If you’re feeling a bit over your relationship these days, you’re not alone.
We see relationships presented as these exciting, perfect things. When you find the right person, you’re supposed to be all set and ready to be committed and in love in the same way forever and ever.
But that’s just not the way it is in real life, is it? If you’re feeling restless, aloof and perhaps a little out of touch with your partner, these are signs you might be getting bored in your relationship.
Here's what to do if you're bored in your relationship. Remember, if you want to save your relationship, it’s going to take work. If you don’t want to put in the work, maybe it’s time to walk away.
Fixing a boring relationship could be as easy as spicing things up.
Dr. Kristie Overstreet, a clinical sexologist and psychotherapist, says that spicing things up can be as easy as changing up your routine.
“You probably are in a routine and not allowing time to enjoy your relationship. Don't get stuck in a rigid routine that breeds monotony,” she says. “Try having a date day versus date lunch. Take a day off or a weekend day where you stay off your devices and have fun at home. Plan a vacation or weekend getaway, just the act of talking about it and brainstorming plans will bring new excitement.”
If you’re still bored with your partner, see if doing more active activities helps get things back on track.
“Being outside and doing an activity together will increase many forms of intimacy. You will improve your communication intimacy by talking during the experience,” Overstreet says. “You will improve your recreational intimacy because you are doing something fun together. You will also experience a flood of endorphins which will help both of you feel physically better.
"Oftentimes, this leads to an improvement in physical intimacy as well," she adds—in other words, better sex.
If you still feel bored in your relationship, you may have more fundamental work to do.
Listen to your heart. It might sound cheesy, but boredom can mean there are underlying, more serious issues at hand. If you’ve gone on adventures, planned romantic dates, and tried everything else in the book on “spicing things up”—only to find you’re still dissatisfied—it's time to take a deeper look. Do you love this person? Do you feel the hunger to work on this relationship?
If you want to fight for it, fight for it by improving yourself. You can only control your own actions. Ask yourself why you’re bored. What’s changed? Most likely, the signs will point to your own state of mind, personal situation or stresses you’re not confronting. Often we self-sabotage or find fault with our partners when we’re the ones who need to focus on self-reflection.
It could be worth staying “when you know there are areas that you can improve within yourself that can potentially help the relationship,” Overstreet says. “Both partners are responsible for being their healthiest self to have a healthy relationship."
Remember that “bored” is a normal emotion, and we all feel it sometimes.
There is no such thing as a perfect relationship. Problems arise and tension happens; there are good times and bad times. If you’re bored—even though it sucks—remind yourself that it’s normal to have these feelings from time to time.
According to Overstreet, one person can't be "the one" when people constantly change and evolve over time. You can’t be everything one person needs in every single way, all the time. When you put pressure on yourself and your partner in this way, boredom is bound to happen: Who can live up to standards like this?
If boredom arises, communicate it with your partner. Maybe the word “bored” isn’t ideal, but you can discuss feelings of restlessness or confusion. Take a few days to yourself. Reflect on what you want out of life and why this relationship was so important to you in the first place.
“You can decide if the person you are with is the person you want to spend your life with at this point. If they are, then continue in the relationship as long as you both are being your healthiest self,” Overstreet says. “If not, then end the relationship and focus on what you can improve before you jump into another relationship.”
When you should end your relationship
At what point should you end your boring relationship? “When you feel like you have done everything that you are responsible for to improve the relationship," Overstreet says. If you’ve done everything you can do to improve the relationship and given it your all, only to find you’re still unhappy, "It is time to end it."
Life is too short to waste time on a relationship that isn't fulfilling.
Overstreet says your gut should be your guide. Even if you try to push your sense of boredom away, there will be feelings of discomfort, uneasiness and impermanence.
“Listen to your intuition which is your inner voice,” she says. “If it's telling you that something isn't right and it's time to do something different, listen to it. When you have checked all the boxes on your end and things don't change, take care of yourself by ending it.”