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A Stable but Predictable Relationship Is the Nightmare for All Lovers
You were once mesmerized by that smile. You got lost in those eyes. Just being near them was enough. And you just couldn’t get enough of them.
He/she was like the most delectable piece of fruit. The perfect apple—the apple of your eye. Shiny, polished, deep-red perfection. All you saw in this world was only this unique apple, nothing else.
But as time goes, you have started to get used of his/her presence. That smile and those eyes aren’t as special as they were. Suddenly you realize that there are more than this apple in this world. You’re surrounded by oranges, mangoes, bananas, kiwi and other more exotic fruit. Your prefect, red and shiny apple seems boring and dull.
A stable relationship is good, but also predictable and boring.
In relationships, no matter how hot and heavy you start off, you will eventually cool off and fall into the rut of normalcy. You get used to each other and can predict each others’ actions.
You eat at the same restaurant, order the same entree and spend all of your weekends the exact same way. You don’t watch what you say or do any more. You are comfortable with each other.
The relationship has become stable but predictable and boring. The problem with stability is that it tricks our brain into looking for stimulation. A study covered in ABC news shows that the brain loves surprises.1 It craves excitement and new experiences. It’s how we’re wired. The problem with this natural tendency is it leads us into believing that the relationship is somehow flawed because the feeling of excitement and intense passion has faded.
Once the excitement and passion die, you tend to lose interest in the relationship and then your partner. You stop working. You stop seeking common ground and to understand each other. Six out of ten couples are unhappy with their relationships, siting lack of spontaneity, romance and sex as the primary factors contributing to their dissatisfaction.2
When the romance dies and you begin to lose interest, your relationship will begin quickly tumbling towards its demise unless you proactively begin to work to counteract and embrace this new slower pace.
Most people handle the boredom in a way that only makes the relationship worse.
When deciding how to handle the boredom and salvage your relationship, couples handle it differently. Yet they don’t realize the way they try to save their relationship isn’t really helping.
Some seek excitement outside of their relationship.
Dating other people or seeking other forms of excitement outside of your relationship will provide you a temporary reprieve from the boredom. Yet these people still choose to stay in a relationship because it is the safe thing to do.
Choosing to stay in a relationship because it’s safe and even comfortable is selfish and unfair to your partner. You’ll end up wounding your significant other with “extracurricular” activities. The excitement outside of the current relationship won’t last either. You will create an infinite loop that will have to be repeated over and over. It will be an endless loop of heartbreaks and betrayed partners.
Some end the relationship out of boredom.
The moment these people realize that the apple in their eye isn’t that special, and that they are surrounded by different fruits, it’s easy to just move on. They see opportunities everywhere and there is no point staying with this apple when other fruits are so handy.
Love trumps excitement. Choosing to end the relationship because of boredom could cost you a once in a lifetime opportunity. In every relationship, the honeymoon will end. It is an inevitable and unavoidable phase of love. Understanding and accepting that all relationships will become stable and a bit routine is the first step towards experiencing pure love and having a mature adult relationship.
Moving on when excitement wanes also drives you towards another infinite loop cycle. You will go from partner to partner and end relationship after relationship searching for excitement. You may achieve pockets of excitement but you will forfeit true love. True love emerges in the everyday grind. When the relationship becomes monotonous that’s a sign that it’s time to work not run.
Some stick to their routines and hope things will get better.
Refrain from adopting the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it attitude.” These couples are a bit underwhelmed by the relationship but they may feel that things are okay the way they are. Nothing’s wrong per se, so they feel they shouldn’t fiddle with things and end up making the situation worse. However, when it comes to relationship, “okay” doesn’t equal good. A relationship is perpetual work. Read more about why “Okay” Is a Toxic Cop Out
Keeping the same routine after realizing that you and your partner are bored by the relationship is a bad idea. Things don’t just get better. You have to make them better.
To spice up a boring relationship, change the routines.
Boredom in a relationship signifies that you and your partner are comfortable with each other and you know each other pretty well. This is a good thing. It signifies that the relationship is stable and both partners are at ease. You have a routine and routines provide stability and a sense of security and calm. These are good things too.
However, acceptance doesn’t mean that your relationship should stay in a stagnate and uninspired state. It means that you should look at boredom as a positive part of a healthy relationship and then work to deepen your bond and spice things up.
Relationship coach and therapist Anita Chlipala believes that when couples engage in new, challenging and exciting things together, they can reignite the passion and invigorate the relationship.3 She suggests that both partners try new things and tackle a task together as a couple. You can actually add spontaneity out of some of the routines you have. Below are a few examples:
- Go camping on weekends if the usual weekend activity is shopping.
- Recreate your first date.
- Take a class together.
- Do something adventurous and a little scary. Go to an amusement park, bungee jumping, sky diving, go carting, zip-lining or something else that excites and excites you both.
- Plan and go on a staycation.
- Surprise your spouse with a romantic evening. Pull out all the stops and surround them with all of their favorite things.
- Try a 30 day challenge where you do something different–out of your normal routine–everyday.
- Commit to a standing date night. Go out, stay in, whatever a date means to you as a couple–commit and make it happen.
In the end, you decide the type of relationship you have. Whenever you hit a time where the fun, spontaneity and excitement seem to dissipate, just remember that it is just a phase and all relationships experience the dreaded rut. Then find creative ways to spice things up.
Couples who find ways to add novelty and excitement to their relationship report higher levels of relationship satisfaction. Once you embrace the fact that boredom will come and go throughout your relationship, you can proactively deal with the boredom and maintain an exciting relationship with your partner no matter how long you have been together.
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