Long after the first kiss fireworks, you may find yourself eating leftovers for the third night in a row, as your long-term partner snores through their TMJ mouthguard, with Sports Center playing in the background. Needless to say, if you’re getting a little
tired of your romance routine and starting to wonder why you get bored in relationships so easily, experts say there may be something deeper going on.
Getting bored in a relationship might be a sign that your partner isn’t a good match for you," Elizabeth Earnshaw, LMFT, certified Gottman couples therapist and clinical director of A Better Life Therapy, tells Bustle. "However, having a pattern of getting bored in relationship s over and over again may be a sign that you have an insecure attachment style."
attachment style is developed in childhood and is based on how your parents or primary caregiver interacted with you. If your parents were emotionally unavailable or were inconsistent with their affection, you may have developed an insecure attachment style. As Earnshaw shares, this means you'll likely feel avoidant and withdrawn when you sense strong feelings of intimacy.
"While pop culture likes to call these people
commitment-phobes, in reality, most people that struggle to commit and feel bored in relationships are actually just struggling with feeling safe and secure in a relationship," she says. "They often find that once they begin to feel intimately close to someone, they start to be hyper-aware of flaws like boredom."
Of course, feeling bored in relationships at some points is normal. While it may not be as exciting and new as it once was after the honeymoon stage, you and your partner have the opportunity to deepen your bond and solidify your commitment to each other. Still, constant boredom might mean it’s time to check-in. Here are 13 reasons you might feel
bored in your relationship. 1 You're Used To More Dramatic Relationships
If your romantic past was like a rollercoaster, stability may feel “boring.” "People with a more anxious or activated attachment style might be uncomfortable in 'safe' relationships that provide security because they're used to chaos," Earnshaw says.
This can lead you to feel trapped and you may even convince yourself that this is something you need to escape. "If this is a disruptive pattern in your life, learning to identify your attachment style and working towards getting comfortable with what it means to be securely attached in relationships is the way forward," she says. If you’re used to turbulent and chaotic relationships, settling into something dependable and solid may feel a little “stale” by comparison. Yet, Earnshaw suggests reminding yourself that drama isn’t passion.
2 You're Not Allowing Yourself To Be Vulnerable Enough
Relationships are meant to grow over time. As
Dave Wolovsky, relationship expert and positive psychology coach, tells Bustle, "Relationships grow when both partners become more vulnerable with each other." When you're able to be open and vulnerable, you'll gain a greater sense of intimacy and connection with your partner. Your relationship will evolve as your bond deepens over time. But when you're closing yourself off to that kind of connection, Wolovsky says you're not only limiting yourself, but the growth of your relationship as well.
"This eventually causes a stagnation of their own personal growth and that of the relationship, which makes it boring," he says. Opening up takes time. But if you trust that your partner will understand where you’re coming from, revealing more of your inner thoughts and feelings here and there can be helpful. It's OK to start slow.
3 Your Communication Skills May Need Some Work skynesher/E+/Getty Images
Good communication is an essential part of any relationship. Learning good communication skills takes time. As
Bobbi Palmer, relationship coach and founder of Date Like a Grownup, tells Bustle, "A person who is trying to make a relationship work for the long-term will be open to and encourage discussion that helps them learn about their partner's background, wants, and needs, and dreams for the future. The ability to share these types of things is what helps a healthy relationship grow."
A part of being good at communication is being a good listener. If you don't practice active listening in order to really understand your partner, it's hard to move your relationship past the superficial. When you aren't connecting with your partner in a deeper way, it can make them and your relationship seem boring.
4 You Have Unrealistic Expectations For What A Relationship Should Be
For the most part, relationships are great at the beginning. But maintaining a good relationship long-term takes work. If you're looking for that perfect partner to sweep you off your feet and make all your romantic dreams come true, you're just setting yourself up for disappointment. "This isn't real life," Palmer says. "They're bound to get bored quite quickly and move on."
When you're seeking that perfect relationship, you're likely to develop a pattern of jumping into a relationship and losing interest once it's not exactly how you wanted. "The reality is that a healthy, grown-up, mutually satisfying relationship requires equal give and take," Palmer says. "Both partners show up with realistic expectations of one another, and of themselves."
5 You're Not That Into Your Partner StockPlanets/E+/Getty Images
If you find that you get bored in relationships easily, you may want to look at the types of people you're choosing to date. "Bored is relative to interest," Paul Bashea Williams, LCSW-C LICSW, relationship specialist and owner of Hearts In Mind Counseling, tells Bustle. "If you really want to keep the relationship going, you'll explore new things with the same person as opposed to exploring new things with a new person." You want to explore why you're getting bored in relationships.
One way to figure this out is to write down what you liked about your previous relationships and what you didn't like. Take time to really dive into each of your past partners and your feelings about them. If you notice that they have similar traits, you may want to consider dating outside of your usual type.
6 You Think You Know Everything There Is To Know About Your Partner
Another reason you may be checking out? "It’s too easy to imagine after a while that your partner has no more surprises to offer,"
Tom Ella, dating expert and one of the hosts of The Undesirables dating podcast, tells Bustle. "You’ve heard all their stories before, you know all their favorite moves, and ultimately there’s just nothing to look forward to anymore. But that’s simply untrue."
