As humans, it’s easy for us to take the day-to-day things in our lives for granted, including relationships. Patterns are created easily and subconsciously, so it’s unsurprising that after years with the same person you may find that the relationship has suddenly gone stale. It’s nothing to be ashamed of, and it’s probably happened to all of us at one point or another, the difference is how it’s been handled and whether or not the actual issue has been addressed.
The good news is that if your relationship is stale, not all is lost. It’s a fairly easy fix, but the repairs have to come from both parties. Below I’ve broken down the signs of a relationship that’s gone stale, and how you and your partner can address, fix, and overcome it to get back on track again.
1. You find yourself lashing out at your partner over small things
Once you suffer from boredom in your relationship, you are likely to build some resentment toward your partner. You may feel as if it’s not worth the trouble to stay committed to a relationship that doesn’t excite you any longer.
This can lead to you snapping at your partner over small things, such as leaving their shoes in the middle of the living room.
2. You aren’t having sex anymore
As mentioned above, the research shows that people bored in a relationship have sex less often and find sex to be less exciting. If you’re not trying to spice up your sex life, the two of you may have grown so bored that you just avoid sex altogether.
3. You find yourselves constantly sitting in silence together
A relationship that is suffering from unhealthy boredom is likely to become characterized by periods of silence. Perhaps you go out to dinner together, and you and your partner spend the entire hour scrolling through your phones and do not say one word to each other.
Or, maybe you come home after a long day at work, and instead of talking about your days, you retreat to private rooms to do your own thing.
4. You notice that you have simply stopped caring
Relationships are easy in the beginning, but it takes effort to develop a strong relationship that lasts. If you simply don’t care to put forth the work to make your relationship successful, you’re probably bored.
5. Other people start to tempt you
When you’re satisfied in a relationship, you will spend most of your time daydreaming about your partner, even if you occasionally have ups and downs.
When boredom starts creeping in, you may begin to fantasize about leaving the relationship or hooking up with that attractive co-worker. It’s normal to have fleeting feelings of attraction for other people, but when they take over, to the point that you lose interest in your partner, this is a red flag.
6. You feel conflicting emotions
When you’re bored in a relationship, you may love your partner on the one hand but be incredibly unhappy on the other hand. This can lead you to swing from happiness to anger rather quickly. Quite honestly, one of the signs of a boring relationship is having emotions all over the place.
7. The two of you never discuss the future
People who are excited about their relationship will look forward to their future together, and they will not be able to resist talking about things they want to do down the road.
If you’ve stopped talking about your next steps or your five-year plan, you could be stuck in a rut that indicates one of the signs of a boring relationship.
8. You’d rather have fun on your own
If your partner bores you, you might notice that you have more fun doing things independently rather than with your partner. You may even intentionally make plans on your own, doing hobbies that you enjoy, rather than inviting your partner to join you.
It is, of course, natural and even healthy to maintain separate interests in a relationship. Still, if all of your time is spent alone and you have no desire to share fun times with your partner, there is probably an issue at play.
5 Strategies to Fix a Stale Relationship
So, do you want to know what to do when bored in a relationship? You have to learn how to keep the relationship exciting. Consider the following five strategies for how not to be boring in a relationship:
1. Make date night a regular thing
If you want to learn how to deal with boredom, starting with a regular date night is a step in the right direction. Commit to have a date night, perhaps two Saturdays per month, and stick to it.
You might consider trying a new place for dinner or perhaps taking on something new, such as taking a trip to a new city or trying a couple’s massage.
2. Talk to each other (and truly listen) daily
It is easy to grow apart when we are wrapped up in our own busy lives and comfortable in our relationships, but communication is key. If you want to fix a boring relationship, you have to talk to each other.
Reserve time at the end of each day to have a meaningful conversation about how your days went, and consider scheduling a weekly “relationship check-in.”
You and your partner can discuss how things are going, what you need from each other in the coming week, and if there is anything you aren’t getting out of the relationship that you need.
3. Explore sexually together
Since sexual boredom is frequently cited among those suffering from boredom, you can fix your relationship by trying something new in the bedroom.
Explore your deepest fantasies together, or try incorporating something new, such as wearing a particular outfit or engaging in role-playing.
4. Make an effort to make each other happy
Little romantic gestures, such as dressing nicely for each other, leaving a post-it note thanking your partner for doing the dishes, or simply taking time to show physical affection can go a long way toward fixing relationship boredom.
Research suggests that expressing gratitude can make for a more satisfying relationship, so taking time to thank your partner can be a strong method of fixing a boring relationship.
5. Seek professional intervention
If strategies to resolve relationship boredom simply aren’t working, but you’re committed to staying in the relationship, it may be time to seek professional intervention from a couples counsellor. In counselling, you can learn strategies for better understanding each other and improving your communication.
While noticing several signs of a boring relationship can be discouraging, the reality is that there are multiple ways for how to deal with boredom in your relationship.