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A Stable but Predictable Relationship Is the Nightmare for All Lovers

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Featured photo credit: Stocksnap via stocksnap.io

Reference

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Anna Chui

Anna is a communication expert and a life enthusiast. She's the Content Strategist of Lifehack and loves to write about love, life, and passion.

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Last Updated on September 11, 2020

Why a Life Without Pain Is the Guarantee to True Suffering

Why a Life Without Pain Is the Guarantee to True Suffering

No one wants to suffer. As a general rule, people like to avoid hurt and pain as much as possible. As a species, humans want a painless existence so much that scientists make a living trying to create it.

People can now choose “pain-free” labor for babies, and remedies to cure back pain, headaches, body-pains and even mental pains are a dime a dozen. Beyond medicine, we also work hard to experience little pain even when it comes to loss; often times we believe a breakup won’t hurt as much if we are the ones to call it off.

But would a world without pain truly be painless? It’s unlikely. In fact, it would probably be painful exactly for that reason.

If people never experienced hurt, they wouldn’t know what it was. On the surface level, that seems like a blessing, but think for a moment: if we didn’t know pain, how would we know peace? If you don’t know you’ve hurt or been hurt, how would you know that you need to heal? Imagine someone only knowing they have an incurable cancer at the final stage because no obvious symptoms have appeared at early stages.

Without the feeling of pain, people won’t be aware of dangerous situations—what should or shouldn’t do for survival.

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Pain Is Our Guardian

Pain serves to protect human beings from harmful actions. It’s the same reason parents teach babies that fire equals hot, and that hot equals hurt. Should the baby still place its hand in a fire or on a stove, the intense pain remains so memorable, that the child is certain never to repeat that action.

In the same way, pain within human bodies can serve as a warning that something is not right. Because you know what it is to feel “well,” you know what it is to feel poorly.[1]

Along with serving as a teacher of what not to do, pain also teaches you what you are made of in terms of what you can handle as an individual.

While the cliche, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” is a tired term, it’s used excessively for a reason: it’s true. Pain helps you learn to cope with life’s inevitable difficulties and sadnesses— to develop the grit it takes to push past hardships and carry on.

Whether it’s a shattering pain, like the loss of a loved one or a debilitating accident, pain affects everyone differently. But it still affects everyone. Take a breakup as an example, anyone who has experienced it knows it can hurt to the point of feeling physical. Especially the first breakup. At a young age, it feels like the loss of the only love you’ll ever know. As you grow and learn, you realize you’re more resilient with every ended relationship.

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No Pain, No Happiness

You only know happiness when you have known pain. While the idea of constant happiness sounds nice, there is little chance it would be. Without the comparison to happiness, there’s no reason to be grateful for it. That is to say, without ever knowing sadness or pain, you would have no reason to be grateful for happiness.

In reality, there is always something missing, or something unpleasant, but it is only through those realizations that you know to be grateful when you feel you have it all. Read more about why happiness and pain have to exist together: Chasing Happiness Won’t Make You Happy

In a somewhat counter-intuitive finding, researchers found one of the things that brings about the most happiness is challenge. When people are tested, they experience a greater sense of accomplishment and happiness when they are successful. It is largely for this reason that low-income individuals can often feel happier than those who have a sense of wealth.[2]

This is a great thing to remember the next time you feel you would be happier if you just had a little more cash.

Avoiding Pain Leads to More Suffering

Pain is inevitable, embrace it positively. Anyone who strives to have a painless life is striving for perfectionism; and perfectionism guarantees sadness because nothing will ever be perfect.

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This isn’t a bleak outlook, but rather a truthful one. The messy moments in life tend to create the best memories and gratitude. Pain often serves as a reminder of lessons learned, much like physical scars on the body.

Pain will always be painful, but it’s the hurt feelings that help wiser decisions be made.

Allow Room for the Inevitable

Learning how to tolerate pain, especially the emotional kind, is a valuable lesson.

Accepting and feeling pain makes you human. There is no weakness in that. Weakness only comes when you try to blame your own pain on someone else, expecting the blame to alleviate your hurting. There’s a saying,

“Holding on to anger is like drinking poison and expecting your enemy to die.”

Think back to the last time you were really angry with someone. Maybe you were hurt because you got laid off from a job. You felt angry and that anger caused so much pain that you could feel it in a physical way. Being angry and blaming your ex boss for that pain didn’t affect him or her in any way; you’re the only one who lost sleep over it.

The healthier thing to do in a situation like that is acknowledge your pain and the anger along with it. Accept it and explore it in an introspective way. How can you learn and grow? What is at the root of that pain? Are you truly hurting and angry about being laid off, or is the pain more a correlation to you feeling like you failed?

While uncomfortable, exploring your pain is a way to raise your self-awareness. By understanding more about yourself, you know how to deal with similar situations in the future. You can never expect to be numb to difficult situations, but you will learn to better prepare financially for the loss of a job and be grateful for an income since you now know nothing is promised (no matter how much you work or how deserving you may feel).

Pain Hurts, but Numbness Would Be Worse

Pain does not feel good, but the bad feeling of it will help you learn and grow. It makes the sweet moments in life even sweeter and the gratitude more sincere.

To have a happier and more successful life, you don’t learn from success or accomplishment, but through pain and failures. For it is in those moments that you learn how to do better in the future or at least cope a little more easily.

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You are the strong person you are today because of the hardships this life has presented to you. While you may have felt out of control when those hard times came, the one thing you will always have control over is how you choose to react to things. The next time you hurt or you’re angry or sad, acknowledge it and allow yourself to ruminate in it. Then take a deep breath and start learning from that pain. You’ve got this!

Featured photo credit: Stocksnap via stocksnap.io

Reference

[1] University of Calgary: Why is Pain Important?
[2] Greater Good Magazine: The Importance of Pain

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