If you’ve ever been involved with someone for a long while, you know that the sex always changes. No matter how many starry-eyed young lovers want to claim they’ll always hump like rabbits, it’s only a matter of time before things shift.

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It’s not necessarily a bad thing. Going at it day in and day out would likely mean a major increase in the general population. People would start missing out on work and other responsibilities. As fantastic as it can be, sex isn’t everything. For those of you in it for the long haul, here’s how your sex life has likely evolved:

1. At first, one of two things happen. Either your first time is all kinds of sexy fireworks…

The Phases of Your Long-Term Relationship Sex Life, in 23 GIFs A sign that this will be a solid relationship for at least a few months.

2. Or it’s a little awkward and clumsy. Good, but fumbly.

The Phases of Your Long-Term Relationship Sex Life, in 23 GIFs Some lengthy romances have started this way too. Though I’d say the most successful ones are more like the former.

3. Eventually, you get into the groove…

The Phases of Your Long-Term Relationship Sex Life, in 23 GIFs Practice makes perfect, right?

4. 'Til you have one of those earth-shattering moments that make you question why you ever slept with anyone else.

The Phases of Your Long-Term Relationship Sex Life, in 23 GIFs You know the moment I’m talking about. The one where you both walk out, legs shaking, unable to speak in coherent sentences.

5. It all gets so good, in fact, that it just plain hurts on some days.

The Phases of Your Long-Term Relationship Sex Life, in 23 GIFs That's a thing when you’re marathoning sex, no matter how much lube you use.

6. Then, one day, you find yourself choosing to literally Netflix and chill.

The Phases of Your Long-Term Relationship Sex Life, in 23 GIFs Maybe someone had one too many tacos, or is having cramps, or is just really into the newest season of Black Mirror.

7. You still have sex, but it’s just not every day (or, like, every three hours) anymore...

The Phases of Your Long-Term Relationship Sex Life, in 23 GIFs Part of you misses it. Another part of you is happy to have time for things like yoga or groceries or video games or your side hustle.

8. Then it’s more like once a week.

The Phases of Your Long-Term Relationship Sex Life, in 23 GIFs You notice the absence after a while.

9. Or once a month, even…

The Phases of Your Long-Term Relationship Sex Life, in 23 GIFs Now you really start to notice it, and it isn’t good.

10. Until of course, you have your first fight.

The Phases of Your Long-Term Relationship Sex Life, in 23 GIFs It’s unpleasant, but we all go through it.

11. ... which leads to the best make-up sex of your life.

The Phases of Your Long-Term Relationship Sex Life, in 23 GIFs

That first time back in the sheets is almost worth the fact that he took your last slice of pizza from the fridge without asking.

12. Eventually, you go back to a generally chill sex life. Not amazing, but not bad.

The Phases of Your Long-Term Relationship Sex Life, in 23 GIFs It’s nice. It’s familiar. It’s polite.

13. If you decide to take your relationship to another level, you’re in luck!

The Phases of Your Long-Term Relationship Sex Life, in 23 GIFs

Engagement sex is great. Just-got-married sex is amazing. Trying-to-have-a-baby sex can be phenomenal. You get the idea.

14. But even these life-changing decisions can lose their luster after a while—at least when it comes to your sex life.

The Phases of Your Long-Term Relationship Sex Life, in 23 GIFs You might be busy or have something on your mind or simply be exhausted. That’s OK. It’s normal.

15. At some point, you’ll experiment and try new things.

The Phases of Your Long-Term Relationship Sex Life, in 23 GIFs Some will work well; others will fall flat. That’s also OK.

16. If kids are introduced into the mix, though, that changes things even more.

The Phases of Your Long-Term Relationship Sex Life, in 23 GIFs Figuring out sex as a parent is never easy.

17. You’ll be so tired, the only sex you’ll have for a while is the occasional lazy, in-the-dark quickie so you can sleep more easily.

The Phases of Your Long-Term Relationship Sex Life, in 23 GIFs Orgasms can help you feel more well-rested... don't they?

18. You might even try scheduling it in.

The Phases of Your Long-Term Relationship Sex Life, in 23 GIFs As long as you’re not too rigid about it, it’s not a terrible way to go. Honest!

19. And no doubt about it, whenever you’re around new couples, you’ll always try to front.

The Phases of Your Long-Term Relationship Sex Life, in 23 GIFs Something about knowing other people are having more sex than you just makes you feel more competitive. On some occasions, it might even help you score.

20. It makes you wonder why people ever stay in long-term relationships…

The Phases of Your Long-Term Relationship Sex Life, in 23 GIFs But here’s the thing: It’s rare to find a partner that can get you (and get you off) the way someone who’s truly gotten to explore your mind and body can.

22. But don’t worry. Once in a while, there will still be fireworks.

The Phases of Your Long-Term Relationship Sex Life, in 23 GIFs Because, hey, when you’re able to pause for a bit and really look at each other, you remember why you got together in the first place.

23. And on special occasions, there might even be explosions.

The Phases of Your Long-Term Relationship Sex Life, in 23 GIFs Birthdays, holidays, anniversaries... whenever you have the chance to be alone for a full night. And preferably, any other distractions. The point is, no two people get it on like a one-night stand their whole lives. But with a little luck, you’ll find someone who’s willing to do the deed with you when you’re at your worst, best, and everywhere in-between.

is a Denver-based freelance writer specializing in travel, parenting, health and wellness, pop culture, and entertainment. On her off time, she’s obsessing over television, practicing yoga, or blogging. Connect with her on , , or .

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