Relationships
Are you bored in your relationship?

10 Signs You’re Stuck In A Boring Relationship

#6 is painfully accurate.

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Relationships ebb and flow — that's simply a fact of being in a partnership with another person. You'll have your golden honeymoon phase, and it will eventually fizzle out. From that point forward, you and your partner will have to put in more effort to keep your relationship fresh, fun, and sparkly, even when you don't necessarily feel like it (because you love each other). But if the ebbs are longer than the flows and the phases of feeling dissatisfied with your partner start to feel more permanent? There's a chance you're bored in your relationship. And, just to be extra clear, there is a difference between a boring relationship and a comfortable one — one’s healthy and one isn’t.

It’s normal to have off days every now and then. But when your relationship feels consistently stagnant, that's when you know you have a problem. If your conversation lags and the monotony of life with your partner is unbearable, boredom is probably on the menu. Boredom might not sound like the worst thing in a relationship, but it can have some serious emotional repercussions.

Often, being bored in a relationship makes you feel unlike yourself. You might feel like you’re over sex, not interested in date night, and tired of your whole relationship dynamic. By the way, this can all be true even if you don't feel like calling it quits with your partner. TBH, that lack of satisfaction can sometimes be more frustrating than being so fed up with your partner that you’re ready to break up. Plus, this kind of frustration can come in many forms — whether it's irritability, sadness, anxiety, or even feeling “stuck.”

That said, here are eight things you'll notice about yourself if you're bored with your relationship.

You Pick Unnecessary Fights
Victor Torres / Stocksy

Dr. Binita Amin, a clinical psychologist, says getting into arguments for innocuous reasons could be a sign that you're bored. If you find yourself bickering with your partner often over the little things, you might want to step back and assess why. Disagreements happen in every relationship. But, Amin says, it's worth seeing if the arguments are fueled by boredom or by something else.

And Amin isn’t alone in pointing toward constant fighting as a sign of being bored in your relationship. Sara Oliveri Olumba, a life coach who runs Sara Oliveri Coaching, notes that being frequently irritated or even repelled by your partner is a sign that you're bored with your relationship. For example, you might catch yourself snapping at your partner because they're getting in your way around the house or because they did something as innocent as ask to make plans together.

"Since being in a relationship is a big commitment, when we feel bored we will have strong negative feelings due to the fact that the commitment no longer feels worth it," Olumba says. In this scenario, you're likely lashing out at your partner because your commitment to them feels more like a burden than a treat — and you both deserve better than that.

Your Silences Aren’t Golden

Amin tells Elite Daily that too much silence (think mostly silent meals and other activities with your partner) can be a symptom of boredom with your relationship. She explains, "Comfortable silences can be healthy, but if you are going out to dinner and have nothing to talk about or are staying within safe and predictable confines, this is a flag." (And not a good one.)

"[C]ommunication is key to any relationship in order to ensure both partners are moving in the same direction in terms of commitment." Pricilla Martinez, a life coach at Blush Online Life Coaching, previously told Elite Daily. If you’re feeling bored and communication feels like a chore, you might not be up for that same level of commitment.

Sex Isn’t That Exciting Anymore

If you're bored with your romantic relationship, you might find that it trickles into the bedroom. "Sex may start to look more routine or recede altogether," Amin explains. "There may be less interest in putting [in] effort to please [your] partner, spice things up, or even engage." You might even find yourself passively saying "yes," as opposed to being rearing to go.

Montrella Cowan, a social worker and life coach specializing in relationships, agrees that a decrease in sex drive can be symptomatic of relationship boredom. You'll stop experimenting sexually because "sexual appetite, passion, and longing have taken a dive in the wrong direction." If you feel bored, you might stop initiating sex with your partner altogether.

Although changes in your sex life can be indicative of boredom, that’s not always the case. Olumba says a change in your sexual dynamic truly depends on the relationship. "I have known many couples who report having great sex right up until the day they got divorced and others whose sex life dwindled even during the best, most deeply connecting times in their relationship," Olumba recalls. That's why she's a big believer that sexual satisfaction and emotional satisfaction ought to be worked on separately in relationships. So, if you and your partner are experiencing trouble in both areas, the two may be connected — but you'll definitely have to work on both in order to get your relationship back on track.

