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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

Eloise is an everyday health expert and runs My Vegan Supermarket, a vegan blog and database of supermarket products.

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Published on October 30, 2020

11 Essential Philosophy Books That Will Open Your Mind

11 Essential Philosophy Books That Will Open Your Mind

There are numerous ways to build your mindset, but none are as profound as reading philosophy books. Through these books, some of the greatest minds around ask questions and delve deep into thought.

While there isn’t always a clear and distinct answer to the many questions of philosophy, the entire field is a gateway to a higher sense of self. It gets you to think about all manner of things.

Below, we cover some of the essential philosophy books that are best for those who are just starting or looking to expand their mind.

How To Choose a Good Philosophy Book

Before getting to this list, we’ve researched ideal philosophy books to help you expand your mind.

We’ve found that the best philosophy books excel in the following criteria:

  • Complexity – Philosophy isn’t a subject that you can’t dive into immediately and understand everything. The books that we selected are great for people making the first leap.
  • Viewpoint – With philosophy, in particular, the author’s views are more important than in your standard book. We want to ensure the viewpoints and thoughts being discussed still hold up to this day.
  • Open-mindedness – Philosophy is all about asking perplexing questions and unraveling the answer. You might not reach a conclusion in the end, but these books are designed to get you to think.
  • Culture – The last criterion is culture. A lot of these books come from early philosophers from centuries ago or possibly from recent years. These philosophy books should paint a picture of the culture.

1. Meditations

    One that you’ll find on many of these types of lists is Meditations and for good reason. It’s the only document of its kind to ever be made. The book focuses on the private thoughts of the world’s most powerful man who advises himself revolving around making good on his responsibilities and the obligations of his position.

    We know enough about Marcus Aurelius to know that he was trained in stoic philosophy and practiced every night on a series of spirituality exercises. These exercises were designed to make him humble, patient, empathetic, generous, and strong in the face of whatever problem he had to face off. And he faced plenty of problems since he was basically the emperor of roughly a third of the planet.

    All of that is poured into this book, and you are bound to remember a line or more that will be applicable in your life. It’s a philosophy book staple.

    Buy Meditations here.

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    2. Letters From a Stoic

      Similar to Marcus Aurelius, Seneca was another powerful man in Rome. He was a brilliant writer at the time and was the kind of guy to give great advice to his most trusted friends. Fortunately, much of his advice comes in letters, and those letters happen to be in this book. The letters themselves provided advice on dealing with grief, wealth, poverty, success, failure, education, and more.

      While Seneca was a stoic, he has a more practical approach and has borrowed from other schools of thought for his advice. As he said when he was alive, “I don’t care about the author if the line is good.” Similar to Meditations, there are several brilliant lines and advice that are still relevant to this day.

      Buy “Letters From a Stoic” here.

      3. Nicomachean Ethics

        Aristotle was a famous Greek philosopher at the time with profound knowledge. He’s named after a form of logic as well called Aristotelian logic. Through this book, Aristotle writes about the root of all Aristotelian ethics. In other words, this book contains the moral ideas that form a base for pretty much all of western civilization.

        Buy “Nicomachean Ethics” here.

        4. Beyond Good & Evil

          Friedrich Nietzsche played a big role in the philosophical world. He was one of the leading philosophers of the existential movement, and it all came through this particular book. He is a brilliant mind. However, the issue with a lot of his work is that it’s all written in German.

          Fortunately, this book is one of the slightly more accessible ones since it’s translated. Within the book, he breaks down the paradoxes of conventional understandings of morality. By doing this, he sets the stage for a lot of the 20th-century thought process that followed.

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          Buy “Beyond Good & Evil” here.

          5. Meditations on First Philosophy

            In Meditations on First Philosophy, René Descartes breaks his book down into six meditations. The book takes a journalistic style that is structured much like a six-day course of meditation. On day one, he gives instructions on discarding all belief in things that are not guaranteed. After that, he tries to establish what can be known for sure. Similar to Meditations, this is a staple and influential philosophical text that you can pick up.

            Buy “Meditations on First Philosophy” here.

            6. Ethics

              Written by Benedict de Spinoza, this came at a time during the Age of Enlightenment. Enlightenment was a movement that dominated the world of ideas in Europe during the 17th and 18th centuries and with that, many schools of thought emerged and were presented through books.

              Out of the many influential philosophy books published back then, Ethics dominated during this period as it discussed the basis of rationalism. Even though we’ve developed further beyond that, Ethics can introduce new ways of thinking from this particular school of thought.

              Buy “Ethics” here.

              7. Critique of Pure Reason

                Immanuel Kant is another great philosopher who brought together two of history’s biggest opposing schools of thought into a single book. Those schools being rational thought and empirical experiential knowledge—knowledge gained through experience.

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                In Critique of Pure Reason, Kant explores human reason and then works to establish its illusions and get down to core constituents. Overall, you can learn more about human behavior and thought processes and thus, open your mind more to how you think and process everything around you.

                Buy “Critique of Pure Reason” here.

                8. On the Genealogy of Morals

                  Another piece of work from Nietzsche that is accessible to us is On the Genealogy of Morals. According to Nietzsche, the purpose of this book is to call attention to his previous writings. That said, it does more than that so you don’t need to worry so much about reading his other books.

                  In this book, he expands on the cryptic aphorisms that he brings up in Beyond Good and Evil and offers a discussion or morality in a work that is more accessible than a lot of his previous work.

                  Buy “On the Genealogy of Morals” here.

                  9. Everything Is F*cked

                    The only book on this list that’s been written in the past few years, this book by Mark Manson aims to explain why we all need hope while also accepting that hope can often lead us to ruin too.

                    While many of the books on this list are all practical, this one is the most realistic one since not even the greatest of philosophical minds could predict things like technology, Twitter, and how our political world has shaped.

                    Manson delivers a profound book that taps into the minds of our ancestral philosophers, such as Plato, Nietzsche, and Tom Waits, and digs deep into various topics and how all of it is connected—religion and politics, our relationship with money, entertainment, and the internet.

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                    Overall, this book serves as a challenge to all of us—a challenge to be more honest with ourselves and connect with the world in a way we’ve never tried before.

                    Buy “Everything Is F*cked” here.

                    10. Reasons and Persons

                      One of the most challenging philosophy books to read on this list, Reasons and Persons will send you on quite the trip. Through a lot of painstaking logic, Derek Parfit shows us some unique perspectives on self-interest, personhood, and whether our actions are good or evil.

                      Considered by many to be an important psychological text around the 20th century, the arguments made about those topics will open your mind to a brand new way of thinking.

                      Buy “Reasons and Persons” here.

                      11. The Republic of Plato

                        Written by Plato himself, this book is the origin of political science and offers a brilliant critique of government. As you would expect, the critique is still important today. If you’re looking to understand the inner thoughts of Plato, this is one of the best books around.

                        Buy “The Republic of Plato” here.

                        Final Thoughts

                        Philosophy books take a while to digest as they provide profound knowledge and leave you with many questions. With many of these philosophy books, you need to take your time with them, and you might have to read through them a few times as well. And with every read, your mind will only expand.

                        More Books to Open Your Mind

                        Featured photo credit: Laura Chouette via unsplash.com

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