But rather than seeing this pivotal moment as something to mourn, Cox encourages couples to see it as a redefinition. Because on the other side of that shift is the release of attachment and bonding hormones — vasopressin and oxytocin — and the opportunity to settle into a meaningful long-term relationship, if you both wish to.
From there, it’s about shirking cultural myths about sex that can create tension and dissatisfaction in relationships: that you should still want to rip your partner’s clothes off after 10 years, for example, or that there’s a ‘normal’ number of times a week a couple should be having sex.
“Just because you don’t feel like sex out of the blue doesn’t mean that desire is gone,” she said. “It’s there, you just have to create desire now. It doesn’t just tap you on the shoulder like it used to.”