Boredom! Who wants that? Certainly not in a relationship. Yet many couples complain that they are bored with their partner and want to spice up their relationship.
Day-to-day routines quickly render things mundane. Like the caged rat running on the wheel, we want to break out and do something different: Wake up, go to work, come home, eat dinner, interact with the kids, watch TV and go to bed. Rinse and repeat tomorrow.
Now, don’t get me wrong. Couples who have been together a long time do fall into routines and patterns. There is comfort in this. Predictability and structure help with stress. But when the routine begins to cause you to lose interest in your partner, it could signal a problem. The enthusiasm wanes and you find yourself tired and bored. Life becomes monotonous. And when disconnection follows, relationships are heading toward break up.
So, how do we appreciate familiarity and enjoy the comfort of routine, but prevent boredom? Consider these tips:
- Know what you partner loves and both do it. For me, it’s travel. It takes me out of the mundane and brings novelty to the relationship. A road trip to a park, a short trip to enjoy something new and travel breaks routine. So, talk to your partner and find out what your partner likes and intentionally work that into your schedule.
- Novelty breaks boredom. It can shake things up. So, try something new. Together. You might try a cooking class, a ballroom dancing class, even a new church volunteering activity. Whatever is new and different that you can do together, gets the dopamine going which leads to that reward feeling in the brain.
- Laugh together. There is something about adding humor to a relationship that makes it fun and a little more unpredictable. Find ways to laugh together-maybe a movie, a funny game, charades, etc. Tickle each other. Make your partner laugh. Get silly and let go a bit. Humor is a good stress reliever as well.
- Get active. Don’t give in to tiredness–it will make you even more tired. Instead, get active. Start walking, exercise and do things together. It’s easy to sit at home and get on a device which is not interactive with real people. Put down the electronics, turn off the TV and get outside or do something together inside. Take on a home project, a new skill or learn a language together. Make yourself get off the couch. Your mood will improve as well. And a better mood makes a better partner.
- Be curious about your partner. When you talk at home, ask questions about the day. What was interesting, challenging? Discuss life goals and dreams and what you long to build together. Continue to grow together. Recently, I heard my husband tell a story I had never heard about his past. After all these years, I could still learn new things about him.
- Get together with friends. Something about a group of friends brings out laughter and fun. I love inviting people to our home because hey, people are interesting. And the diversity of friends we have brings new perspectives. Yet I find a lot of couples are reluctant to host, feeling they aren’t good at it. It’s not that hard. Clean up your space, put out some food and just have fun. You could also start a card group or some type of study as well.
- Be affectionate. Not just in the bedroom but in surprising moments of the day or night. The other day my husband brought home flowers. No reason, he just decided it would be a nice surprise and it was. Or stop what you’re doing and give a hug or a kiss. Hold hands when walking and tell your partner why you appreciate them. Affection is good medicine needed on a regular basis.
- Interact spiritually together. This will bring a deep intimacy to your relationship. Praying together has been shown to increase forgiveness, emotional and sexual fidelity, happiness, trust and unity. It even helps with conflict resolution. Whatever you can do spiritually together will bring a different and exciting dimension to your relationship.
Look, boredom is natural in a relationship that feels safe and secure. But you don’t want to lose sight of making that relationship fun and interesting through the years. This often takes intention. So shake things up once in a while. Remember how you met and what attracted you to that person in the first place. Then, try a few new things out of the routine to keep boredom at bay!Relationship boredom