All relationships go through phases. Typically, you have a honeymoon phase where everything you say and do together is new and exciting. It’s a wonderful time because it’s like an emotional high. However, that intensity is not really sustainable and eventually things settle down a bit. While some people might find this calmer phase less thrilling and start working on how to save a boring relationship, I personally love the post-honeymoon-phase relationship, because that’s when you really start getting to know one another and develop real intimacy. It also takes a more work to keep things from tipping over from cozy and safe into stale and boring. But why does that happen? What makes a relationship become boring? Daniel Sher, a registered clinical psychologist and a consultant for the Between Us Clinic tells Elite Daily this happens when you stop making the effort to learn about one another. "This is typically replaced by a feeling of safety and predictability — fertile ground for boredom to grow in. Safety and predictability are important; but it’s possible to experience this while also having a relationship that feels enlivening and exciting," he explains.
The question is: If becoming bored in a relationship is common, does it automatically mean the relationship is doomed? Megan Lambert, a relationship and intimacy coach, tells Elite Daily that’s not necessarily the case and there is still hope. "Boring relationships can be saved, if both people are willing to lean in, get uncomfortable, and work on stuck spots together," she says. So, if that sounds uncomfortably familiar, here is how the experts say to put the spice back in your romance.
Be honest about how you are feeling.
If your relationship is in a rut, Lambert says the first step is to start getting really honest with one another, even when it’s uncomfortable. “Usually, relationships get boring because partners start to hide parts of themselves — their ‘single’ selves — and stop saying difficult truths to each other. They sweep conflict under the rug,” she explains. Her advice for resolving the situation may surprise you: “Think of 10 things you haven’t wanted to share with your partner. Spots they irritated you, hurt your feelings, etc., and ask if you can share them with each other in a non-judgmental space. Listen and ask questions to understand,” she says.
Sher agrees that, in a boring relationship, the best thing to do is stop being complacent about what’s not making you happy. “Engage in conflict,” he says. “Yes, you heard correctly. If a couple is simply co-existing without reasserting their differences, things are going to get stagnant. When we assert our individual needs against our partner, this reminds them that the couple is made up of two separate individuals. This can re-introduce a sense of danger and excitement.”
Give each other room to grow and evolve.
“If the relationship is stagnant, often the individuals also feel stuck in their life,” says Lambert. Her advice is to start asking yourself what you want from life and being pursuing it. “Ask yourself, ‘What do I really want? What is a secret dream of mine I could explore?,’ then go out and try it. Often, couples are afraid that if they follow their dreams, it will pull their relationship apart. But you have to risk losing the relationship and follow your interests to keep the spark alive,” she says. You should do the same for your partner: Give them the room they need to be a fulfilled person, so that they can bring that energy into the relationship, too.
Be curious about one another again.
Do you remember when you could just sit and talk for hours, and even the smallest minutiae of your lives were endlessly fascinating to learn? Over time, once you get to know one another, this naturally fades — but it doesn’t have to, says Lambert. “Couples get boring because they assume they know each other already. They don’t. In every moment, your partner is a new and unique human. Imagine you are an alien meeting your partner for the first time. What would an alien be curious about? What would you want to know? Explore each other as if you were two aliens, totally new, totally fresh,” she advises.
Spice it up in the bedroom.
If you want to kick the boredom out of your relationship, Sher says it starts with kicking it out of the bedroom. His advice is that it’s time for some sexperimentation. “Try something new in the bedroom. Broadening your sexual horizons and exploring each other’s sexual fantasies can provide a fantastic way to reestablish intimacy and excitement,” he suggests.
How to know when it’s time to cut your losses.
While the experts’ advice can definitely help some relationships that just need a little spicing up, not all relationships are meant to last, and that’s OK, too. The key though is to know how to recognize the difference so that you don’t drag out either your or your partner’s unhappiness. Susan Winter, a NYC relationship expert, love coach, and author of Breakup Triage: The Cure for Heartache, tells Elite Daily that the best way to discern the difference is by considering what aspect of the relationship has gone boring. She says to ask yourself if the relationship is boring because you’ve fallen into the rut of routine or if there is just no chemistry between you and your SO. “There’s nothing you can do to correct a partner who is inherently boring. Trust me. I’ve tried every methodology possible. However, you can fix a rut. If you’ve both becoming lazy about continuing to grow and explore as a couple, you can make a concerted effort to try new adventures,” she explains.
Sher adds that it’s important not to rush to judgment, but to thoughtfully consider your feelings before making a move. “You should only do this once you fully understand exactly why the relationship has become boring. At times, this is inevitable: People grow apart and develop needs that their current partner can’t meet. This is a sign that it may be time to walk away,” he says. “On the other hand, boredom can also provide a valuable opportunity to grow and strengthen the relationship. Don’t walk away until you understand exactly what’s going on between you and whether the excitement can be rekindled.”
While weathering periods of boredom in your relationship may not sound like the most amazing experience, there is real comfort in knowing that sometimes the best relationships can get a little stale, but that doesn’t mean it’s over — there is still plenty of hope for the future. It’s just one of those things people mean when they say that relationships take work. As long as you and your SO are in it to win it, you can get through it, and likely end up even closer on the other side.
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