There are so many different aspects of relationships that we can match on (or not be a match on) when choosing a partner that we can’t possibly hit the nail on the head for all of them. Where it comes to the most important things that we seek in a partner, it’s often big picture things, like do they want to have children, what their religious beliefs are, and where they stand on issues that you hold important.
While matching libidos might be an essential aspect with which some people will consider a deal breaker in a relationship, for many of us, this is of lesser importance, something we need to navigate later in the relationship. However, ultimately, this can become an issue that needs to be properly addressed – while not a deal breaker, we need to ensure that both ourselves and our partner are communicating effectively and getting the most out of the sexual side of the relationship.
Hypoactive sexual desire disorder or HSDD is characterised by an overall lack of interest in sex. To make it an actual disorder, it must be diagnosed by a qualified clinician. While generally, this may be a disorder that is generally thought of as a woman-only condition, this is not the case – it can also happen to men too.
Having mismatching libidos can be a source of tension in a relationship if it is not dealt with correctly. On the one hand, you have one half of a couple who is seemingly always good to go. On the other hand, you have the other person, who is only sometimes interested in sex. This can leave the person who likes a lot of intercourse in their lives feeling unwanted and even perhaps unloved. It can leave the partner who isn’t very sexual feeling pressured by their partner.
Having this compound over an extended period without addressing it properly or communicating with your partner about it can be very frustrating, and also disheartening. For the sake of your relationship, it’s an issue that needs to be addressed.
Some people are simply not very sexual – with lifetime hypoactive sexual desire disorder. This may or may not be due to their feelings and history towards sex. It is important not to make any assumptions about someone’s history – this is best left to a professional to address and see if the need is there. Others with acquired hypoactive sexual desire disorder are more likely to get the best benefit from counselling treatment – although both can have success.
What’s important is that the partner with HSDD is willing to try treatment and that the other partner is not pressuring them to do so. Open lines of communication, understanding, and patience are critical for both partners to work towards to be able to cope with having mismatched libidos.
Often, if HSDD is a lifelong condition and not caused by underlying issues, there can be measures put in place with the other partner, so their needs are satisfied without causing underlying tensions within the relationship. Learning how to best communicate with your partner about sexual issues should be pillar stone of any lasting relationship – particularly if you have mismatching libidos. Issues that remain underlying and not addressed, sexual or otherwise, are what causes arguments, power imbalances, and even ultimately things like affairs and divorce in some cases. If you are finding that your sexual issues are bubbling up, then it is time to do something about it. Engage the services of a professional counsellor or doctor to learn how you can start to turn your sex life – and regular life – around!