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Published on November 29, 2019

Why Your Relationship Has Become Boring (And How to Fix It)

Why Your Relationship Has Become Boring (And How to Fix It)

Esther Perel says that we need two things in relationships: stability — knowing your partner has your back, and desire.

Unfortunately, stability kills desire. Conversely, what creates desire? Risk.

In the beginning of a relationship, we have plenty of risk. What if you get your heart broken, what if the other person doesn’t like you as much as you like them? Is this the one? Are you wasting your time?

There is the thrill of the chase in the beginning stages of romance. It’s exciting and creates the butterflies, the intoxicating feeling of love. Love conquers all.

This new love high usually lasts 1to 2 years and then we settle in and become comfortable in the stability of the relationship.

While the stability is important and imperative to the success of a relationship, it’s not very exciting. We have a home to take care of and bills to pay. This isn’t the sexy side of being in relationship. We may not always agree on things which can cause additional stress and strain on the relationship too.

Is It Normal to Be Bored in a Relationship?

It’s completely normal to become bored at some point in your relationship and it’s not your fault.

We work hard to find the one. The person who completes us, then what? We live happily ever after in a blissful state of union of course. This is what we’ve learned from fairytales and Hollywood. Most of us were never taught how to maintain a relationship nor did we have great role models to show how to keep the romance and passion alive.

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Unfortunately, this stuff isn’t taught in school and most of us didn’t receive a reference book for guidance. Although it probably should be with divorce rates in the US still hovering around 50%.

Why Do Relationships Get Boring and Lose Their Luster After Time?

In the beginning of a relationship, many times we put forth so much effort to woo our potential partner; planning activities, experiences and even surprises for one another. We go to dinner and talk for hours because we have so much to share and learn about one another. We have engaging conversations about everything, inhaling and soaking in the essence of one another.

Then life happens. We settle into our daily life and routines, maybe throw in a couple of kids and the busyness of life allows us to easily put our most important relationship on the back burner.

Date nights are now relegated to dinner and a movie if we make it out of the house at all. I get it, you’ve worked hard all week and planning a date night probably seems overwhelming and putting on your pj’s ordering take out and watching Netflix seems like the path of least resistance.

When the word date or dating is mentioned, most people conjure up images of single people who are dating and looking for that special someone. Rarely do we as a society think beyond to the fact that we should never stop dating our spouse or long-term partner.

The reason many relationships become routine and boring is that couples stop dating each other. It’s as simple as that.

Giving your relationship scraps of time can lead to its demise. In the beginning of a relationship, it’s very easy to be intentional but over time if you don’t pay attention to it, it’s easy to get into a relationship rut.

How Long Does It Take for a Relationship to Become Boring?

We’ve all heard of the 7-year-itch. The estimated time when the happiness of a couple diminishes.

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Every couple is different and it really boils down to how exciting you keep your relationship. If you quickly get into a relationship rut of doing the same boring things, you will become bored with your relationship more quickly. However, if you are committed to avoid falling into this routine and are intentional about keeping the desire alive in your relationship, you can avoid becoming bored for the most part.

Relationships do have ebbs and flows and of course, there are times your relationship will be more interesting. The problem arises when your relationship becomes stale for long periods of time.

In most relationship studies, romantic love dwindles over time and we lose the butterflies we once had in the beginning. In a relationship study conducted by Dr. Arthur Aron at the University of New York at Stony Brook, it was determined that novelty or trying new things can create the chemical surges of courtship and can significantly increase the satisfaction in relationship when practiced consistently.[1]

Life can be messy and even great relationships can become stale and boring at times; this is absolutely normal. You won’t be at risk of abandoning your relationship if you’re aware of this and have a plan to get out of your rut when you see this happening.

What to Do If You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling

Plan a date of course! I’m a fan of surprise dates. In fact, I recommend this to my clients. Commit to plan one surprise date for your partner every month and have them plan one surprise date for you each month.

Preferably an interactive or doing date. Then when you grab a bite to eat, you’ll have something to talk about, the new experience you just created together.

