Experts say you usually have sex more frequently and spontaneously in the beginning of your relationship. Later in your relationship, it can take some work to keep that going. A study showed that happy couples have sex about once a week. The average couple has sex anywhere between once a week to a few times per month. But more sex does not always equal more happiness.
There is absolutely nothing like a new relationship. You are totally psyched about dating this cool person, they're exciting and attractive, which probably means you're having a lot of sex. Like, all of the time. Once you've been dating them for a while, though, things can have a tendency to cool off. While you can still have a hot and fulfilling sex life when you're deep into a relationship, sometimes your job, kids, cat, or the new episode of "Game of Thrones" can get in the way.
And that inevitable ebb and flow of how often you're getting busy can lead many to wonder, is this normal? Seriously, Google "how often is it normal to have sex" and you will find a trove of message boards, articles, and frantic pleas for answers. And the answer can depend on a lot of things, from your age to your sex drive to your partner's sex drive to the weather — ever notice how there's always so many babies being born nine months after a blizzard? It's true new couples tend to have more sex, and we have science to thank for that.
New couples can go through a phase called limerence, which can last from 18 months to up to 2 years, according to Sari Cooper , certified sex therapist and director of Center for Love and Sex.
Limerence , a term coined by Dorothy Tennov in her book " Love and Limerence: The Experience of Being in Love ," is a time when your brain releases chemicals bonding you to another person and create euphoria around the relationship. And during that time, you may be getting busy a lot, but that doesn't necessarily set the tone for the rest of the relationship.
But it doesn't mean that frequent sex is good for nothing obviously! Cooper said that actually limerence can be a great time to experiment and discover what will make your partner tick for the rest of the relationship.
During the first stage in your relationship, you can't keep your hands off each other. Many people are self-conscious about the amount of sex that they have with their partner and how that plays into their relationship, which Cooper attributes to humans' natural tendency toward competition.
If you do look into concrete numbers of how often happy couples should have sex, you'll see a few figures come up. A study published in Social Psychology and Personality Science in found that on average, happy couples had sex about once a week, and that is a common figure you'll see cited.
Quality does not always mean quantity as the same study also found that couples who had sex more than once a week did not report being any happier. But couples who did the deed less than once a week reported feeling less happy.
They actually reported feeling more unhappy as compared to a control group who proceeded to have sex as often as they usually did. More sex doesn't always equal more happiness. Shutterstock For long-term couples, it's all about making the time to connect. Cooper said that long-term couples who aren't having sex as frequently may be relying on that spark from the beginning of their relationship to get things going, when actually, it takes a little more work and careful planning.
For these couples I invite them to be more intentional about leaving some chill time that's unstructured, screen-free, and relaxing to invite 'spontaneous' desire to emerge. Between house work, careers, and possibly raising little ones, sex can require a little bit of compromise and even some negotiation skills, Cooper told INSIDER.
Research shows that having skills to negotiate an agreed upon compromise leads to more sexual satisfaction. But you shouldn't compare your relationship — or sex drive — to other people. There are definitely no one-size-fits-all statistics, said Michael Aaron , a licensed sexologist and therapist in NYC.
Most important is that both people get the kind of sex they want. If you or your partner want to switch up the number or spice up your sex life, all it takes is some open and honest communication. Get out of the house and stay in a hotel, if you have to. Even changing location helps energize a feeling of staleness.