If you've ever been in a long-term relationship, then chances are you've probably felt some variation of boredom with a partner at one point or another. Sadly, the constant excitement associated with the honeymoon phase just isn't sustainable forever. If you've started to notice some signs your relationship is getting boring, then it's a good idea to address this issue head-on.
When a relationship starts to settle into a routine, it's easy to worry that something's wrong. After riding the oxytocin high associated with falling in love, returning to a more stable reality can start to feel like a bit of a letdown. What happened to all of the butterflies and nonstop hookups? Well, according to NYC relationship expert Susan Winter, boredom in long-term relationships is actually way more common than you might think.
"It's absolutely normal to become bored in a long-standing relationship, this is a major challenge for married couples too," Winter tells Elite Daily. "Though the routine of a habitual partnership provides security, it's also prone to boredom. Couples need to keep investing in their relationship in order for it to flourish."
Here, some red flags you should keep an eye out for that might mean you (or your partner) are bored, and what to do about it.
1. Your routine is monotonous.
Getting into a (somewhat) predictable groove with bae isn't necessarily a bad thing! Routines can help both of you feel more stable and secure, but if you're starting to feel like things are too scripted, then this could definitely be a sign that your relationship is lacking excitement.
"[If] you and your partner have fallen into a daily routine that's absolutely predictable, and therefore monotonous," or "you've settled into a repetitive pattern," then this usually signifies you could benefit from a change of pace, explains Winter.
2. The conversation lags.
There comes a time in most relationships when you both become comfortable sitting together in silence. However, if you frequently feel like you have nothing to talk about, then it could be that boredom is to blame.
"You realize that you've become that couple that says nothing to each other at the restaurant," says Winter. "But when your mate does speak, you already know what they're going to say."
3. Your curiosity about them is gone.
Another sign the sparks have dissipated in a relationship is that you feel like there's nothing new to discover about your SO. "The curiosity levels aren’t there anymore and you stop looking at your partner with fresh eyes," international dating and relationship coach Sami Wunder told Bustle. "You believe you already know them and there’s nothing new for them to offer in the relationship."
4. You're not happy.
"A few ways to know if your relationship is becoming boring is if either party is no longer happy," relationship expert Lori Bizzoco told Bustle. "Your partnership should make you feel delighted, not miserable like you're missing out."
From my experience, feeling satisfied is what separates boredom from comfort. If you're aware of the fact that your relationship isn't as titillating as it once was but are still feeling fulfilled, then you may simply be settling into a new chapter of of your relationship. However, if you're feeling trapped and unhappy, then Winter recommends taking action sooner rather than later.
"If you care to salvage your relationship, this is the time to be creative," says Winter. "Humans crave structure yet become bored with repetition. Jumpstart the excitement by planning a new event, going to a new restaurant, or meeting new friends. You need new input to create new conversations. You need new activities to create a spark of novelty in your relationship."
Keeping the spark alive in the long run takes effort, and if neither of you is willing to put in the work, then that's not necessarily a bad thing — it might just mean that the relationship has run its course. But if you still want to grow together as a couple, then finding ways to keep things exciting might be a good strategy to help you reconnect.