As human beings, we all get a little bored now and then. There’s a saying that only boring people get bored, but for me that couldn’t be further from the truth. No one’s immune.
Whilst something that’s shiny and new, like a budding relationship, is incredibly exciting and a bit of a hormonal and emotional rollercoaster, once we get used to it and it becomes part of the fabric of our everyday lives, we can find ourselves getting a bit tired of it or just a bit blasé about the whole thing.
It becomes the new norm. We no longer feel the rush of hormones that we experience at the beginning of a relationship, and realistically, would you want to?
I don’t know about you, but when a new love interest comes into my life, I find myself pretty incapable of doing anything but gazing out of the window and thinking about something witty they said or trying to decipher their cryptic text messages. I certainly don’t get any work done, and that’s just not sustainable.
Although your boredom could potentially be a sign that things aren’t quite right in your relationship, you might just be looking at the situation through the wrong lens.
If it seems like things have gotten a little stagnant, it’s important to take stock of your feelings and take some time to analyze your thoughts and figure out what’s really going on.
To give you a hand, here are a few questions you can ask yourself to help you identify the problem and get your relationship ducks in a row before you make any big decisions.
1. Is it just the relationship I’m bored of?
Though your relationship should be a central part of your life, it shouldn’t be your sole focus, and you shouldn’t expect all the excitement in your life to be provided by your partner.
It might not be that you’re actually bored in your relationship per se, but generally lacking stimulation in all areas of your life. You might not really need a hit of romantic excitement, but excitement in general.
Have you tried anything new lately? Have you stopped socializing as much as you once did? Have you come to a bit of a standstill professionally speaking?
Take a general look at your life and think about whether you’re pushing yourself or just coasting along, waiting for life to come to you.
A lot of people seem to get into a serious relationship and give up on living. Caught in the whirlwind of blossoming love, they lose themselves in their partner and stop focusing on other areas of their life.
When the novelty of that wears off, they’re surprised to find themselves feeling bored and deflated.
So do something that gives you the dose of adrenaline you’re craving. You might need something radical like starting that side hustle you’ve always dreamt of or getting on a plane to somewhere where you don’t speak the language. Or you might just need to do something as simple as signing yourself up for an evening class or an open mic night.
If you think you need more excitement in your life, find things that you can do on your own, and things you can do with your loved one to bring you closer together, too.
You know all those Disney films you watched when you were a kid? Involving princes on white horses, princesses in towers, high stakes and some form of evil to be defeated, but love always conquering all?
Hate to break it to you kids, but real life and real love aren’t like that.
You might think that the perfect relationship should be one that doesn’t have its ups and downs and shouldn’t require you to work at it.
You might think that, with the perfect partner, you’ll never have disagreements and should always see eye to eye.
You might think that if they’re really the right person for you, the sexual spark should eternally burn just as brightly as it did on the first day.
That’s just not the way it is, and that’s a good thing in my book, as I don’t think anyone is genuinely interested in living in a fairy tale. Too many dragons and evil stepmothers.
All relationships require work and no relationship will be entirely perfect for ever.
Whilst everyone will have their own love story, most of them won’t be the stuff that film scripts are made of, and that’s okay.
Ask yourself if the reason you’re feeling bored in your relationship is because you think that your life isn’t quite matching up to the expectations Hollywood instilled in you.
Whilst you shouldn’t settle for a relationship that you’re genuinely unhappy in, it’s always worth remembering that the grass isn’t always greener.
3. Am I mistaking boredom for contentment?
Have you considered the fact that what you’re feeling might not be boredom, but just happiness?
A lot of us thrive off the drama of things going wrong and live for the high and lows. When things are just bowling along happily and we aren’t experiencing any extreme emotions, we call it boredom.
If you’re confusing contentment with boredom, you might be misunderstanding the natural progression of a relationship. It’s normal, and healthy, for the thrilling ups and downs you experience to begin with to abate as you become more secure in each other and get to know each other better.
If you rarely make it past the first few months of a relationship, it might be that you’ve become a kind of addict to the initial rush of emotions, but have little interest in the calm contentment that a committed relationship brings.
4. What good things about the relationship am I overlooking?
Focusing on the negatives is another very human trait that many of us are guilty of. No matter how well things are going for us and how lucky we are, we’ll always find something negative to dwell on if we really want to.
It’s time, then, to consciously focus on the positives. Push the negatives or the not-so-greats to the side for a minute and have a think about all the good things your relationship brings. You could even make a pros list, if that’s your style.
If you can’t think of many, then you’ve got your answer right there, but if a relationship is worth sticking at, you should be able to think of plenty of things that put a smile on your face but that you don’t tend to focus on.
What elements of the relationship you’re in do you take for granted, and are you willing to lose it all?
5. Am I putting in my share of the work?
It’s easy to forget that a relationship is a two-way street.
We can unconsciously find ourselves expecting our partner to put in all the leg work and be the one to keep things interesting, whilst we sit back passively, doing nothing but complaining about everything that’s going wrong and everything they’re not doing.
Keeping any relationship interesting and stimulating after a certain amount of time has passed takes work on the part of both people involved, and that’s a fact.
The reason things are feeling a little boring might be because you’re just not making the effort. You’re the idle partner in a one-sided relationship.
6. How can I combat boredom in my relationship?
If you’ve figured out that it genuinely is boredom you’re feeling and you’re not just misreading an unfamiliar sensation of contentment, but you know you don’t want to raise a white flag, it’s time to take action and change things.
Think about the steps that you can take to reinject excitement and reignite the fire. Consciously set aside time to work on things. Have an honest chat with your partner about how you’ve been feeling, and find out where they’re at with the relationship.
After all, you’re in this together. It’s not all about you. You might be surprised at what they say.
Be sensitive, as no one wants to hear that they bore the one they love, and, if you’ve decided that you still want to be in this for the long haul, underline the fact that you’re willing to put in the work to rekindle things.
Plan for fun, for excitement, and for stimulation of all kinds, and you’ll be surprised at how all areas of your life, not just your relationship, could benefit.
Katie splits her time between writing and translation. She writes about travel and self-care and never stays in one place for too long. She’s currently based in beautiful Cornwall, England, after long stints in Brazil and Mexico. She spends her free time trail running, exploring and devouring vegan food.