Saving a Boring Relationship | Top 7 Ways to Spice It Up
If you're in a long-term relationship and have been for a while, you know there are ebbs and flows. But if you're feeling like your relationship is in a rut and things are just...boring...it's time to mix it up and remember what brought you together in the first place. That initial excitement goes away after time, but there are so many other benefits to keeping your committed relationship interesting instead of bailing to find that flame somewhere else.
In this blog, we'll share 7 tips for saving a boring relationship from a difficult time so you can get your passion back on track!
Tip #1 Be open about what you're experiencing.
Communication is key to any healthy relationship, but it can be scary to admit that you're feeling a bit bored. So often, one or both partners will try to deny it or not be willing to talk about it. Unfortunately, that's not going to help you get out of your relationship rut.
If you know you need to talk to your partner about feeling bored in the relationship, don't overthink it or stress about it. Set up a dinner at a new restaurant (see, already mixing it up!) or plan a walk or coffee date where you can take some time to just talk. Just spending time together and planning dates can help the sense of boredom. Don't place blame, but be open about how you're feeling and what you'd like to see change. Chances are if you feel bored, your partner is feeling it too. Maybe your opening up will be just the thing to get the ball rolling in the right direction.
You also don't have to have answers to have this conversation. In fact, if you come at your partner with a 10-point list of things you're going to start doing to spice things up, they're going to feel overwhelmed. As you talk about your feelings, you can start brainstorming together on how to get through this rough patch.
Tip #2 Mix it up in the bedroom (or the kitchen or the bathroom!)
Sexual boredom is a big complaint of boring relationships, so we thought we'd tackle it right off the bat! When you and your partner first got together, the sex was likely exciting and fresh. But after you've been with someone for a while, it's totally normal to fall into a bit of a rut in your sex life.
While you get a rush of those feel-good hormones at the beginning of a relationship there are lots of benefits to sex throughout a long-term relationship. Many people have a better sex life in committed relationships because they feel safe. You also learn each other's preferences and there is a level of trust. So when things get boring, it's time to mix it up! Physical intimacy is an important part of a relationship.
As we just mentioned, the most important place to start is to talk about it. If you're both into trying something new, go for it! Talk about each other's fantasies and decide on some to try together. Sex toys and role play can be fun places to start.
And if sexual problems are more deeply rooted (perhaps connected to trauma or other deeper relationship issues), now might be a great time to agree to see a relationship therapist for professional support.
Tip # 3 Support each other's dreams.
Oftentimes, if a relationship is feeling stale, one or both partners is also feeling bored with their personal life too. When you're in a marriage or long-term relationship, naturally both people evolve and from time to time. Yet when you know someone so intimately, it can sometimes be hard to see them change.
Support each other's dreams and allow your partner to grow and change. Let your partner know you love them and want to see them grow. Whether it's a career change or simply diving into a new hobby, let your partner know you want them to follow their dreams.
Tip # 4 Plan a trip together.
Certainly, you can't rely on trips to save a relationship. But sometimes, you just need some time away from your day-to-day life to get refreshed. It's easy to get sucked into our routines and we forget to really connect. We experience the hustle of daily life with who is making dinner, who can take kids to practice, and all the other comings and goings of a fast-paced existence.
So, while a trip can't save a bad relationship, it can mix up a boring relationship and add to relationship satisfaction. The shared experience will give you something to bond over, fun times to share, and some much-needed alone time to reconnect. And you don't have to be able to afford an island getaway to get the benefits of a trip together. Even a staycation at a special local hotel can do the trick!
Tip #5 Try a new hobby together.
We already talked about the importance of encouraging our partners to pursue their dreams. You shouldn't discourage your partner from having hobbies on their own. It increases their overall satisfaction in life, as well as gives you something to talk about.
But, a great way to combat boredom in relationships is to try something new together. It can be anything from watching a new show together to taking a couple's cooking class. Maybe take a spin class or learn a new skill together. And even if you try something and it's a total bust, you can still have a good laugh about it after the fact!
Tip #6 Keep dating each other.
Remember when you first started dating? Dating people do all sorts of things while they're falling in love that people who have been in a relationship for a while rarely do. You go to the zoo, you look at the stars, you write poems—each couple has their own examples of things that seemed so natural at the beginning of the relationship but they fade away over time.
You can't stay in that honeymoon phase forever, but you can be intentional about still dating each other. This is a surefire way to beat boredom in your relationship. Schedule regular date nights, even just once a month, and see a concert, try a new restaurant, go ax throwing, go for a hike—it doesn't matter what it is! As long as you're setting aside time to date each other, you'll keep the fire alive. Plus, it will give you something to look forward to, and create more fun times together that will only increase your bond.
Tip #7 Evaluate your expectations.
It's easy to fall into the trap of comparing your relationship to others, especially if you're someone who spends a lot of time on social media. If you're feeling bored in your relationship, and you're thinking specifically about your old coworker's recent trip to Bora Bora with her boyfriend that you saw on Instagram, it might be time to evaluate your expectations.
It's important to acknowledge that people often only share their highlight reel on social media and sometimes straight-up lie about the health of their relationships on social media as their own form of coping. First, shift your mindset about others' experiences. If your ex-coworkers got to go to Bora Bora with her boyfriend, good for her! That doesn't say anything about you or your relationship. Celebrate others' wins and move on.
Then, ask yourself, "what is it that these comparisons make me realize I want?" And, "what can I do that is in my control to get what I need?"
Maybe an island trip isn't in your immediate future, but communicating to your partner that you need some intentional time doing something special together can definitely be a reality.
Bonus Tip: Consider Therapy with a Relationship Expert
At Evolve Therapy, we understand the complexity of relationships and although people come from all kinds of background and preferences, one of the roots of our relationship troubles are emotions. At Evolve, our therapists focus on repairing communication patterns repairing communication patterns through awareness of the deeper emotions that trigger behavior patterns.
We are specifically relationship counselors that help you identify and acknowledge the underlying emotions that impact the relationship and is extremely helpful for people who get stuck in a rut of repeatedly arguing about chores, responsibilities, money, jealousy, infidelity, sex, or parenting issues.
If you're experiencing boredom in your committed relationship and you want support from a relationship therapist, give us a call and schedule an appointment today! We also offer online tele-therapy for couples with busy schedules, in remote areas, or who just prefer an online format. Please ask us for more details and reach out to us at 612-875-6416.