Relationships get boring. We all wish they wouldn’t, but the fact of the matter is that a little boring – is unavoidable. This doesn’t mean, however, that it’s unfixable. How to revive a boring relationship is all about the small things you do (or don’t do) – and this blog post will show you how you can revive your intimate connection, with just a few simple changes.
Relationship researcher John Gottman is one of the leading experts on why some couples last and others don’t.
He means that long, happy relationships are about connection and working together. That we need to have healthy relationship expectations and go with “good enough” as opposed to “perfect”.
In essence, Gottman means that if we still want to hang out with each other, even after years and years together – that that’s pretty fantastic and, ultimately, enough.
One way of how to revive a boring relationship, is adjusting your expectations and looking at the small, simple things that can be done to make it fun again.
One of these, is turning towards each other, as opposed to away from one another.
This means looking for connection even in times of irritation, as well as in times of joy and excitement.
It may seem too simple or like something you perhaps already do. But there’s always room for improvement, and good, interesting relationships survive because of small things, often, not grand gestures that happen every six months.
Looking for ways to connect in your seemingly mundane week-day routine, can be a great way of revitalising your relationships, as it mixes things up.
As a clinical sexologist, I discuss lots of things with my clients besides sex.
Below are three examples of common situations I’ve found a lot of couples end up in. They highlight why we all need to constantly work at turning towards each other – in both good and bad times.
After a few years, or decades, our partner’s renditions of what Helen at the office did in the lunchroom, yet again, can start to get tedious.
It’s only natural to fall into a pattern of starting to filter it out once your partner or spouse gets going again.
The thing is – what Helen did (or didn’t do), matters to your partner. And to show that you don’t care by disengaging and blocking them out is to suck the energy out of your relationship. You don’t mean to, but it happens.
Instead, try listening to their story, asking questions and validating your partner’s experience. This kind of validation can even help with rebuilding attraction in a relationship.
So, try and see if you can suss out if they’d like feedback or advice – or if they just want someone to nod in agreement and tell them that they’re right and that Helen really needs to get her act together.
When you take a routine happening, like a boring Tuesday evening work story, and flip it into a moment of connection; you make it interesting, instantly feeling closer and having more fun together!
Sharing positive emotions with your friends is important – however, it can be a good idea to make note of how often you do this with your partner too.
Sometimes we fall into a habit of only sharing boring news with our spouses or partners. We tell them about the problems at work (enter: Helen), and share our worries and concerns about the kids.
What we forget to do, is revel in each other’s joy.
We charm friends and acquaintances at dinner parties – and we can actively work at charming our partner too. If you’re looking of ways how to revive a boring relationship, this is key.
Next time you get great news or think of a funny anecdote you want to share – call your partner and connect.
By doing this, you’re infusing your relationship with positivity, happiness and humour. This strengthens emotional intimacy.
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At the beginning of relationships sitting next to each other (or practically on top of each other), while watching TV, is the norm. It seems like we can’t get close enough.
As time passes, we get comfortable sitting further apart, and before you know it we’re on opposite ends of the sofa, or in separate arm chairs.
This is ok. You don’t have to constantly seek physical contact to have a good relationship.
However – putting your arm around your loved one or holding hands can be a great way of connecting when you’re too tired to talk.
It’s also a wonderful way of showing love and affection and it simultaneously offers an easy, undramatic way of initiating sex, should you feel in the mood. This can be a great way to ensure sex after marriage (or a long time living together), doesn't fall to the wayside. For more tips on physical closeness, you can read my blog post on how to improve non-verbal communication in your relationship.
Next time you’re engaging in a Netflix marathon session, you might want to try getting close to one another. It doesn’t have to be fancy, sexy or spontaneous – it just has to happen.
Relationships can go stale over time which is why it’s important to keep remembering to turn towards each other.
This can be done in lots of ways:
By listening and validating your partner even when what they’re sharing is less than riveting
By sharing good news and fun stories along with the tough stuff
By being physically affectionate – sexual and otherwise.
You don’t have to break out the grand gestures and go globe-trotting. When you’re looking for ways of how to revive a boring relationship, keep in mind that the key to less boredom over time, is making a few small tweaks here and there. That’s it.
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With 11 years of experience in the helping profession - Leigh helps her clients create stress-free, shame-free, pressure-free sex lives, through her unique combination of sexological science, & psychotherapeutic & coaching tools.
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