One of my friends called me recently panicking about her relationship. She had no idea what was off. The love was still very much alive, she said, but the romance was lost. Even the most hot and heavy relationships cool off at some point, I reminded her. You develop a solid routine, the adventures slow, and the sexual desire fades. Becoming comfortable in your coupled life is part of the process and chances are it’s just a boring phase. It’s definitely no reason to break up. Now’s the time to communicate with your partner and prepare solutions to reignite the passion. If you are bored in a relationship, here are few ideas to help you and your partner reconnect.
Plan exciting dates
After the everyday activities of being together settle in, you may find that you aren’t going out as frequently. Commit to having one date night every week or every other week, whatever best fits into your schedule. Take turns planning something special, show interest in something your partner enjoys, share new experiences together. Rather than going somewhere you always go and having the same conversation you always have, doing a new activity will help break up the day-to-day routine you’ve established. Try something adventurous like rock climbing, explore the touristy things your city has to offer or consider more unconventional ideas like volunteering; just avoid activities that involve little interaction.
Learn new things about each other
When your relationship just starts, there is so much to learn about your partner. Every question is another chance to get closer. However, over time, it can feel like all of your conversations are stale and recycled. That’s when Jenna Birch, CEO of the Plum dating app and author of The Love Gap, recommends asking the 36 questions to fall in love. “To get to know someone deeper, you have to make a concerted effort to probe beneath the surface,” she says. “The most interesting facets of a person are usually hiding.” Even couples who have been together for years can find something to ask each other that stimulates a new conversation and increases compassionate love (aka feelings of support, intimacy, commitment).
Set goals together
“If you’re not moving toward anything, it’s hard to remain excited and engaged in the relationship,” Birch says. The monotony of life is difficult to avoid, so start by discussing what you want to accomplish in the next six months, she suggests. Whether that’s mapping out travel plans, moving into a new apartment or simply spending more time together, planning for the future gives you something to look forward to. If your goal is more individual — perhaps it’s that promotion you’ve been after — ask your partner for support and make sure that you are receptive to theirs as well.
Think of boredom as a good thing
Some people’s relationships fail before they even get the chance to feel bored. Think about how far you have come with your partner and remember all the things you love about them. “Think about the crazy mess that is dating: You’re always meeting new people, wondering if someone is into you, and questioning your moves,” Birch adds. “By the laws of attachment theory, a healthy relationship is, well, a little boring. In a secure relationship, your partner is consistent, available, and predictable.” Appreciate that your partner accepts you, even in your sweatpants, and feel safe in the predictable. Assuming your relationship has compatibility, the passion will return.
Reconsider if it lasts longer than a few months
If you’ve exhausted your options and you are still bored in a relationship, it may be time to reevaluate things. “If you introduce novelty into the relationship and you still feel bored and stagnant, you might not be compatible,” says Birch. “It’s possible your partner just doesn’t like the same things you do, or you may need a partner who moves at your same pace.” At the end of the day, you deserve to be happy.