When is the last time you really had a great conversation? A conversation that doesn’t involve talking about work or the kids?

When you share a novel experience, this gives you something new to talk about after your date. It’s great to print out a few questions to take on your date. You can find some great ones on the web or another option is TABLETOPICS Couples: Questions to Start Great Conversations if you need more inspiration.

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You can keep it light with something like “If you had a super power what would it be?” to something a little deeper such as “If today were the last time we saw each other what would you want me to know?” These probing questions provide greater insight and awareness into your partner and them of you.

The great thing about taking turns planning dates for each other is that you eliminate the age-old question, “What do you want to do tonight?” which is usually followed by, “I don’t know, what do you want to do?” Then after debating for 45 minutes, you may end up doing nothing.

This is the secret sauce of the surprise date. Just tell your date when to be ready and what to wear and there’s no debate or resistance. No shooting down your date ideas. Just the addition of novelty and doing something different together to increase connection and romance.

Once a month, you get to give the gift of adventure and surprise and once a month, you get to sit back, relax and enjoy the date.

If you’re on a budget, no problem. There are numerous free date ideas. Some of my favorites are building a tent over your bed, a scavenger hunt, or dance lessons using free YouTube videos.

If you’re still craving more date night inspiration check out 32 Cheap and Uniquely Fun Date Ideas for Couples, it’s filled with date ideas you can do on any budget.

Final Thoughts

When your relationship becomes stale, you may feel like the solution is to find a new one that’s more exciting, which is the easy way, but it’s only a temporary fix.

If you continue with your same patterns in your new relationship, you’re bound to end up in the same predicament months or years later.

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While relationships take effort, they are so rewarding when you are in a good one. My hope is that you create an amazing relationship, and that you never settle for one that’s just good enough.

Innovation in relationship is the key to avoiding boredom, and ensuring that you have a relationship that will go the distance and last a lifetime.

One of my favorite quotes by Tony Robins is,

“If you do what you did in the beginning of the relationship there won’t be an end.”

Create the relationship of your dreams by being intentional about adding novelty and surprise through interactive date nights. You’ll be happy you did!

Featured photo credit: Vince Fleming via unsplash.com

Reference

More by this author

Dana Lam

Dana is a busy mom of two boys, author and co-founder of the Surprise Date Challenge.

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Last Updated on December 3, 2019

10 Life Lessons You’d Better Learn Early on in Life

10 Life Lessons You’d Better Learn Early on in Life

There are so many lessons I wish I had learned while I was young enough to appreciate and apply them. The thing with wisdom, and often with life lessons in general, is that they’re learned in retrospect, long after we needed them. The good news is that other people can benefit from our experiences and the lessons we’ve learned.

Here’re 10 important life lessons you should learn early on:

1. Money Will Never Solve Your Real Problems

Money is a tool; a commodity that buys you necessities and some nice “wants,” but it is not the panacea to your problems.

There are a great many people who are living on very little, yet have wonderfully full and happy lives… and there are sadly a great many people are living on quite a lot, yet have terribly miserable lives.

Money can buy a nice home, a great car, fabulous shoes, even a bit of security and some creature comforts, but it cannot fix a broken relationship, or cure loneliness, and the “happiness” it brings is only fleeting and not the kind that really and truly matters. Happiness is not for sale. If you’re expecting the “stuff” you can buy to “make it better,” you will never be happy.

2. Pace Yourself

Often when we’re young, just beginning our adult journey we feel as though we have to do everything at once. We need to decide everything, plan out our lives, experience everything, get to the top, find true love, figure out our life’s purpose, and do it all at the same time.

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Slow down—don’t rush into things. Let your life unfold. Wait a bit to see where it takes you, and take time to weigh your options. Enjoy every bite of food, take time to look around you, let the other person finish their side of the conversation. Allow yourself time to think, to mull a bit.

Taking action is critical. Working towards your goals and making plans for the future is commendable and often very useful, but rushing full-speed ahead towards anything is a one-way ticket to burnout and a good way to miss your life as it passes you by.

