4 Signs You're Not Challenged Enough By Your Relationship & What To Do About It
There are many different ingredients that come together to make a relationship successful in the long term. Being in a relationship with someone who pushes you to be the best version of yourself can be the difference between an OK relationship and an amazing one. The signs you’re not being challenged by your relationship may or may not be easy to pick up on, because the truth is that not everyone wants or needs to be in a relationship that pushes them to evolve.
"Some people value stable and peaceful relationships that do not challenge them, others value relationships that help them grow (and with growth, there are always challenges)," intimacy coach and sex therapist Irene Fehr tells Elite Daily.
So, if you're sitting there wondering if something is wrong in your otherwise great relationship because you don't feel challenged, the answer isn't necessarily black or white.
"How important it is to be challenged in a relationship depends on your values," explains Fehr.
If you find yourself noticing the following things in your relationship, then it could be that you and your partner aren't facilitating each other's personal growth as much as you could be. And it's up to you to decide if that's something that feels necessary for you.
1. If You Don't Feel Like Your Partner Is Helping You Grow
According to online dating coach and relationship expert Damona Hoffman, if you don't feel yourself improving throughout the course of a relationship, then it may be that you're not being challenged.
But what does "challenge" actually mean as it relates to a healthy relationship?
"The best relationship can challenge you to be your best self, make you reaffirm your values, and inspire you to learn more about yourself and your partner," Hoffman tells Elite Daily.
Fehr agrees that being in a partnership that actively facilitates you being your best self is definitely something to aim for.
"When a relationship challenges you, it means that you've created an environment and dynamic where both partners grow from the relationship to be better people," says Fehr.
2. If Being With Your Partner Feels Draining
If being with your partner has started to feel draining and lackluster, then this is another sign that that your current dynamic isn't working as well as it could be.
"When a relationship stops being challenging to partners, it's common to see couples pull away from each other and lose connection as well as sexual eroticism, which often leads to sexless relationships," notes Fehr
And no sex can, in many relationships, means no intimacy.
3. If You Frequently Feel Bored With Your Partner
"The kind of thrill and chemistry we feel with our partners at the start of a relationship comes from the thrill of being challenged by someone new to open up to another person, to share yourself," says Fehr.
Which totally makes sense, since learning how to be with someone new is fun. You're totally checked in and on your toes because you kind of have to put your best foot forward. Of course, relationships don't usually sustain the intensity of that initial spark, but if you're feeling completely bored every time you're with your SO, then this is far from ideal.
"If you are not learning and growing through the relationship, it can feel stagnant and boring once the initial endorphins and chemistry wear off," explains Hoffman.
4. If One Of You Feels Like The Other Person Is Always Getting Their Way
Another hint that your relationship could benefit from some improvements is if you or your partner don't feel like you're both actively voicing your opinions and making compromises somewhat equally.
"A relationship should always feel like compromise. If you're always the one getting your way, that's unhealthy for the relationship in the long term," notes Hoffman.
"We often stop challenging each other out of fear — fear of upsetting our partners and ultimately losing them," explains Fehr.
How To Improve
Both Fehr and Hoffman agree that if you feel like your partnership isn't inspiring you to be your best self, then oftentimes this is something that can be improved.
"Look first at what you personally can do to improve your relationship before pointing fingers at what your partner is not doing for you," says Hoffman. "When you are at your best self, that can encourage your partner to give it their all."
According to Fehr, another way to improve a dip in relationship energy is to become aware of the ways in which you both are contributing to the current dynamic and to improve the communication. If you've been letting your bae get their way nonstop just to avoid conflict, try having a talk with them and be honest about it. In some cases, however, it could just be an issue of incompatibility.
"This can be a true mismatch of either values or personalities or a variety of things such as education, interests or commitment to personal growth," explains Fehr. "If being challenged is a strong value for you, you have to be meticulous in finding a partner who values the same."
But whatever you do, don't feel like you have to settle for a relationship that isn't bringing out your best. And at the end of the day, if you are perfectly satisfied with a partner who doesn't keep you on your toes, then that is actually OK too. The most important thing is being aware of how you can continually improve the elements you and your partner need to be present in the relationship and keep you both happy.
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