Would you say your
relationship is in a rut? If so, not a problem. According to relationship experts, there are some little things you can do to make your relationship more playful and dynamic, if that's something you're looking to do.
First and foremost, it's important to know that
boredom in your relationship is completely common. "Just because there's a lull in the relationship doesn't mean the person isn't 'The One,'" Relationship Expert and Founder of LoveQuest Coaching, Lisa Concepcion, tells Bustle. "Every relationship has their busy and boring stages."
According to her, people in colder climates, for instance, often experience a "boredom stage" when temperatures start to drop. That's because most weekends tend to get spent on ordering food, watching movies, and staying indoors. There's only so much you can do when you're pretty much stuck inside all day. That's a problem that can be easily fixed by
shaking up the routine and thinking outside of the box.
However, it's different when you're stuck in a boredom wave. That can be a bigger issue. "This happens when people don't feel as if they are growing within the relationship," Concepcion says. "One person is expanding or leveling-up in their life and their partner is comfortable where they are." This, she says, is when people start to wonder if their partner truly is "The One" or not.
So if you're happy with your partner and your relationship but feel like things are getting a bit routine, here are some ways to make it more playful and dynamic, according to experts.
1 Do Something New For Yourself
If you feel like you're getting a little bored in your relationship, Jane Reardon, licensed therapist and founder of
RxBreakup, tells Bustle, you should take it as a good sign. "Your partner (and the relationship) isn't causing you tons of drama and angst," she says. "Loads of times people stay in a bad relationship only because of the problems they feel determined to work out. So chances are, when a relationship lacks all that manufactured drama, it can get a little ho-hum after a while."
So if you're truly in it for the long haul, one thing you can do is a quick reflection of your own life. "Make sure that you're not overly dependent on your current ... partner to give your life some life," she says. If you find that you're getting too bogged down by you daily routine, you may want to change it up with a new class, a new hobby or just find a new place to visit. "
Staying curious about your own world is key," she says. 2 Take The Lead And Plan Something Fun
Don’t wait for your partner to make things more fun and interesting, licensed marriage and family therapist,
Heidi McBain, MA, tells Bustle. "Take the lead and start to plan fun things yourself," McBain says. You can plan a couple's outing in the park together, or a time to take your dog for a run, or even plan a weekend away to some place you’ve both never been to. According to McBain, it's all about trying something new and different to help get your relationship out of the "boring" rut you’re currently in. 3 Recognize That You Have An Issue And Make A Plan To Change It
If you feel like your relationship is getting boring, communication is important. But as Concepcion says, be sure to communicate this with love and respect. "Make plans," she says. "Be open about what you want, listen to what your partner wants and
then together decide how to create it." For instance, let's say you both agree that you've become hermits over the past few months and want more time with friends. Plan a dinner party and host it as a couple or just plan a night out with other couples. "Either way, the important thing is you both lovingly acknowledge where there's a lull and take creative action together to address it," Concepcion says. It's all about team work. 4 Create More Positive Interactions With Touch
As Tara Vossenkemper, MA, relationship therapist and founder of
The Counseling Hub, tells Bustle, boredom in a relationship usually stems from a lack of affection and connection. If that's the case, "the goal is then to create positive interactions in order to alleviate boredom," Vossenkemper says. You can do that by utilizing the power of consensual touch. Physical intimacy that doesn't involve sex can help to keep things dynamic in our relationship. So don't be afraid to touch your partner in ways they're comfortable with. Give them a light shoulder rub or a kiss "just because" every now and then. If they're receptive to it, you can amp it up and go from there. 5 Make It A Point To Share The Things You Love About Each Other
One way to inject some playfulness into your relationship is to express your love for each other. You don't have to do this every single night, but make it a point to do it every once in a while. "Express to your partner the little ways [they make] your day awesome or run smoothly or, in general, better," Vossenkemper says. "This has the effect of looking for things that are going right and well, rather than finding all the ways you’re bored." Essentially, looking for boredom will lead you down the path to finding it. So try to avoid it as much as you can.
6 Chase After Each Other Again
As old school as it sounds, getting your relationship to be more playful again is as easy as "courting" each other again. "If you Google '
Gottman love map exercise,' you’ll get a bunch of random questions to ask and answer with your partner," Vossenkemper says. "The purpose of this is to feel known, but it’s also to have some fun." Although relationships are never going to be the same as it was in the beginning, you can try to recreate those feelings by getting to know more about each other. Be a little more flirty. Basically, just remember what you did in the beginning that gave you butterflies find ways to do that again. 7 Get Hot In The Kitchen Together
"Food can be so very sensual and sexy," Caleb Backe, Health and Wellness Expert for
Maple Holistics, tells Bustle. "There is something about cooking which gets our juices flowing." That's because cooking allows us to experience all of our senses from touch to taste. Go at it alone or prepare a meal together. "Nothing really parallels the satisfaction of preparing a home-cooked meal together," Backe says. "Culinary exploration is awesome, especially when done as a couple." If all goes well, you can even enjoy your meal in bed.
It's important to stress that there's absolutely nothing wrong with experiencing a relationship rut. Some couples really like having a routine and that works for them. But if you're looking to bring more playfulness into it, luckily there are easy ways to go about it. So no need to worry.
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