You DGAF Anymore... And It Shows
Guille Faingold / Stocksy

Relationships can be hard work. At the end of the day, having strong feelings for one another is not enough. You also need to put in effort to turn those feelings into a stable relationship. Susan Winter, NYC-based relationship expert and love coach previously explained to Elite Daily, "The hallmark of a healthy relationship is one where the couple remains connected, despite external or internal stressors. No matter how great the challenge at hand, both individuals commit to working it out, together. They look at each other as their teammate, their partner, their confidant, and their support system.”

According to Amin, if you're bored with your relationship, chances are you've stopped putting in this necessary effort. Instead of the "best self" you put forward in the early stages of your relationship, you've started asking yourself, "Why bother?"

You Don’t Have Fun Together Very Often

Although all relationships come with challenges, the good times should always outweigh the bad. If that’s not the case anymore, it could be a sign that boredom is taking over. Cowan explains, "If you find yourself frowning more often than smiling, including those fake grins, you are likely bored in your relationship."

A complete absence of fun in your relationship might also spark a tendency to focus on the monotony of your relationship. Normally, routine and structure are beneficial, Amin says. But, she adds, "If we are struggling to find things to look forward to as a couple, or wishing back to the 'good old days,' it might be time to re-examine the script."

You Daydream About Other People
Lauren Naefe / Stocksy

Do you ever catch yourself thinking that your work crush or IG crush would be a better girlfriend or boyfriend than your actual partner? Yeah, well, that might be another sign that you're just not present in your relationship anymore. "While it is natural [to] find attraction to more than one individual in our lifetimes, we want to be mindful of what is causing us to look outside of our relationship," Amin says.

Sometimes, you're not even pining after a specific Instagram baddie or IRL temptation. You might just find yourself straight-up wishing that you were single. According to Amin, “envying the single status of your friends” is another clue that you’re bored in your relationship.

Don't get it twisted: It's healthy to have an independent identity outside of your relationship with your partner. "However, if you more often find yourself feeling you are missing out on the fun or glad your partner is otherwise occupied, take a closer look," Amin says.

Your Emotions Are All Over The Place

According to Cowan, people generally experience a downward spiral of emotions when they feel bored with their relationship though it can vary from person-to-person and depends on the circumstances, Cowan explains, "This emotional escapade can go from one being happy and enthusiastic, to antagonistic, to angry, to bored, to sad and even as low as apathy." OK, so that sounds like one seriously drastic spiral, but it can actually happen very subtly over time. "The next thing you notice is that you are not yourself and you cannot figure how you got here."

And while the signs may point to you feeling bored in your relationship, it still might not be that straightforward. You'll feel a lot of negative emotions not just because you're bored, but also because you're conflicted — you love your partner and you made a commitment to them, but you're also dissatisfied. Of course, that dissatisfaction can either be externalized (directed to your partner) or internalized (bottled up inside). Either way, Amin says, you will feel paralyzed when it comes to making major decisions regarding your relationship.

You Have More Fun On Your Own

Another red flag of relationship boredom is that not only do you find that you aren’t having a ton of fun around your partner, but you’re actively enjoying your time away from them. It might be a sign that you are simply disinterested in the relationship altogether. "You find yourself doing things you enjoy by yourself," Alisha Powell, Ph.D., LCSW, previously told Bustle. "You don’t include your significant other in a lot of activities and you’re becoming more of a loner."

If you prefer time alone — and not just the healthy personal space that everyone needs at times — you’re likely trying to distance yourself from your partner, even if you don’t realize it. “If you're making an effort to create more time and experiences that don't involve your partner, the long-term prognosis may not be good,” Shannon Smith, a relationship expert for Plenty of Fish, previously told Elite Daily. “Sure, the healthiest relationships have doses of alone time and time spent apart, but if you're no longer finding your time together fulfilling, that's a major red flag.”

You Don’t Address Relationship Problems

If you’re finding your relationship boring, you’ll also likely stop trying to solve any issues that come up with your partner, and instead harbor negative feelings. If that’s the case, this feeling of boredom is actually due to a lack of emotional intimacy, according to Debra Fileta, a licensed professional counselor.

