5 Ways To Avoid Getting Bored In Your Relationship
Especially in long-term relationships, boredom is only natural. You've already learned everything there is to know about your partner (or so you think), and as a couple you have something of a routine, predictable lifestyle.
But long-term relationships can feel stale if they don’t grow. Boredom can be relationship poison—it leads to disinterest, emotional distance, and sometimes even relationship-exploding behaviors when partners start to seek thrills elsewhere. One survey in The Normal Bar found 71 percent of men and 49 percent of women cheat because they’re bored.
Boredom can take different forms such as these:
- You feel unsatisfied in your relationship or with your partner.
- You don’t feel connected with your partner.
- You feel your relationship is empty.
- You feel your relationship is stuck in a rut, and you feel like roommates.
- You feel hopeless when you think about your relationship and your partner.
If any of these sound familiar—or if you just want to prevent future boredom—here are some tips for keeping fresh, thrilling energy within a relationship.
1. Don’t get stuck in a monotonous schedule.
Structure and schedules are a great way to keep things in order, but this can potentially decrease excitement in your relationship. It is possible to maintain a routine without becoming a boring couple. To keep things interesting, it takes both partners to commit to the process.
Everyone is time-starved and busy, but this can no longer be an excuse for why you don’t have time for one another.
Do this: Schedule a day or evening every two weeks where you plan to spend time together. If you have children, they aren’t invited. One partner can be responsible for arranging childcare, and the other can schedule the time together. Try to plan something particularly novel when possible—something that’s thrilling and doesn’t feel like a chore. This way, you’ll feel energized and build anticipation just thinking about it.
2. Refocus on personal fulfillment.
Many people cheat because their physical, mental, or spiritual fulfillment needs aren't being met, so it’s important to have some clarity around what you need in life to feel excited and fulfilled. Is it meeting new people? Gaining respect in your field? Traveling more? Sexual novelty?
Once you have a handle on what your broader life goals and desires are, consider whether you’re including your partner in the process of fulfilling them. Your partner isn’t 100 percent responsible for fulfilling all your needs, but they can help you along the way. They can be an important part of your journey for some of the needs and an active supporter of your journey to find the others. For example, your partner may help you brainstorm ideas needed to reach your professional goals while you support them with their health goals.
Do this: Start by talking with your partner about your needs and life goals. Have an honest discussion and tell them how you would like them to be involved.
3. Stop avoiding your issues.
If you are feeling bored in your relationship, it’s likely that your partner feels the same way. Many people avoid talking with their partner about feeling bored because they worry about hurting their partner’s feelings, don’t think things will change, or think it will take too much effort to fix the problems. But the truth is, you may have made the issues that are leading to boredom more significant in your head than they are. There’s no reason conversations around refreshing the energy in a relationship needs to come off as an attack from either party.
Do this: Ask your partner if they have a few minutes to talk. Tell them what you are experiencing and that you want to be honest with them. Don’t be aggressive or passive-aggressive during the conversation. Be transparent and caring so that you don’t trigger defensiveness.
4. Spend time doing individual and couple-oriented hobbies.
Just as it’s essential to find activities and interests you both enjoy, don’t forget to spend time on your own interests. A healthy couple is one that can enjoy time together as well as apart. For example, don’t give your partner a hard time if he wants to go play basketball with his friends. Take the opportunity to spend time alone or do something fun with your friends.
Do this: Keep a balance between spending time on individual and couple activities. You are not going to balance them perfectly, but try to be aware if you are giving too much time to one versus the other. If your partner isn’t spending enough time on your joint hobby or activity, tell them how you feel.
5. Be around people that add to you, not take away.
Limit your time around people that take from you, whether it’s emotionally, mentally, or physically. If people are taking the best parts of you, what do you have left to bring home to your relationship? If you surround yourself with friends who don’t add value or growth to your life, then you may need to stop spending time with them.
For example, your friend who’s always dealing with a crisis wants you to invest your time and resources to help them. When you tell them what they can do differently so they don’t experience a crisis, they do the opposite. You’re left feeling frustrated and depleted.
Do this: What do you learn from your friends? How do they make your life better? Spend your time socializing with people that will enhance your life and challenge you to be your best self. This will help you feel alive and fresh, which will allow you to bring your best to your relationships. It’s hard to feel bored when you are enjoying your life both inside and outside the relationship.
You and your partner will change through the years because it’s a part of being a human. This will lead your relationships to change, too—but you get to decide if it will evolve. Do you grow together or apart? You have what it takes to boredom-proof your relationship with just a little bit of conscious effort, open dialogue, and dedicated time for play.
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