Is Sex Important In A Relationship?

Has sex always been an important factor In the relationship between Mary and Ryan *(names were changed)? They were a couple that most of their friends envied.

They were both college graduates with great jobs. No children yet. But a great condo by the water in a major metropolitan area. They were financially comfortable and in love. Everyone thought they were as close as you could come to the “perfect couple”.

What the couple’s friends didn’t know was that there was a secret that Mary and Ryan had causing some anxiety in their relationship of 4 years. They didn’t have sex.

Ryan’s story…”I absolutely am in love with Mary. But the only reason why I haven’t married her yet is because I don’t feel passionate or lustful for her sexually. I am attracted to her, but I could take or leave having sex with her. I just don’t think that its that big of a deal though. I”ll probably propose soon.”

Mary’s story…”We have sex about 4 times a year. I would never tell anyone that. I know its not normal. I mean Ryan is great in so many other ways – I don’t think that it will affect us tremendously. But sometimes I do wonder – is it me? Or is it him?”

Believe it or not – there are many couples just like Ryan and Mary who are not having sex on a regular basis or to the satisfaction of both parties. And most of them justify not doing anything about it because they don’t think that sex should define their relationship. Most people are not prepared to end a relationship based on bad chemistry or bad communication. Would you?

If this story sounds like your life — there are some things you need to consider…

1. Could you live the rest of your life without regular sexual intimacy?

2. How important is sex to you? How important has it always been?

3. Do you feel that sex is an important part of a marriage or long-term relationship?

4. Have you made sure that there is nothing physically or hormonally wrong with either of you?

5. Have either of you experienced any sort of sexual trauma?

6. Have you considered talking to a sex therapist or other professional about your sex life?

In my opinion, sex is a very important component of a long- term relationship. Without it – there is a void that people will fill with other relationships, food, gambling, alcohol or other sexual acts (internet porn or dating sites), etc.

Plus – sex is a lot of fun and thoroughly enjoyable! Don’t miss out on what can be a really rewarding part of your relationship. If you can’t communicate about your sex life with your partner – then you have a general communication breakdown period. It will eventually seep into other areas of your life. Get the help you need now or if you’re not too heavily invested yet – you may want to bail out while you can.

Conclusion…Ryan and Mary did eventually marry and had minimal sex on the honeymoon. That didn’t fit Mary’s idea of a honeymoon fantasy, so she panicked and gave Ryan an ultimatum. Therapy or annulment. They did give therapy a try but Ryan found that there wasn’t much to work on. He just wasn’t passionate enough about sex or sex with Mary. He wasn’t sure. Unfortunately Ryan and Mary separated and are now discussing the possibility of divorce.

Copyright © 2006 Lisa Angelettie MSW


  1. Sex is a very important part of a relationship, and don’t let anyone, especially a partner, ever tell you it isn’t! It is the glue that creates an intimate bond between a couple. If one person is passive about it and if all avenues of help have been explored to no avail, then the relationship should end because one partner is going to live a life of quiet desperation and loss of self-confidence without sexual intimacy on a regular basis. The sex does not have to be earth-shaking in later years, but just the sensuality of it can still be life-affirming. In younger years I think it is important and I hope most people will experience a romping, stomping time together as they explore and perfect sex with each other! Then they can thoroughly enjoy all the other comforts of being companions.


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