People change all the time, and it doesn't have to be anything drastic either. For instance, they can have new interests or opinions about what's happening in the world. "You need to reshape how you view partner," Ella says. "You need to see them as a person again, not ‘just’ your partner you’ve seen a thousand times." If you're not open to learning more about people, you're going to be
bored every time you get into a relationship. 7 You're Not Ready To Be In Anything Too Serious Vladimir Vladimirov/E+/Getty Images
If you really aren't ready to make a commitment to someone, you may start to check out once things start getting serious. Even a small tiff, or “being asked to do something that isn’t what they want to do, or just talk of a long-term commitment can send them fleeing," Palmer says. When you're serious about wanting to be in a relationship, you won't get scared about the work that you'll have to put in. You'll likely put in the effort to get creative to find ways to keep yourself from feeling bored.
8 You’re Not Really Trying
Long-term relationships demand a lot of effort. You need to check in with your partner’s needs, prioritize their comfort, and consider them in your plans. "The truth is that all relationships take consistent work and input to remain vital and satisfying,”
Raffi Bilek, LCSW-C, a relationship counselor and director of Baltimore Therapy Center, previously told Bustle.
If your love life is starting to feel stale, it may be a sign you need to pick up the slack. Try planning a running date night for your partner or picking up their favorite snack when you see it at the store. Actively making an effort can make the relationship feel more interesting.
9 You’ve Lost Yourself In The Relationship PeopleImages/E+/Getty Images
What did you do for fun before you met your partner? Maybe you took Salsa lessons at the Y. Perhaps you wrote poetry for fun. Or did you have a workout class that you loved? If you’re feeling bored in your relationship
, it could be that you’ve forgotten about the things that make you happy. “If you are not pushing for the kind of life you want to live, you will get bored,” Dr. Josh Klapow, a clinical psychologist, previously tells Bustle. Perhaps it’s time to get takeout from that Indian place you love. Maybe you need a weekend away with friends. Remember all the interesting things that make you who you are. 10 You Need A Project
Similar to remembering who you were before the relationship, being bored may be a sign that it’s time to start a new hobby. “If you don’t have activities that engage you as an individual, that boredom will seep over to the relationship and/or it will put unfair pressure on the relationship," Klapow previously told Bustle.
Maybe you’re interested in taking a pottery class or learning a new language. Maybe you want to do a fundraiser for a cause you care about. Think about hobbies or projects that interest you (that you can do without your partner) and get to filling up your own schedule.
11 You Hang Out With Your Partner Too Much
After a year in lockdown, you’ve probably spent a lot of time with your partner. While you may enjoy their company, it might be time to set some boundaries.
"When you spend the vast majority of the time with one person, it's easy to get tired of being with them,"
Jonathan Bennett, a certified counselor and co-founder of Double Trust Dating and Relationships, tells Bustle. "If you take some time apart you'll appreciate the time you do spend with your partner more." 12 You’ve Been Sleeping On The Romance
With school, work, family, and general life, it’s easy to let things like flirting and date nights go on the back burner. Yet, if you’re starting to feel bored in your relationship, it may be because the romantic stuff is getting pushed to the side.
"Flirting keeps the romantic connection alive and helps prevent you from taking your partner or relationship for granted,"
Jillian Yuhas, MA, MFT, CPC, a licensed family and marriage therapist and co-founder of Entwined Lifestyle, previously tells Bustle. "All relationships will have their ups and downs, but the best way to deepen the connection is to show your partner how much you love them through romantic, thoughtful gestures.”
Not every day is going to feel like a rom-com, but you can work to make some moments feel sparkly. Plan a surprise date night or text them that you love them for no reason. Bring back the early dating romance to freshen things up.
13 You’re Ignoring Your Feelings
When you ignore feelings, they often grow bigger. Instead of hiding your boredom or pretending it’s not there, try talking to your partner about your feelings. While you don’t need to say, “I’m bored,” try suggesting a fun activity or asking your partner what would be exciting for them.
“The same setting, and technology as a distraction, is going to lead to a feeling of
monotony,” Isabelle Morley, PsyD, a licensed clinical psychologist, previously tells Bustle. “Put the phones down, turn the TV off, and go for a walk or try a new restaurant.
Though it may seem intimidating to express your feelings to your partner, letting them know where you’re at is the only way to fix it.
Experts: Elizabeth Earnshaw, LMFT, certified Gottman couples therapist and clinical director of A Better Life Therapy Dave Wolovsky, relationship expert and positive psychology coach Bobbi Palmer, relationship coach and founder of ‘ Date Like a Grownup’ Paul Bashea Williams, LCSW-C LICSW, relationship specialist and owner of Hearts In Mind Counseling Tom Ella, dating expert and one of the hosts of ‘ The Undesirables’ dating podcast Raffi Bilek, LCSW-C, a relationship counselor and director of Baltimore Therapy Center Dr. Josh Klapow, a clinical psychologist
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This article was originally published on
Aug. 28, 2019