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.
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.