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An Underrated Relationship Killer: Boredom

An Underrated Relationship Killer: Boredom

What’s the most common way people describe their relationships?

Fun? Exciting? Interesting?

Nope.

A study of couples by researchers at the University of Winnipeg found that the most common way for people to describe their relationships was ‘dull.’ [1]

People also said that their relationships lacked fun, romance, and conversation, and felt ‘like a chore.’

The results showed that while dating, men are more likely to be bored, but while married, women experience more boredom.

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Getting worried?

Luckily, there are loads of simple ways to keep your relationship fresh, interesting and exciting, whether you’ve just met or been married 30 years.

Relationships take work – and that’s okay.

Is boredom more damaging than arguments?

Arguing with your partner might seem like the worst thing that could happen, but boredom in a relationship can actually be even more damaging, according to some psychologists.

A study carried out by the University of Michigan and Stony Brook University found that couples who felt stuck in a rut after seven years of marriage were much more likely to feel unhappy in their relationships after sixteen years. [2]

If you’re feeling bored, the best time to take action is now – don’t let your relationship continue on a downward spiral.

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What causes boredom in a relationship?

When you have a new experience, your brain releases feel-good chemicals.

That’s why a first date, a meal out at a new restaurant, or a trip to a new city can feel so good.

However, when you repeat an experience, your brain processes it in a different way. Instead of getting a boost of happy chemicals, you might not feel much at all. [3]

That’s why it might seem like the second date is never as good as the first, or like that delicious meal tasted so much better the first time you tried it.

It also explains why doing the same things, with the same person, day after day, can start to feel boring – it’s all down to the brain.

To keep your brain interested and stimulated, you need to make an effort to introduce new experiences into your relationship.

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Common signs of relationship boredom

Wondering whether or not your relationship is suffering from boredom?

Here are some telltale signs:

  • You no longer get excited to spend time with your partner.
  • Your relationship feels like a chore, or another thing to check off your to-do list.
  • You feel like your relationship used to be fun and exciting, but isn’t any more.
  • You can’t remember the last time you had fun with your partner.
  • You make excuses to avoid spending time with your partner.
  • You don’t feel optimistic about the future of the relationship.

If this sounds like you, don’t worry. There are plenty of ways to reconnect with your partner and make the relationship fun again.

How to stop your relationship from getting boring

Helen Fisher, an anthropologist and expert on love and attractions, recommends three things to avoid boredom in your marriage. [4]

We’ve listed them below, along with some suggestions to get you started.

Step 0: Choose the right partner!

Being with the right person is key if you don’t want your relationship to get boring. If you’ve tried everything and still don’t enjoy your relationship or feel a strong connections to your partner, you may not be right for each other. Try having some honest conversations about what you each want from life, and how you’d like the future to be.

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Have a shared hobby

Having a shared interest or hobby is a great way to connect with your partner and have fun. If you’re both beginners, you can bond over the learning process and help each other to improve.

There are so many hobbies out there that there’s bound to be one to suit you and your partner.

You could try:

  • Rock climbing
  • Playing musical instruments
  • Dance classes
  • Cooking
  • Painting
  • Hiking
  • Photography
  • Astronomy
  • Camping

Try to plan a date night each week, and try out something new each time. One of your dates could develop into a full-time hobby – and if not, you’ll still be having exciting new experiences together.

Be intimate regularly

Regular intimacy has been shown to have all sorts of benefits, including:

  • Better health
  • Stronger relationships
  • Longer life expectancy
  • Strong immune system
  • Greater feeling of connection

Make some time for intimacy each day, even if it’s just a quick kiss or an evening cuddling in front of the TV.

Your relationship will feel stronger, and there’s less chance that you or your partner will feel bored or unappreciated.

Bored of your partner? Fix it now and your relationship will be stronger than ever.

Reference

[1] The Daily Mail: 70 ways boredom can kill a marriage
[2] Science Daily: Boredom Can Hurt A Marriage
[3] Psychology Today: Why People Get Bored
[4] Wardheer News: Boredom Kills Marriages

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Eloise Best

Content Writer

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Last Updated on May 7, 2019

How to Detect a Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

How to Detect a Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

Work in any competitive field long enough, and you’re bound to run into a wolf in sheep’s clothing. It’s a powerful image. A shepherd watches over his flock to protect them from harm. He’d chase away any predator that tried to make its way into the flock. A clever wolf wearing the skin of a sheep as a disguise can sneak by the vigilant shepherd and get into the herd undetected.

The story isn’t just a colorful description–it’s a warning to all of us to beware the wolf in sheep’s clothing. They may seem innocent, but they have ulterior motives. They’ll use different tactics to camouflage their intentions.

