When a relationship is new, every day can be filled with anticipation and excitement (or anxiety). As we grow to know our partner well and become comfortable, we gain a greater degree of certainty. While we need a degree of certainty in our relationships in order to feel safe and comfortable, too much of a good thing can begin to leave us feeling uninspired, bored or even dissatisfied. Why the heck happened? Does this mean your partner is not “the one”? Is it because of you? Are you simply not right for each other? There are several things that come in to play when a relationship takes a turn from excitement to boredom. If you find yourself or your partner bored with your relationship, read on to learn the influencing factors that can lead to boredom and dissatisfaction.
- The most common reason for boredom in a relationship is either one or both partners are bored with themselves. What? We hear you, “It’s not me it’s her/him,” or “He/she used to do everything to make me happy!” The unfortunate truth is, we often project onto our partner what we feel within ourselves. The beginning of a relationship offers much distraction from our everyday routines. After we grow comfortable, we usually relax our expectations of ourselves while often not relaxing expectations of the other. We are not truly happy within and we look to our partner to make us feel fulfilled. To get out of this rut, take a look within. What are you doing now to fulfill your own needs and your relationship needs? What we do for ourselves to enrich our lives we bring into our relationships. If you are happy with you and your life, you are far more likely to be happy with your partner. The same holds true for your partner. Is their life full and rich? Are they meeting their own needs and sharing life with you or expecting you to make them happy? Happiness is always an inside job.
- Another common influencer that leads to dissatisfaction and boredom is a lack of self-love and self-esteem that prevents us from feeling the satisfaction we might if we had a good sense of self, as well as acceptance and love of who we are as individuals, first. Instead, when we lack the certainty of who we are and why we are uniquely and irrevocably valuable and lovable, we look to our partner for approval. Insecurity and approval-seeking can drain an otherwise good relationship and exhaust the partner to a point of frustration or even a breakup. If you need to build your sense of self-worth, pursue this daily. If needed, seek the advice of a therapist or coach to work through any issues holding you back from knowing your worth.
- We all do it, but our assumptions and routines can lead to boredom. We all have repetitive habits we form in order to create efficiency, productivity, safety and certainty in our lives. Most routine thoughts and actions are necessary to maintain our lives and we would carry out these tasks whether alone or in a relationship. Yet, as we relax in our relationships, our sense of order and certainty can lead us to assume we have discovered all there is to know about our partner. This is usually a mistake. We are all dynamic beings, ever-growing and changing. To avoid too much of a good thing that can result in boredom, mix it up! Have some fun adding variety to your life by changing your routines. Plan an outing that is different from your usual date. Try new things (food, clothes, ways to be intimate). Create new experiences. Ask how your partner how they experienced something in their life then really listen. So much of how we experience a relationship is caught up on our own assumptions and perceptions. When you are interested in your partner you are more interesting yourself. Appreciation and gratitude is also critical to the well-being of a relationship. Express yours when you feel bored or begin to take your partner for granted. You’ll experience a shift in not only your perception, but theirs.
- Probably the sneakiest influencer for boredom and dissatisfaction in a relationship is the scripts we have developed in our subconscious for how a relationship “should” look and feel and behave. When our partner does not match up to the script we can experience disappointment. Usually these scripts develop from our experiences as a child growing up. We naturally might assume that what we experienced growing up is simply “the way things are done.” Unfortunately, in many cases this can lead to relationship dysfunction if our role models were not in a healthy, supportive relationship or lacked good communication habits or failed to demonstrate, love, compassion, and appreciation. We all have a nagging inner critical voice in our heads that can create conflict when we impose “shoulds” or lead to us to have unrealistic expectations. To side step this pitfall, pay attention to your perceptions. Question what creates conflict and dissatisfaction. Choose your own supportive, healthy relationship methods. Open yourself to a different perspective. Re-write your story and choices to avoid old scripts you did not choose but inherited.
Sometimes even when we have high self-esteem, have full, happy lives, appreciate our partner and communicate, we still find ourselves out of sync with our partner and a growing sense that we our needs are not being met emerges. When a sense of dissatisfaction has set in and all efforts to the contrary still lead to a desire for more it’s time to decide if it might be best for both people involved to move on. As we grow and change and evolve into different people, we can also grow apart. In this situation, it is not usually the “fault” of either partner, but a realization that change is the best outcome for both people. When this happens, although still painful, a parting of ways can be the healthiest conclusion.