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Science Says This Is What’s Most Important When You Reject Your Partner’s Sexual Advances

·354 words·2 mins
Psyched for the Weekend

There will be many times in a long-term relationship when one partner will want to get it on but the other person just won’t be interested. In some relationships, it’s the same partner in the same roles over and over again. But in other relationships, the roles shift.

Whatever the case, it’s a very common problem. The fact of the matter is that sexual rejection can hurt a lot. Yes, even in established relationships (as opposed to rejection by a new prospect). The risk of rejection doesn’t stop once you start dating someone.

But sexual rejection is a fact of life because consent is important. All of this brings up an important question — is there an optimal say to sexually reject an established partner?

Providing Reassurance Can Make a World of Difference When It Comes to Sexually Rejecting an Established Partner

A recent study provides some answers. The researchers found that reassurance made the key difference in whether the rejection negatively impacted relationship and sexual satisfaction. What does a reassuring rejection look like? It involves making sure that you remind your partner that you still love them and are attracted to them — even when turning them down.

Unsurprisingly, when people were rejected in a hostile way (with insults, etc.) by their partner, both their relationship and sexual satisfaction levels plummeted.


So that’s something to keep in mind. While it might be obvious to you that not wanting to get it on with your partner is more about how you feel at the moment and not about them, it can be extremely helpful to make sure you remind your partner that you love them and find them attractive — especially when turning down one of their advances.

And whatever you do, don’t lash out in a hostile way when saying “not tonight.” It can do an extraordinary amount of damage.


This post is part of an ongoing Poly Land feature called  Psyched for the Weekend, in which I geek out with brief takes about some of my favorite psychological studies and concepts. For the entire series, please see  this link.


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