The Difference Between A Rut And The End Of A Relationship

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Once upon a time, you and your BAE were crazy in love with each other.

But unfortunately, life went on, and that intense feeling has passed.

It's not that you don't love each other anymore — of course you still love each other. It's more that the crazy, intoxicating, can't-get-enough portion of the love affair seems to be coming to a close.

Maybe you're fighting a lot, or maybe you're not fighting at all. Whatever the case may be, you still know something is wrong.

The thing is, you don't want this "something" to result in the end of your relationship altogether.

There are times when this rut really does feel like it might be the end, but you want to be able to say you tried your best to make sure it doesn't come to that.

I talked to Dr. Niloo Dardashti, a psychologist and relationship expert in New York City, to see how to keep your rut from turning into a breakup.

Put in the work.

According to Dr. Dardashti, we often find ourselves in a relationship rut "when one person is evolving and the other person isn't."

You usually don't hit that rut until later on in the relationship when things stop going as seamlessly as they were in the beginning.

"Usually in the beginning, things come much easier than later into the relationship. That's when you have to start putting in the work." Dr. Dardashti explains. "Are you just expecting everything to be perfect and not doing anything to make it great?"

To get out of your rut and really make your relationship last, you have to put in the work.

To get out of your rut and really make your relationship last, you have to put in the work.

Dr. Dardashti suggests you make uninterrupted quality time with each other (outside of the bedroom) a priority. She also urges you to talk through your issues instead of avoiding them. Part of that talking involves being open about where you're currently at.

If you're the person doing the growing, there's one question she encourages you to ask: "Is the other person willing to work on growing with you, or are they OK with where they're at?"

In terms of working on your chemistry inside of the bedroom, she first says to explore the possibility that one person is feeling resentful or angry. Resentment and anger, she explains, can be the "biggest fire extinguisher when it comes to eroticism."

If this is the case, refer back to the earlier advice and talk through whatever issue is causing that resentment.

If that's not the case, and you feel like your sex life has just been a little ~vanilla~ lately, Dr. Dardashti suggests spicing it up by incorporating some fantasy elements. This can be literally anything you've been wanting to try.

"A lot of the time, people have trouble expressing their needs sexually," she says. But she suggests really making that effort to express your sexual needs to your partner: "Talk about some fantasy stuff and try to act them out."

It can be embarrassing, but in order for your partner to be able to give you what you need, you need to be able to overcome the embarrassment and tell them what you want.

At the end of the day, the key to "working" on your relationship is really nothing more than communication.

Dr. Dardashti highlights this point:

A lot of the times we want people to read our minds and just know what we need, either sexually or emotionally. It just doesn't work out that way most of the time. We need to talk about what we need and talk about what feels good.

Revisit what you want.

OK, so lets say you've done the talking AND you've put in the work. Do you feel like the rut is over? Do you still feel like you're at square one? Do you feel slightly better, but not really?

If you've really put in an effort to fix whatever feels wrong, and it still feels like you guys are in this "rut," Dr. Dardashti says it's time to revisit what you want in a relationship.

Think about what you want and what your partner wants, and see if those two things still align. Revisit what you need and what your partner needs, and see if those things have changed.

Revisit what you need and what your partner needs, and see if those things have changed.

Maybe all the talking and the work made you guys more in sync than ever, and your partner is willing to do whatever it takes to get on the same page as you.

On the other hand, maybe your partner is OK with where they're at and has no real intention of changing. Pushing them in a different direction might only end up annoying them and pushing them further away from you.

In that case, if you're not OK with who they are as is, and they have no intention of changing, it might be time to call it quits.

Remember it all comes down to one thing.

At the end of the day, the difference between a rut or the end of your relationship comes down to one thing and one thing only: will.

Dr. Dardashti explains,

It's a matter of will. Do you want to work on yourself in a way that would be satisfying to your partner, or are you OK with where you're at and sort of feel like you're annoyed with the fact that the other person wants you to change?

If you want this to be a rut that you can work your way out of, it really can be just that if you put in the effort to make a change.

But if you don't want to put in the work to make things better, you could be looking at the end of your relationship.