The person who is kind to you, but undercuts you when you aren’t around is a wolf in disguise. A wolf in sheep’s clothing might pick your brain for ideas and then pass them off as their own to get a promotion. They’re always looking out for themselves at the expense of everyone around them.

Wearing a Disguise Has Its Advantages

People don’t go out of their way to manipulate others unless they’re getting something out of it. Hiding their intentions gives wolves the chance to manipulate other people to advance their own agenda. They know that what they’re trying to do wouldn’t be popular, or it might cause struggle if they presented themselves honestly.

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    They’ll be able to do what they want with less interference if they put on an act. By the time people figure out their true motives, the wolf has what it wants.

    Signs That Someone Is a Wolf in Disguise

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        1. They live to take power instead of empowering others. A wolf uses people as stepping stones to get the things that they want. They don’t care what happens to anyone else.[1] A wolf at work might make you look bad during a presentation to make themselves look amazing in front of the boss.
        2. Wolves seem sweet on the outside, but they’ll show you their teeth. If wolves revealed their true identity, people wouldn’t associate with them. They develop a friendly or kind persona, but they can’t keep up the act 24/7. Eventually, they’ll reveal their aggressive tendencies. A wealthy person who likes to break the law may make sizable charitable donations to convince people that they are kind and thoughtful. These donations largely keep them out of trouble, but if someone calls them out, they destroy that person’s reputation to stifle the criticism.
        3. They manipulate through emotions to get what they want. Wolves know that they can get ahead by appealing to your emotions. They find out what you want and need, and they give you just enough to keep you quiet and compliant. Imagine that your boss is a wolf in sheep’s clothing, and you want to ask for a vacation. She might try to play on your guilt and feelings of insecurity to get you to skip vacation or take fewer days off.
        4. A wolf will charm you first. Wolves are experts at manipulating the people around them. They appear interested in whatever you’re doing, and you’ll get the impression that they care. After they get you where they want you, they do just enough to keep you on the hook. This is the coworker who may start out being your friend, but they end up dumping responsibility onto you. When they see that you are growing frustrated, they’ll surprise you with something to charm you some more. Then, they’ll continue to do whatever they want.
        5. Their stories are full of holes.  Calling a wolf out is the surest way to make them squirm. When this person tries to come up with a story, it won’t make much sense because they are improvising.[2] The classic example of this is the significant other that you suspect has cheated on you. When you ask them why they came home so late, they’ll either become upset with you, or they’ll make up a weak explanation.

        How to Spot a Wolf

          Know What’s Real So You Can Spot the Phony

          Do some homework so that you have as much of the story as possible before you work with them. Research how they respond in certain situations, or give them hypothetical problems to see how they respond.

          A job applicant might tell you that she’s always positive and thinks of herself as a team-player. That’s what every employer wants to hear. During the interview you ask applicants to work in groups to solve a problem to see how they handle the situation. The applicant “positive team-player” is bossy and negative. You’ve spotted the wolf.

          A wolf will tell you something that ultimately benefits them. Gather evidence that proves or disproves their position, and see what happens. Chances are, when you choose the side that supports their agenda, they’ll act like your best friend. If you disagree, they’ll become aggressive.

          Spotting a potential wolf–especially if you are one of the sheep–can present you with some challenges. If your gut tells you that a wolf is lurking among all the other sheep, pay attention, and make sure you take the next step.

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          Ask Questions, the More the Better

          There’s nothing wrong with asking questions to uncover the truth. The safety of everyone in your group is at risk. Since wolves often make up stories, you may be able to call them out when their tales lack details.

          When they state an opinion, ask “Why do you think that?” or “How do you know it’s like that?” They’ll have trouble coming up with enough information to pull off the lie.

          Since wolves are always pretending to be something they aren’t, they don’t usually have a clearly thought-out reason for what they say. In a debate, they won’t understand the root of an issue.

          They may also tell you what they think you want to hear, but when pressed for more information, they won’t have anything to add. Their knowledge is superficial. No matter how much you try to encourage discussion, they will not be able to carry on a conversation about the subject.

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          Wolves Are Everywhere

          As much as we want to believe that everyone has the best intentions, it isn’t always the case. Some people only do things to benefit themselves, and they don’t care who they hurt in the process.

          Wolves in sheep’s clothing can be found in almost every setting. You can’t get rid of them, but if you can spot them, you can avoid falling into their traps.

          Reference

          [1] Association of Biblical Counselors: Three Ways to Spot a Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing
          [2] Power of Positivity: Beware of a wolf in sheep’s clothing

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