to take the other’s lack of interest personally), guilt (if the less-interested partner begins to see intimacy as an obligation or a chore), and frustration all around.