“When you hold onto hurts without dealing with them and expressing them in a healthy way, you can find yourself pushing your partner away and losing the feelings of intimacy and excitement,” Fileta previously told Bustle.

You Lose The Sense Of Romance You Once Felt
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Even if you aren’t feeling like you completely don’t want to be around your partner, if you’re beginning to find you’re losing all semblance of romance in your relationship, it’s a big sign that you’re getting bored. You might still feel like you care for your significant other, but in an increasingly platonic way that’s making you uninvested in keeping the relationship fresh with romance.

“If you don't work on the relationship or marriage, the love that was once so fresh and exciting fades away, and you'll find yourself with a roommate, not a partner,” dating and breakup recovery coach Cherlyn Chong previously told Elite Daily.

So, What Do You Do About It?

There isn’t one way to handle feeling bored in your relationship — depending on how much effort you’re willing to put in, you could come out of this “my relationship is boring” phase stronger than ever. "Relationships are like a garden that require consistent nurturing," Amin reminds us. "What may have worked early on may need revising and updating from time to time. Avoid complacency." Cowan echoes this, saying, "Perhaps you have changed and/or your partner has changed. This does not mean you are doomed."

According to Cowan, the best way to start handling this boredom is to first acknowledge it and then to seek support. Basically, don't let it be the elephant in the room. "The sooner you acknowledge and name it, in this case 'boredom,' the sooner you can do something about it," Cowan says. Once you’ve done that, you can work on finding solutions together.

As long as you and your SO are "in it to win it," you can work through it. But if you need some assistance, Amin recommends counseling — especially since it will give you a safe space to explore your dissatisfaction. An expert can help guide you on more specific problem areas, but, generally speaking, reminding yourself of and appreciating the qualities that drew you to your partner in the first place instead of "focusing on all the things your partner is not" are good mindset adjustments to get you started.

Along that same vein, she adds, "Be careful of the 'grass is greener' syndrome. All relationships require work, including relative areas of challenge. What may seem light and easy in comparison will inevitably come with its own challenges as relationships become grounded in security. Be conscious that you are not swapping out for something you later wished you hadn’t.” Comparison is the thief of joy, after all.

If you are committed to making the relationship work, Amin recommends amping up your communication and trying new things with your partner rather than playing the daydreaming game. On the communication front, Amin says, "Research suggests that keeping current in your partner’s world — interests, friends, stressors — maintains strength in the relationship by promoting intimacy." It also helps keep conversations alive and fixes that problem of awkward silences and having nothing to talk about. "Reserve at least 10-15 minutes of uninterrupted time per day to really listen and communicate about your days," Amin says. Don't be afraid of bringing up tough subjects and asking directly for what you need in these scenarios, either.

But conversation alone probably won’t keep you together (or solve your boredom). Trying a more holistic approach by incorporating new activities, habits, and dates into your routine can also help bring some life back into your relationship."Novel and stimulating shared activities inspire cooperation, make us feel happier in general, and in our relationship," Amin says. "Seeing new sights and experiences inspires awe, and play simply brings a grounding joy. Our minds often attribute the feelings of arousal toward our partner which can help reignite the flame."

Remember that most of this advice is for people who really want to make their relationship work and overcome this boredom. If that’s not you, there’s zero shame in calling it quits. You want to be in a relationship that you want to fight for, even when times get tough, not one where you feel obligated to. The good news is that by addressing the situation head-on, you’ll get a better sense of where the both of you stand and where to go from there.

On the plus side, just because you are currently bored in your relationship doesn't mean that the love you have for your partner and your attraction to them is gone. If you really want to, you can absolutely overcome this boredom by talking it out and mixing it up.

Experts:

Dr. Binita Amin, a clinical psychologist

Sara Oliveri Olumba, a life coach who runs Sara Oliveri Coaching

Pricilla Martinez, a life coach at Blush Online Life Coaching

Montrella Cowan, a social worker and life coach specializing in relationships

Susan Winter, NYC-based relationship expert and love coach

Alisha Powell, Ph.D., LCSW

Shannon Smith, relationship expert

Debra Fileta, licensed professional counselor

Cherlyn Chong, dating and breakup recovery coach