1. Body image

Almost everyone wishes they could change something about themselves, which affects your perception of your own body image. The thought of going starkers due to a body hang-up or weight gain could pour cold water on your sex drive, but getting intimate isn’t just about the physical… there’s emotional investment in the act too. Learning to overcome and accept your physical insecurities will give you the confidence to nurture this aspect of your relationship, which in turn will make you feel better about yourself and your sex life. It’s a vicious cycle.

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2. Financial pressure

The thought of lots of outstanding payments, struggling to make ends meet every month and an inability to spend money on things you may desire (travel, a new handbag, etc), will leave you feeling mentally drained and in no mood for sex. Open up about financial pressures and reassure each other that you’re in it together – understanding each other’s worries and talking about it is crucial to alleviating some of the tension and to feeling close to each other, which may help you find the desire to get cosy.

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3. Wedding planning

Wedding planning could be as stressful or as easy as you make it out to be. Some stress triggers – like difficult family members – are beyond your control, but others, such as budget constraints, are within your control, you just have to be willing to let go of the stuff that’s not worth fighting and stressing out about. Allocate occasional ‘no wedding talk’ time when you’re together, which will open the floor to other conversations, time for cuddling and more.

4. Starting a family

When your desires to start a family aren’t going as planned, the stress that this piles onto your relationship and on your own individual wellbeing is tremendous. Take your mind off the pressure of wanting to start a family by carving out couple time in the form of a date, doing whatever it is that you like to do, and making the time, where possible, to express the love you have for each other in the most intimate of ways – nurturing your relationship in the process.

5. Timing

There’s a time and place for everything, and the best thing any of us can do is understand when the timing for sex is right and when it just isn’t. Exhaustion, sleep deprivation, hunger, illness and so many other factors could affect your appetite for sex, and so, understanding your partner’s physical and mental state before making a move is crucial for having a good time. That said, making a little extra effort and going for it anyway even if you’re not feeling 100% up to it could be worth it in more ways than one.

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