Here’s How To Tell Your Partner You're Bored In Your Relationship, Even When You Still Love Them
Being in a long-term relationship is great for so many reasons. You probably feel like you've found your ultimate ride-or-die; someone you can do life and have adventures with. They're also the person you can do absolutely nothing with and still feel totally comfortable and natural. While that last bit is awesome (especially when life gets hectic and you just want to turn off for a little bit) too much of that comfort might lead to something else: Boredom. Thinking about how to tell your partner you’re bored in your relationship without hurting them or making them feel like you don't love them or aren't happy with them anymore can be super tricky, and potentially just as awkward as it sounds.
Here's the good news: You are far from alone in feeling this way. "All couples can settle into a rut. This is normal," Susan Winter, a NYC relationship expert, love coach, and author of Breakup Triage: The Cure for Heartache, tells Elite Daily. "Boredom occurs through repetition. Are you and your partner watching Netflix every night? Hanging with the same friends? Doing the same things over and over? Getting out of your 'comfort rut' requires concerted effort, but it's well worth it." Here's how the experts suggest letting your partner know how you're feeling in the most loving and productive way possible.
Just because you're bored, doesn't mean you've fallen out of love.
When the boredom begins to set in, you might start to get a little scared that the relationship is in decline or that the love is fading. Don’t panic, says Christie Tcharkhoutian, licensed marriage and family therapist and professional matchmaker at Three Day Rule, because getting into a rut is not the same thing as falling out of love.
“When you first start dating, the relationship is exciting. There are new things to discover and explore with your partner every day. But the routine of life often seeps into making your relationship feel like routine rather than exciting after a while. It's important to expect this truth that just because the excitement seems to fade as the relationship deepens, that doesn't mean the love disappears,” Tcharkhoutian tells Elite Daily. “We can often mistake security for boredom when rather, we should appreciate that we don't experience the rollercoaster that the dating game often provides when we are in a secure and committed relationship.”
Consider your role in the dynamic.
Before you approach your partner about how you’re feeling, Tcharkhoutian says it's a good idea to do some self reflection and consider how other areas of your life may be affecting how you feel. “Often we allow boredom in work, inability to find our purpose in life or what we enjoy doing, or boredom with our other daily routines, for boredom in the relationship,” she explains.
If that’s not the issue, then the next step is to spend some time thinking about how your behavior is feeding into the rut, because sometimes, a change in your own behavior can have a big impact on the whole dynamic. “Once we are clear about what the root of this feeling stems from, then we should self-evaluate how we are contributing to the problem. Are you always expecting your partner to initiate plans? Are you doing anything proactive to change up your daily routine? Every relationship is co-created, so if you are feeling bored, it's likely also due to the lack of effort you are investing in staying engaged,” says Tcharkhoutian.
Begin by asking your partner how they're feeling about the relationship.
If the issue can't be resolved by adjusting your own behavior, then it's time to loop your partner into how you're feeling. The best way to engage your SO in the conversation, Tcharkoutian says, is by asking questions and checking in on how they're feeling in the relationship. She suggests asking open-ended questions like "I've been feeling like we're a little stuck, what are your thoughts?."
Express how you’re feeling in an open and loving way.
It’s important to be open and honest in sharing how you're feeling, but the real key, says Tcharkoutian, is to do so in a non-confrontational and loving way. “When we open up the conversation, it allows the feeling of safety to lead the conversation rather than your partner feeling like you're attacking them by saying 'You never do anything fun anymore.' Replace that with 'I love spending time with you and exploring the city, recently I've felt like we are in a relationship routine and I'd like to find some ways we can change things up — do you have any ideas?'" Tcharkoutian suggests. "By inviting them to join in on the conversation, you're communicating that it's not your partner that is the problem but rather, your partner is your teammate and you want to join them in solving the problem together.”
Once you and your partner on the same page, it's time to put some plans into action. Winter explains that the best way to break out of a rut is to start changing up your routine together. “Options include travel plans to unknown destinations, classes, and activities,” she says. Winter adds that, in some cases, it may be necessary to take a little break and spend some time apart. “Though it may seem counterintuitive, your individual experiences allow for new conversations with your mate,” she explains. Whatever path you end up following to shake things up, the key is to make that decision together to reinforce the idea that you are a team. Remember: You can get through this together, and your happy, healthy relationship is totally worth the effort.