These Are The 3 Surprising Ways Experts Say Dating Someone Can Change Your Sex Drive

One of the most exciting — but also nerve-wracking — parts of dating someone new is finding out what your sexual chemistry is like. Are you going to be compatible? What will they bring out in you? Will you find a new sexual side you never even realized you had in you, or will sex with this new person perhaps bring up something painful from the past? The truth is, you won’t really know which of the many ways dating someone can change your sex drive will impact you until you open yourself up and start heading in that direction.

While our sexualities and sex drives are complicated and maybe even a bit unpredictable, there are a few typical ways that people respond to dating someone new. To help break down these different responses, I reached out to experts who shared their insights into what sort of effect you can expect dating might have on your levels of desire, and to reassure you that whatever you're feeling is totally legitimate, and you should honor those feelings. That’s because not only are these feelings telling you something about yourself, but, in some cases, they are offering insights into the person you're dating, and whether or not they're right for you. Here is what the experts say are the common ways dating someone will impact your sex drive.

Dating someone can bring out your sex drive in new and exciting ways.

For some people, dating someone new that you’re compatible with can actually increase your sex drive to a surprising degree, Beatty Cohan, a nationally recognized psychotherapist and sex therapist and author of For Better for Worse Forever: Discover the Path to Lasting Love, tells Elite Daily. “Dating someone who you find sexually attractive can take your pre-dating sex drive from a zero to a 10,” she says. “I see this happen to my patients all the time.” She adds that this can happen to anyone regardless of age, gender, or sexual orientation — but that the feeling will be the same. “You feel that something inside of you physically has been awakened. And if you are able to feel the mental, emotional, and sexual connection, what could be better?” she adds.

Your sex drive might temporarily increase during the honeymoon phase.

While sometimes the increase in your sex drive can be transformative and permanent with that partner, more often than not, the increase is temporary, as in that oh-so-familiar new relationship energy. “Let’s be honest: There is not much more of a turn on than meeting someone new and them being interested in you back,” Lindsay van Clief, certified sex educator and strategist at Love Matters, tells Elite Daily. “Often cited as the ‘honeymoon phase,’ this is the time after you just meet, and you can’t take your hands off each other. There is a lot of excitement of learning about the new person and trying new things and seeing what works and what doesn’t. You tend to have a super high sex drive and are really going at it and trying new things multiple times a week.”

But eventually, van Clief says, this will wane a bit as you find your sexual equilibrium together. “However, like all phases, the honeymoon period ends. Normally at around six to eight months you and your partner have created a new normal. You’ve explored each other and now you know the other’s body pretty well. Sex is not new anymore, so it starts to slow down. You work on other parts of your relationship as things are getting more serious,” she says.

It can be triggering and reduce your sex drive.

In some cases, dating someone may actually reduce your sex drive significantly. In these instances, it’s really important not to try and ignore or dismiss what your mind and body are telling you. “If you have prior bad experiences, the prospect of having sex with a new partner might be daunting and you might feel afraid,” Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D., psychotherapist, and author of Dr. Romance's Guide to Finding Love Today, tells Elite Daily. “If this happens, perhaps you are picking up signals from the new partner that he or she is not a good match. Or, your emotional wound just won’t let you get close to someone until you heal it.” If this is the case, don’t push yourself to “get over it,” because either this person is someone you are not compatible with, period, or it’s time to do right by yourself and get the help you need to start the healing process.

Ultimately, dating someone should be a fun and exciting experience where you don't just learn about the person you're seeing, but you're also learning new things about yourself as well, including understanding yourself as a complete and sexual being. Who knows what surprising things you’ll learn along the way?