May 29, 2024
Chicago 12, Melborne City, USA
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Can You Be Close in an Intimate Relationship Without Sex?

Despite some similarities, intimate relationships differ in a number of ways. What works for one couple might not work for the other. 

For a start, physical chemistry and sexual attraction powers most intimate relationships at the beginning. In other relationships, both partners can feel close to one another without being involved in sexual activity. Each couple has to figure out what works for them.

Both partners must feel that their needs are being met in an intimate relationship that is not sexual so that they feel close and supported by the other partner.

Does Sex Really Matter in a Relationship?

Yes? Maybe? No? Answers to this question are not universal. Different people value different things, and what’s important to some might not matter to others. 

Ultimately, the nature of your relationship and your personal beliefs will determine if your relationship can survive without sexual intimacy.

In a Nutshell, Sexual Intimacy isn’t Essential

It is possible to have a happy, fulfilling, and healthy relationship without having sex with your significant other. Sexual activity is not for everyone for several reasons.

Among these are:

  • Lack of sexual drive (also called low libido)
  • Chronic pain, for example, as a result of ill health
  • Looking to date for a long time before having sex
  • Desire to abstain from sex before marriage

Despite this, a romantic love relationship does not necessarily have to be unhealthy. It does not imply that your partner does not love or value you! 

Intimate Relationship

In some romantic relationships, sex plays a significant role. Sexual connections are important to many people when they are dating. We all have different feelings and capacities when it comes to sex, so we approach it differently – but every approach is valid.

Intimacy With your Partner doesn’t Just Come from Sex

There is a common misconception that sex is synonymous with intimacy. Even though sex can be a great means of intimacy, it isn’t the only one.

Being intimate can be achieved through affectionate touch, for instance.

Among the forms of physical intimacy that are not sexual are:

  • Kissing
  • Cuddling
  • Massages
  • Holding hands

Many people find emotional intimacy – as well as honest, vulnerable conversations – important when it comes to relationships in addition to physical intimacy.

It’s Important to have Sexual Compatibility

If one person wants to have sex in a relationship but the other person doesn’t, it can be difficult to negotiate. A person with a high libido and a low libido can also have difficulty interacting.

The situation can be managed, however. It can be extremely beneficial to communicate.

It is possible to have your sexual needs met and maintain your relationship with your non-sexual partner by practising ethical non-monogamy.

Intimate Relationship

Both partners must feel that their needs are being met in relationships that are intimate but not sexual, and they must feel close and supported by each other. There is nothing wrong with it. 

It’s also normal for some of a relationship’s intensity and spontaneity to settle into a more familiar or predictable dynamic as time goes on. To feel close to someone, you don’t have to have sex.

How can a Relationship Survive Without Sexual Intimacy?

Couples who are not aligned tend to have problems with a lack of sex in relationships. Communication is key in intimate relationships, especially when it comes to what each partner wants and needs. 

As a first step in communicating, it’s important for people not to accuse or focus on what the other person should do, but rather to speak about their own experience. Using “I” statements is helpful. 

If we can find some time to talk about the relationship, say, “I’d like to share some feelings with you.” or “I’ve been feeling some things recently.”

Sexual chemistry indeed exists. The chemistry of a romantic love relationship can change depending on the context, which all of us intuitively know.

A relationship may feel very different when you are dating compared to a relationship where you live together and see each other regularly. 

If you work, have young children, and have trouble finding time to sleep and exercise, it might look even different. When couples go on vacation or have an exciting adventure that’s fun or exciting, they feel more chemistry.

As a couple, you have to cultivate desire and sensuality over time to maintain sexual chemistry. Consider your own needs more carefully. 

Also, you might need to spend some time with your partner and figure out what they need or want. Because what they desire might be different from what you imagined.

No matter what kind of relationship it is, it’s important to maintain and renew it regularly, whether it’s a romantic or non-romantic one. 

It is not automatic for them to sustain themselves. You must take time for them, pay attention to them, and ensure that they are taken care of.


A happy and healthy relationship does not require sex for everyone. No matter what your needs and desires are, you need to find a partner who understands them. All romantic and sexual relationships require open communication to work.
Rachel Hall, M.A., completed her education in English at the University of Pennsylvania and received her master’s degree in family therapy from Northern Washington University. She has been actively involved in the treatment of anxiety disorders, depression, OCD, and coping with life changes and traumatic events for both families and individual clients for over a decade. Her areas of expertise include narrative therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and therapy for traumatic cases. In addition, Rachel conducts workshops focusing on the psychology of positive thinking and coping skills for both parents and teens. She has also authored numerous articles on the topics of mental health, stress, family dynamics and parenting.

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