Not All Romantic Relationship Include Sex, And They Don’t All Have To

Photo by Everton Vila on Unsplash

There are all kinds of romantic relationships. Sex is often a part of them, but it isn’t always, and it doesn’t have to be. There are many reasons a romantic relationship might not be sexual.

The relationship might not be sexual yet.

While some people are ready to have sex on the first date, others prefer to wait until a relationship is more established. And that might just mean holding off until the third date, or it might mean waiting for years.

People who want to have sex eventually but not right now might be influenced by religious convictions, past experiences, present circumstances, or personal taste. A person might also wait to have sex if they have a history of trauma or negative feelings around sexuality that they are working through.

Couples might not have sex until they fall in love with each other, develop trust and stability, get married, or reach a personal sense of readiness. Or they might wait until they can get their own place together or get their STI test results back. Young couples might also wait until they are older.

The relationship might no longer be sexual.

Some relationships are sexual for a while but then continue romantically after the sex stops. A person may lose interested in sex because of health issues, life events, shifting values, or changing feelings about their partner. And a couple’s relationship may no longer be sexual even while one or both partners are having sex outside the relationship.

Many gay people have also felt pressure to live (and hide) in straight relationships, before eventually accepting their sexual orientation and coming out to their partners. Though hopefully this particular situation is growing less common as times change.

There are many reasons why a couple could choose to stay in a relationship that’s no longer sexual. They may still love and care for each other, be raising children together, depend on each other financially, or not want to give up their shared history.

The relationship might not be sexual currently.

For many of the same reasons a relationship might stop being sexual permanently, it might instead stop temporarily. Things that change can change again, health issues can be resolved, and sexual desire can be rekindled. Or a couple’s sex life might be disrupted for a period by something like an overseas work assignment.

The relationship might never be sexual.

Some people are simply not interested in ever having sex. They may even have had sex previously, before their interests changed or they understood this about themselves. Some people just do not experience sexual attraction or desire, enjoy sex, or find it satisfying.

One or both people in a couple may also want to have sex, just not with each other. The other elements of a romantic relationship may be more important to them than the sexual component.

Romantic relationships can also offer love, intimacy, adventure, excitement, partnership, companionship, and support, among many other things.

Nonsexual relationships are valid

You shouldn’t assume that other people’s relationships include sex, and you shouldn’t assume that your relationships have to either. A romantic relationships isn’t less valid if it isn’t sexual.

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