As much as we would all love for the honeymoon phase to last forever, that's simply not the reality for most. At some point, the newness wears off and your relationship finally gets to a stable point. When you reach a certain level of comfort, the tendency is to stop trying. But as we all know, relationships take a lot of work in order to succeed. Without it, you'll find yourself
too comfortable in your relationship or worse, bored. Because according to experts, there is a difference.
"Comfort and boredom are similar in that both imply a lack of growth, which is dangerous in a relationship," Lisa Concepcion, Founder of
LoveQuest Coaching, tells Bustle.
The major distinction between the two, is that
being too comfortable in a relationship may lead to taking each other for granted, Concepcion says. Boredom, on the other hand, is a lack of inspiration. "When people are comfortable, they are content with what they have and don't want to change it," she says. " When people are bored they are itching for excitement and something new." Either way, there's a rut. When your relationship loses that spark, it can lead to distance no matter how in love with your partner you still are.
If you're feeling like you're currently
in a relationship slump, you do have the power to turn around. According to experts, the best place to start is to figure out where your relationship issues stem from. Are you just too comfortable or is it someting else? Here are some signs that your issues come from boredom and not from being too comfortable.
You're A Lot Less Attentive To Your Partner Than You Used To Be
Although it's easy to confuse boredom for just being too comfortable, psychologist,
Dr. William J. Ryan, tells Bustle, the two are total opposites. When you're too comfortable in the relationship, your partner can tell you the wildest stories about their day and you'll listen to every detail because you care. When you're bored, on the other hand, you're never really present.
If you're stuck in a relationship rut, Dr. Ryan suggests to reinstate date nights. "Each partner should do their best to ... have fun with each other, make interesting conversation, and be solely attentive to their partner," he says. "There are plenty of ways to spice up one’s love life." It's just a matter of making the effort to do so.
You're Not Curious To Learn More About Your Partner
Boredom happens when you feel like there’s nothing new left to discover about your partner,
Sami Wunder, international dating and relationship coach, tells Bustle. "The curiosity levels aren’t there anymore and you stop looking at your partner with fresh eyes," she says. "You believe you already know them and there’s nothing new for them to offer in the relationship." You never try asking deeper questions, and you close yourself off to learning new things.
"To avoid boredom from setting into your relationship, always look at your partner with curious eyes instead of assuming that you know all about them," Wunder says. "There is always something new to find, if we care to go deep enough."
You're No Longer Happy When You Think About The Future With Them
"A few ways to know if your relationship is becoming boring is if either party is no longer happy," relationship expert,
Lori Bizzoco, tells Bustle. "Your partnership should make you feel delighted, not miserable like you're missing out." When you're comfortable in your relationship, on the other hand, you'll have a routine that you stick with, which is OK, but you also feel it could use some shaking up. "Love is supposed to be exciting, spontaneous and should occasionally consist of spur-of-the-moment activities," she says. If you're looking to spend the rest of your life with someone, you need to find ways to keep your relationship moving forward.
There's A Lot About The Relationship You Want To Change
When you don't feel like you need change, relationship coaches,
Diana and Todd Mitchem, tell Bustle, that's a classic sign that you are comfortable with where you are in the relationship. The problem here is, that can put you off from taking things further like moving in, getting engaged, having kids, and so on. "This kind of procrastination will surely ignite an argument that’s based on a misalignment of the relationship goals if your partner is expecting all of those commitments from you," they say.
If you are bored, on the other hand, it will be completely opposite. You'll be constantly looking for changes or else you'll become restless. But in doing so, this can cause tension in the relationship when one partner doesn't want to be pushed into doing something they're not ready for. "Relationships require effort, energy, and work so that they continually evolve and thrive," the Mitchems say. If you want your relationship to work long-term, you need to make sure it's continually evolving.
You Feel Like You've Run Out Of Things To Talk About
When you're bored with your relationship, you might feel like
there's nothing left to talk about. You have the same conversations over and over again, and sometimes, that will cause you to just not talk to your partner altogether. You'd rather watch TV or go online to find something that will stimulate you mentally. But relationships can't work if you don't communicate in a healthy way. "Without it, you may feel like you don’t even know your partner and you will begin to drift away," Bizzoco says.
You Get Irritated At Your Partner Easily
"Being comfortable in a relationship is normal," psychotherapist,
Emily Mendez, M.S. EdS, tells Bustle. "In fact, it is something that you want to have in a relationship." When you're comfortable with your partner, it means that you can be yourself and not worry about what they think. According to Mendez, there's a level of happiness that comes with being comfortable, even too comfortable.
Boredom, on the other hand, is not something you want. "Boredom is a negative emotion," she says. "If you are bored with your partner, you might feel stuck or dissatisfied." When you're stuck in a negative space, you're more likely to see your partner in a less than positive light.
You Feel Much Lighter And At Ease When You Spend Time With Friends
Boredom can make you feel restless and uncomfortable. If you're bored in your relationship, you will find ways to perk yourself up, which may mean spending more time with your friends and away from your partner. "Boredom often leads to seeking excitement outside the relationship," Concepcion says. "Cheating, acting out on social media, and also wild nights with friends are behaviors that bored people will engage in."
Although being "too comfortable" in your relationship may seem better than being bored, it can be just as bad. According to Concepcion, being comfortable can lead to laziness and a lack of appreciation. "It can lead to the assumption that the other person won't leave, because they're comfortable," she says. "Comfortable keeps us stuck and when we aren't growing, the universe will see to it that we are forced to grow."
If you're bored in your relationship, it doesn't necessarily mean you have to break up. Maybe all you need to do is shift your perspective and see your partner in a different light. You might just need to communicate your feeling and find ways to spice things up together.
"A couple can either set goals and shake stuff up themselves or they can cling to comfort zones and let life," take the lead, Concepcion says. At the end of the day, relationships take work. If you're both committed to putting in the effort, your relationship can get back on track in no time.