Let’s face it – life is not always exciting. For most of us the daily routines and responsibilities don’t include tiger taming or international intrigue. Jobs, kids, and household chores are the general duties that we handle on the day-to-day. Sadly, our long-term relationships can fall into the category of boring routine as well.
The excitement we generally feel when a relationship begins can often leave people wondering how is it that my relationship is now so boring. But no matter how good a relationship is, without watching out for some common pitfalls, boredom can set in. When this happens and goes on for too long, couples leave themselves open to bigger problems.
When you are in a boring relationship and it stays that way for an extended period of time, it’s a bit more serious than being bored with your living room décor. It therefore it needs to be taken more seriously – you can change a color scheme, but changing a spouse (or getting a new one) is not nearly as easy, practical, or desirable. So what do you need to know about boredom in a relationship?
How Boring Relationships Happen
It’s important to understand that when a relationship becomes boring that it’s not the fault of just one partner. A boring relationship is the result of the behaviors and mindset of both partners. After all, it was the combination of both of you that made things fun and exciting at the beginning, when that goes away for an extended period of time, something about that combination isn’t working the way it used to and needs to.
It’s perfectly natural for the romantic excitement and thrill that you experienced at the beginning of your relationship to wane over time. As the years go by a comfortable routine and trust can take the place of the adrenaline rush of lust and excitement. This is normal and, in most cases, healthy. It doesn’t mean you have fallen out of love, or that there’s something wrong with your relationship. The problems arise when, as a couple, you can no longer find any excitement in each other no matter how hard you try – or if you don’t try at all. This level of boredom in a relationship can take work to fix and can happen for a variety of reasons.
Check out some of the most common pitfalls below and see if any of them sound familiar.
- Avoiding arguments. Many people think that a relationship without arguments is a good sign. It means you’re getting along and are compatible, right? Not really. It’s nearly impossible for two people to be in a long-term relationship and never disagree. These disagreements are actually healthy. It’s important for each partner to be able to express their opinions and viewpoints. This is part of being an individual. When you became a couple you didn’t become a single mind and personality - making sure you maintain that ability to challenge each other and share your thoughts is a key component in avoiding boredom.
- Losing yourself. Your partner met, dated, and fell in love with you. As time goes on and life takes over, it can be easy to forget who that person was. We all change with time, but that doesn’t mean we have to lose our individuality. Keeping your interests, hobbies and friendships intact are an important part of doing this. It’s also an important part of keeping things exciting and interesting in your relationship. This can be especially important for moms, and to a lesser degree, dads. It’s very easy to allow yourself to become so absorbed with your roles as parents that you forget you are more than that. Having a child is life changing, but it doesn’t have to mean you throw out the person you were before or live with a boring relationship.
- Being all about the relationship. Yes, being present in your relationship, working on your relationship, and taking care of your partner is important – it’s just not the only important thing. You are not defined by your relationship, nor should that become your persona. You are more than a wife or a husband, girlfriend or boyfriend. Focusing too much on your partner and relationship will come at the expense of outside interests and leave you with nothing to talk about, and no other enriching experiences. Spending all your time with and focused on one person can lead to feeling your relationship is boring.
- Forgetting your boundaries. It can be nice to know that your partner loves you no matter what, and that no make-up or your old college sweats won’t change that. BUT, sometimes we can become too comfortable. When you stop making an effort, or assume that you never have to close the bathroom door or wear clean clothes, you will have a problem. This can create a situation where it can be hard for your partner to see you any other way, may stop feeling attracted to you and begin to become disinterested and bored.
- Giving up the chase. You got them! That special person is yours for life and now you’re done, right? Wrong. Flirting and pursuing your partner never gets old and it keeps things from becoming mundane and your partner feeling taken for granted. Once you assume that there’s no need for effort, you can find that your relationship gets boring.
- Becoming a 1 trick pony. When it comes to bedroom activity, variety really is the spice of life. Having one or two go to moves is okay, but the same routine every single time can get old and lessen the interest of your partner. Make sure you work together to keep things fresh and exciting when it comes to your intimate life or you may find that it no longer becomes a priority. Having no intimacy in your relationship can absolutely lead to boredom.
- Accepting status quo. Just because there’s no drama and no fighting doesn’t mean everything is okay. Becoming complacent in a relationship and just floating along will cause problems. Be careful about becoming too comfortable and just assuming everything is fine. These are the circumstances many people find themselves in when their partner suddenly says, “I’m not happy,” or “I’m not in love with you anymore.” Often the partner on the receiving end of those words will feel caught off-guard and as though this discontent came out of the blue. It didn’t. This can be what happens when your relationship becomes boring and you are okay with it.
What Happens If You Don’t Fix A Boring Relationship
It’s important to recognize the difference between a boring relationship and when your relationship becomes comfortable. All relationships have ups and downs and that initial excitement and passion that you felt when you first got together will eventually fade into what is hopefully a more stable and fulfilling kind of love. That doesn’t mean that it has to be boring though.
If you’re wondering why your relationship is boring then it’s very likely the relationship is no longer a satisfying part of your life or your partner’s. The consequences of boredom that goes on for too long can be a stuck feeling that leaves one partner, or both, looking for more. Unfortunately, that more can come in the form of affairs, either emotional or physical, outside interests that become consuming and create a divide between partners, or just outright leaving.
Dr. Kurt works with couples in this situation quite often. When asked about the consequences of living in a boring relationship he had this to say,
A boring relationship is a warning sign that too many people ignore. It's easy for any of us to get distracted with all of the other demands for our time or become complacent with our partner. But there's danger and risk with this because when a relationship becomes boring at some point one partner will either escape or find some other way to cope with their discontent - such as cheating, abusing alcohol or drugs, watching porn, over working... Most relationships that are at the boring stage just need a tune-up, like learning some better ways to communicate and connect with each other. However, if that doesn't happen then a major overhaul will be required to repair the damage caused by the destructive ways partners will deal with their unhappiness. Fix it now or fix it later. Either way you'll be forced to fix your boring relationship at some point."
For most people when they start thinking about their relationship being boring they also start feeling like the relationship is probably over. It feels like you have exhausted all interests between the two of you and that the only option is to move on. This doesn’t have to be the case, however. Boredom in a relationship doesn’t mean the love has gone – it may just mean that the connection to that love and your partner has become buried under all the other aspects of life. It can take time and effort, but cutting through all those aspects and rediscovering the love and the interest in each other is entirely possible.
If you’re feeling that your relationship is boring it means that on some level you think there’s nothing new to know or discover about your partner, or with your partner. In all likelihood that’s not the case. The greater possibility is that you have lost touch with each other and stopped communicating and connecting in a way that’s meaningful. And if you feel bored it’s very likely your partner does too. If he or she is bored with you does that mean there’s no longer anything interesting about you? No, of course not.
So if you are feeling that you are in a boring relationship and are thinking about how that happened, take a look in the mirror. It takes two people to allow things to become boring and two people to fix it. Are you doing your part?
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