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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 editor of Lifehack and loves to write about love, life, and passion.

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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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