Updated: May 31, 2019
In an ideal world, couples would always want the same things at the same time. But the reality is that we are all unique humans with unique desires, wants, and needs; some of which may conflict with those of our partner. Desire discrepancy is one of the most common issues couples face, and while it can be a difficult one to resolve, it’s not impossible.
What Is Desire Discrepancy?
Let’s start by defining desire discrepancy. Desire discrepancy occurs when two people in a relationship have varying levels of sexual desire. This may involve one’s sexual appetite as well as the type of sex they enjoy having. Often times, the beginning of a romantic relationship is exciting and filled with intimacy. But when the butterflies fade, couples may notice changes in their partner’s level of desire, or find that their own level of desire has increased or decreased. Although it may not be ideal for all involved, it’s normal for people’s libidos to lower a bit after the initial “sparks” have faded.
Who Does It Affect?
Our society tends to abide by the narrative that men are sex-obsessed and women generally aren’t as interested. It’s true that men tend to express a higher interest in sex than women: sex therapists say men have higher libidos than women in two-thirds of the couples they see affected by desire discrepancy. However, that’s not always the case. Desire discrepancy affects both men and women, and it can affect anyone in any relationship, regardless of age or sexual orientation. The stereotype that men want constant sex while women would rather do without can be harmful to couples, as it fails to acknowledge or properly address situations that conflict with this narrative.
What Can You Do About It?
Because sexual desire has a clear impact on a relationship's ability to survive, it’s crucial that couples face the problem instead of ignoring it. Studies have shown that when couples don’t treat these issues, the outcomes are grim. Communication is essential to finding out the root of the problem and working to resolve it. Sexual health professionals are experts at assisting couples who are dealing with desire discrepancy, as they can help with proper guiding proper communication and coming up with action plans to resolve the issue.
Desire discrepancy can cause a lot of stress and frustration between two people in a committed relationship. For those who want to be in a sexually active relationship, it’s imperative that desire discrepancy is addressed. It takes hard work, but if there’s a desire to fix the problem and come together as a couple, it’s entirely solvable. And it can be a lot easier with some outside assistance. If you have any questions about desire discrepancy, contact the staff at Cleveland Relationship Therapy today.