3. You Can’t Please Everyone

“I don’t know the secret to success, but the secret to failure is trying to please everyone” – Bill Cosby.

You don’t need everyone to agree with you or even like you. It’s human nature to want to belong, to be liked, respected and valued, but not at the expense of your integrity and happiness. Other people cannot give you the validation you seek. That has to come from inside.

Speak up, stick to your guns, assert yourself when you need to, demand respect, stay true to your values.

4. Your Health Is Your Most Valuable Asset

Health is an invaluable treasure—always appreciate, nurture, and protect it. Good health is often wasted on the young before they have a chance to appreciate it for what it’s worth.

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We tend to take our good health for granted, because it’s just there. We don’t have to worry about it, so we don’t really pay attention to it… until we have to.

Heart disease, bone density, stroke, many cancers—the list of many largely preventable diseases is long, so take care of your health now, or you’ll regret it later on.

5. You Don’t Always Get What You Want

“Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans.” – John Lennon

No matter how carefully you plan and how hard you work, sometimes things just don’t work out the way you want them to… and that’s okay.

We have all of these expectations; predetermined visions of what our “ideal” life will look like, but all too often, that’s not the reality of the life we end up with. Sometimes our dreams fail and sometimes we just change our minds mid-course. Sometimes we have to flop to find the right course and sometimes we just have to try a few things before we find the right direction.

6. It’s Not All About You

You are not the epicenter of the universe. It’s very difficult to view the world from a perspective outside of your own, since we are always so focused on what’s happening in our own lives. What do I have to do today? What will this mean for me, for my career, for my life? What do I want?

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It’s normal to be intensely aware of everything that’s going on in your own life, but you need to pay as much attention to what’s happening around you, and how things affect other people in the world as you do to your own life. It helps to keep things in perspective.

7. There’s No Shame in Not Knowing

No one has it all figured out. Nobody has all the answers. There’s no shame in saying “I don’t know.” Pretending to be perfect doesn’t make you perfect. It just makes you neurotic to keep up the pretense of manufactured perfection.

We have this idea that there is some kind of stigma or shame in admitting our limitations or uncertainly, but we can’t possibly know everything. We all make mistakes and mess up occasionally. We learn as we go, that’s life.

Besides—nobody likes a know-it-all. A little vulnerability makes you human and oh so much more relatable.

8. Love Is More Than a Feeling; It’s a Choice

That burst of initial exhilaration, pulse quickening love and passion does not last long. But that doesn’t mean long-lasting love is not possible.

Love is not just a feeling; it’s a choice that you make every day. We have to choose to let annoyances pass, to forgive, to be kind, to respect, to support, to be faithful.

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Relationships take work. Sometimes it’s easy and sometimes it’s incredibly hard. It is up to us to choose how we want to act, think and speak in a relationship.

9. Perspective Is a Beautiful Thing

Typically, when we’re worried or upset, it’s because we’ve lost perspective. Everything that is happening in our lives seems so big, so important, so do or die, but in the grand picture, this single hiccup often means next to nothing.

The fight we’re having, the job we didn’t get, the real or imagined slight, the unexpected need to shift course, the thing we wanted, but didn’t get. Most of it won’t matter 20, 30, 40 years from now. It’s hard to see long term when all you know is short term, but unless it’s life-threatening, let it go, and move on.

10. Don’t Take Anything for Granted

We often don’t appreciate what we have until it’s gone: that includes your health, your family and friends, your job, the money you have or think you will have tomorrow.

When you’re young, it seems that your parents will always be there, but they won’t. You think you have plenty of time to get back in touch with your old friends or spend time with new ones, but you don’t. You have the money to spend, or you think you’ll have it next month, but you might not.

Nothing in your life is not guaranteed to be there tomorrow, including those you love.

This is a hard life lesson to learn, but it may be the most important of all: Life can change in an instant. Make sure you appreciate what you have, while you still have it.

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Featured photo credit: Ben Eaton via unsplash.com

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