Boredom in a couple: should I stay or should I go?
Everyone who has been in a relationship, especially long-term relationships, has experienced these slow, unexciting, dull, boredom and unenthusiastic spells.
Relationships have peaks and lows — that’s simply a fact of being in a partnership with another person. You’ll have your golden honeymoon phase and it will fade out and boredom will appear. From that point onward, you and your partner will have to put some effort to keep your relationship fresh, fun and sparkly, even when you don’t feel like it (of course if you do love each other). But if the lows are longer than the flows and the phases where not too smitten with your partner look more permanent?
We refer to these periods as relationship boredom. Some people feel bored with some relationships but not with others, even when the relationships themselves are relatively similar. So what is going on? Romantic relationships are supposed to be fun, passionate, loving, and exciting—not boring! Are certain relationships doomed to boredom?
Although romantic relationships are important, it is well known that people’s satisfaction in these relationships declines over time. This decline is not completely understood; however, boredom definitely plays an important role. Among couples who attend marital or couple’s therapy, many cite boredom as a primary reason for their dissatisfaction.
If you are experiencing this type of feeling in your relationship, you have probably been wondering wether you should stay and try to fight the boredom in your couple or if you should just go and look for something new. Well, even if it’s tempting to go out there and look for a new partner and new thrills, I think it’s better to give your significant other another chance and to try to fight boredom in your relationship before leaving for good.
Because boredom is essentially a lack of emotion and motivation, the simplest solution for relieving boredom should be to increase emotion and motivation—just do something fun! Engage in novel and exciting activities with each other, and you will find that, sure enough, shared participation in these activities will result in increased feelings of relationship quality.
Many couples make the mistake of only having surface-level conversations. They talk about the day, the weather, and what they did at work, but never go any deeper than that. While you can’t expect to get deep and philosophical every single day, you can prevent boredom by having better convos on a more regular basis.
Another common mistake is thinking your relationship will naturally continue in a positive direction. Even if you’re happy, you can’t just sit back and coast. Instead, it’s important to invest energy into each other by talking more, supporting each other, and checking in.
If you don’t have hobbies or activities that engage you as an individual, boredom will bleed over to the relationship and/or it will put unfair pressure on the relationship. Meditating, journaling, hiking — do whatever feels good for you. If you don’t practice self-care, whatever that is to you, you are going to have difficulty with relationship-care.
The fastest way to stop snoozing is to start being silly. Make each other laugh, think of things that are fun, meet some new friends, do something different or simply get more jokey in your everyday lives.
You love your partner and want to spend every day with them, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make an effort to peel yourselves apart and do your own thing — even if it means sitting at home alone. If you take some time apart you’ll appreciate the time you do spend with your partner more.
When we are vulnerable with others, we create a deeper bond with them, especially if they respond in validating ways to us opening up. Work on opening up more often not only to get things off your chest, but to feel closer and more connected to your partner.
Getting into arguments for innocuous reasons might be a sign that you’re bored. If you find yourself bickering with your partner often over the little things, you might want to step back and assess why. Disagreements happen in any relationship. But it’s worth seeing if the arguments are fueled by boredom (because you’re frustrated with the relationship as a whole).
If you two are doing the same thing day in and day out, you will start to feel bored and “stuck.” So don’t forget to plan something fun for the future, such as a vacation or a project you can work on together. Choose a goal, and chat about the steps you’ll take to get there. Planning dates, an event, or a project together ignites companionship and appreciation.
As you see, fighting the boredom in your relationship is made of simple little steps anyone can take. So try and give your relationship one last chance before giving it up to boredom!