Articles by Alex Ryder, Couple's counselling, Relationships

My relationship is boring – here are some antidotes.

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:

  1. 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.
  2. One or both of you are spending huge amounts of time on devices.
  3. 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.
  4. A loss of interest in your partner sexually or intimately.
  5. You have stopped making an effort for your partner.
  6. You have found yourself attracted to others outside your relationship.
  7. The daily routine has become monotonous.
  8. You don’t have any shared relationship goals.
  9. You don’t find your partner’s work interesting.
  10. You are beginning to worry that your partner is not your intellectual equal.

The antidotes

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.

  1. 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.
  2. Schedule dates – in successful relationship, partners plan regular activities together – and they don’t let those plans slide. If that’s not happening for you, make regular dates a relationship habit.
  3. 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 loving feelings).
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

About Alex

Alex is an accessible and compassionate therapist.  His clients appreciate that Alex listens with the intention of genuinely understanding them.  He’s lovely with adolescents, who seem to warm to him

immediately, and he creates a space in sessions for any or all participants to have their say and feel heard.

Alex’s particular strengths are in the area of working with couples and he has extensive experience and training in this area.  He is both Gottman and Systemically trained and draws on practical ideas that clients can immediately make use of to enhance their relationships.

Alex comes to Sydney Couple and Family Therapy Specialists from backgrounds as a Lifeline Crisis Line Counsellor and Trainer and Therapist at the highly-respected Jansen Newman Institute.  He has supported individuals and couples through trauma, anxiety, depression, suicidal ideation and adolescent struggles.

Alex has helped many people through intensely frightening and painful life events – and to a place where they have the skills and confidence to carry themselves forward.

Alex is married with a young family and therefore easily relates to the stress and struggles that many couples and young families face today.

“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 key relationships.”

Alex also runs the pre-marriage counselling course at the Sydney Couple and Family Specialists

Qualifications and Professional Membership

Alex holds a Masters of Counselling and Psychotherapy from Jansen Newman Institute Sydney, and a Bachelor degree from the University of Sydney.  Alex also holds a Gottman training certificate.

He is a member of the Australian Association of Family Therapy, the Counsellors and Psychotherapist Association of Australia, and the Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia.

Why see a Couples Counselor?

Are you wondering if couples counselling is for you? In this interview Alex Ryder answers common questions we hear from people who want to understand more about this process.

And remember, if you are a new client you can book a free 15 minute telephone session with Alex.

“We really like your approach. The other couples counsellor we saw left us stuck in negativity.  Right from the start we felt hopeful with you.  Your positive approach helped us out of the slump, so we could address the real issues.” – Murry (36) married to Tasha (39); One Child (3) – Clients who saw Alex Ryder for Relationship counselling.

“I’ve wanted to refer you to so many people.  Obviously I haven’t given the circumstances, but we are huge fans and are so grateful for your help.” – Tom (49) married to Sarah (43). Two children; 15 & 13 – Clients who saw Alex Ryder for Relationship counselling following an affair.

“I think we told you in our first session that you were the last couples therapist we were going to try. Everything was on the line.  So thank you for… well everything.” – James (55) married to Philippa (53) – Clients who saw Alex Ryder for Relationship Counselling

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.

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