My relationship is boring – here are some antidotes.September 24, 2018
For some people, the worst thing they can think of is being in a boring relationship. Boredom is associated with feelings of weariness, tediousness or impatience. It usually involves an absence of interest, desire or passion, and can be quite disheartening.
Relationships change, and it is common to experience spells of boredom as your cycle in and out of different phases of your relationship. But there could be a bigger problem if you and your partner are not on the same page in terms of your willingness to re-energise your relationship.
Here are some of the boredom indicators I hear when I’m working with couples:
- One person states they are bored. Hint – if this is you, rather than saying you are bored, say instead that you are keen to look at ways to energise your relationship with your partner.
- One or both of you are spending huge amounts of time on devices.
- Impatience or boredom with where you are at in your life. Ensure you understand the difference between relationship boredom and personal boredom related to your career, life satisfaction or children. It’s common to blame your partner and your relationship for boredom or frustration in other areas of your life.
- A loss of interest in your partner sexually or intimately.
- You have stopped making an effort for your partner.
- You have found yourself attracted to others outside your relationship.
- The daily routine has become monotonous.
- You don’t have any shared relationship goals.
- You don’t find your partner’s work interesting.
- You are beginning to worry that your partner is not your intellectual equal.
Here are some tips for injecting excitement back into your relationship. I call them relationship distractors, because they are good short-term savers, but won’t address any underlying challenges.
- Build anticipation – anticipation can even beat sensation. So plan a holiday together, or even next weekend’s activities. Having something to look forward to is often just as good for the relationship as the experience itself.
- Schedule dates – in successful relationship, partners plan regular activity together – and they don’t let those plans slide. If that’s not happening for you, make regular dates a relationship habit.
- Back to basics – doing activities that you did early on in your relationship can reorient you to the things that attracted you to each other (and we all like those early-days love feelings).
- The sledge hammer approach – if you need a kick into gear, try turning your phone off for 24 hours while you’re with your partner. You will be forced to be creative and find fun things to do together. Read more about how good this can be for your relationships here.
- Bump the comfort zone – doing activities that are slightly uncomfortable generates hormones that will make you feel closer to your partner. This could involve learning a new skill together – dance, surfing, cooking or anything new.
- Bring back some mystery and subtlety – romance and desire often occur in the realm of mystery and subtlety. Sometimes we forget that when we have been with a partner for a long time.
But perhaps you are looking for something a little deeper than just distraction. If you want to increase your connection with your partner and deepen your love and admiration you could do the following:
- Know your lover – Do you know what your partner is looking forward to? Do you know what they are worried about at the moment? What about their sexual fantasies? Getting to know your partner’s inner world not only brings you closer, but also builds empathy. The Gottman Institute has an app to help with this called Card Decks.
- Create fond memories and ritualise – Do you have a fond memory of a holiday you went on when you first got together? Could you create a regular holiday or experience like that, that you repeat each year? It needn’t be the same place but can be. This can be a foundation of goodwill in a relationship.
- Create a project together – working towards a similar outcome is a great way to establish shared meaning. It might be a business, a social good (volunteering together) or even a veggie patch.
- Find or create shared goals – aligning on some long-term life goals is a great way to connect to purpose and draw you out of boredom. They could be financial goals, where you want to live, or whether you want to start a family together. Taking your relationship to the next level requires vulnerability and risk. Setting goals like this involves both.
- Ritualise your moments of connection – Goodbyes and greetings can mean a lot for a relationship – read more here about how to make them meaningful.
Feeling bored at times is normal. It’s also probably going to happen in your relationship from time to time. That said, the number one cited reason for separation is couples drifting apart. So it is important to address boredom before it leads to a lack of connection.
Accessing a couples counsellor can really help if you think there is something deeper underlying the boredom in your relationship. Our Relationship Therapists at the Sydney Couple and Family Specialist can help you understand this, and give you the tools to address the underlying issues.
It takes a lot of courage to share a moment of crisis with someone you don’t yet know. Even more so, to entrust your intimate relationship over to them.
I have been in the fortunate position to be trusted with that responsibility many times and have helped people – through their own bravery, honesty and effort – to transcend their suffering and improve their relationships.
For more than a decade, I’ve had the privilege of being a Therapist. As a Lifeline Counsellor and Trainer, at the Jansen Newman Institute, and in private practice at Sydney Couple and Family Specialists. In that time, I’ve worked with people in crisis and those going through frightening intense and painful life events. I’ve seen what trauma, infidelity, anxiety, depression, adolescent struggles and suicidal ideation can do to an individual, a couple, and whole families.
Whether you’re a couple in a relationship that’s no longer fulfilling, or a teenager who’s frustrated and pushing boundaries beyond the level of safety, my therapeutic approach is fundamentally the same: You’re safe here. I know it’s lonely and frightening, but I’ll listen to you. I will help you understand what is causing your distress – and help you find ways change it. You’ll be supported, but you’ll be challenged too.
I want you to walk away, knowing you have the skills to deal with the problem at hand. But also having what it takes – as an individual or couple – to change, grow and improve all aspects of your life.
Both adolescents and adults have told me I am warm and easy to talk to, and therapy with me feels safe. Couples say they feel understood by me, and that I really ‘get’ both their perspectives. I’ve had people thank me because they feel their partner truly understands them for the first time in their relationship.
When you come to see me you can expect a warm and thoughtful exchange, to be genuinely heard in contained space, to get to the heart of the problem, and to receive practical skills to improve your life and your relationship.
Qualifications and Professional Membership
I am a member of the Australian Association of Family Therapy, the Counsellors and Psychotherapist Association of Australia, and the Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia.
I hold a Masters of Counselling and Psychotherapy from Jansen Newman Institute Sydney, and a Bachelor degree from the University of Sydney.
I have worked at Sydney Couple and Family Specialists, at the Jansen Newman Institute, and with Lifeline Australia.
If you would like to find out more or to book an appointment with Alex, please contact our receptionist today on 02 8968 9397 or contact us and we will help you revitilise your relationship and make a deeper connection with your partner.