It starts with waned interest and then continues with repeated doubt. Before long, two people that said, “I do” are saying, “I do not want this anymore.” How can you boredom-proof your relationship to ensure a happy, healthy, and consistent connection?
Some routine is needed for structure. For example, maybe you go to the market each day after work to get food for dinner, or you wake up each morning at 6 am during the week to catch the train to work. However, relationships don’t need a lot of structure, just commitment and novelty. Be sure to continuously add flavor and interest to your relationship by avoiding routine. Go to different restaurants; start new projects; and, take trips to places you’ve never been.
In the beginning, relationships are exciting. Feelings are new and you’re interested in knowing everything about your partner. As time goes by and you know your partner well, the excitement plateaus. Keep excitement in the relationship through new experiences together. Push each other to new limits and experience new people, places, and things to see various sides of each person’s personality.
Those in strong relationships live in the present and don’t get too concerned about the future. They enjoy the day-to-day of the relationship and curb the temptation of getting too serious too soon. Those who play ‘the long’ game don’t get in relationships just after ending another one and know the difference between love and infatuation. You don’t want to use-up all the passion in the first couple of months, so take it slow and steady.
In some cases, one or both parties may have a roving eye, feeling attracted to other people. Rather than argue about potential cheating or feeling pangs of jealousy, it may be beneficial to take a break. In some cases, it’s the best thing you can do regardless of what happens next. If you are both happier with other people or being alone, then the relationship was not meant to be. However, if you miss each other and absence makes your hearts grow fonder, a break will strengthen the bond.
You may have a friend or colleague that you feel you can ‘be yourself’ with and confide in, but it’s best to feel equally if not more open with your partner. Don’t be shy about your preferences, fears, hopes, dreams, etc. Be forthright about your expectations, even if you feel a bit awkward in telling or asking about them. This is especially useful when it comes to sex.
Despite how good it feels, the act of having sex can become routine, which takes away from the excitement, and is sometimes the main reason that mates cheat. Make him chase again like he did when the relationship was new, before the sex. Spice-up your relationship by asking each other about likes, dislikes, fantasies, etc. Keep more than just your sheets fresh in the bedroom. It’s not an embarrassing topic; it’s a need in every long-term relationship.
People remember relationships, jobs, places, etc through generated memories. Think about your partner; it’s likely you are not conjuring a static picture. You’re thinking about things they’ve said and done in a time and place. Make it a point to forge fresh memories. Make plans to go places and do things that are new to keep the memories lasting.
Great couples know how to communicate. It doesn’t mean that successful couples don’t argue. Actually, feeling comfortable enough to be confrontational (while still being respectful) is very important in a relationship. Never allow your mate to feel as if they cannot confide in you or tell you about their feelings. Learn to be a good listener as well as a person who is open and honest about their own feelings. Some personalities are better at talking and listening, yet you can learn how to be a better communicator from counseling, books, videos, etc.
You don’t need to go to Fiji or Africa to maintain the fun (though traveling to exotic places is great). Keep things new by exploring, taking day trips to different towns, cities, and states. If your budget allows, try and visit new countries and vacation destinations once or twice per year. It allows for occasions to look forward to and forces each person to be out of their ordinary element while being with their loved one. Ask friends, family members, and other couples to come along.
Aidan Walker is a relationship therapist who all too often sees the same patterns being repeated unknowingly. He writes for lifestyle blogs as well as relationship sites sharing his knowledge.