Karen Fratti
September 19, 2017 12:06 pm
Matt Porteous/Getty Images

It’s easy to equate being physically intimate with someone with being in a happy state of True Love. While it’s true that the sex you’re having with a partner is one good way to gauge where your relationship is at, it’s not the only one. The truth is, a sex drought can make your relationship stronger, at least as much as a period when you’re going at it all the time. Sounds counterintuitive, right?

Sex droughts can happen naturally in long-term relationships — you end up just having less sex eventually before you reboot and go back to banging like you did when you first met. It can be frustrating if you weren’t expecting it, or if your sex drives aren’t synced up, but sometimes the times when you aren’t all up on each other physically can be the best times to really bond with your partner.

No, we mean it: Taking a break from sex with your partner can bring you closer.

Just think of all the things you can do and talk about if you’re not busy getting it on. If you want to work something out with your partner or just make the most of your waning sex drive, here are all the ways a relationship gets stronger when you’re taking a break from sex.

1You can get out of the house.

If you’re not spending all of your weekend in bed together, you can get out and see the world together. Doing things out in the world with your S.O. is a good way to see if you get along in the real world, and not the safe haven of your bedroom.

2You can be intimate in other ways.

Just because you’re not having sex doesn’t mean you can’t snuggle or maybe institute a “makeout only” rule. Either way, without going all the way, you can still explore each other’s bodies and see how you fit together. It can actually be more intense than having multiple orgasms.

3You can think about your relationship.

And focus on all its many other aspects. You might notice that you two need work on something in another department when you take sex out of the picture. Sure, that means you might have some hard work to do together, but in the long run it will be worth it. We promise.

4You can find out if you’re wasting your time.

If you’ve just met someone and have been mainly just having sex — as you should feel free to do! — taking a little break or pulling away from sex is not a bad way to see if someone is really just in it for the sex (or if you are, for that matter). You’re better off knowing that you were blinded by lust than wasting time in a relationship that might not be as meaningful as you want it to be.

5You can learn how sex works for you.

When you take sex out of a relationship, you’ll likely notice when you start to crave it and what function intimacy plays in your relationship. These things are different for everyone: Maybe sex is how you avoid other life things, or it’s the way you and your partner like to waste time together. For a long-term relationship, knowing the function of sex (and how much you do or don’t need it) is essential.

6The sex will get so much hotter.

Just like pizza tastes so much better after you’ve been eating super healthy for a while, the sex after a drought is so much better. Not only will it feel awesome, but you both will likely appreciate it so much more. Prepare for life-changing orgasms.

7You’ll get closer.

Taking a break from sex with your partner or going through a lull is kind of hardcore. You’ll both appreciate the other person more for going through the same thing you just did. It’s a shared experience, for better or worse. The bonding over the drought and celebrating the triumphant return of sex to your relationship will show you that you two are the real deal.

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