Humans have an attraction to momentum, freshness, and the idea of invigorating change.
For this reason, you may rearrange your furniture, add a new spice to a recipe or paint your walls a different color.
But when it comes to relationships, a fresh coat of paint won’t wash away feelings of staleness.
In some version, you’ve likely heard of the roommate rut, the seven-year itch, or the empty nest phase. All expressions of a stale relationship, the question is how to add “flavor.”
Here are a few tips.
- Pencil It In
Although scheduling may not seem sexy, it will be once you get the hang of it.
The pitfall of long-term relationships is that you tend to get stuck in a humdrum sort of rut. Running the kids to soccer, making dinner, and watching Netflix for an hour before bed are all ritualistic routines.
Change your pace by changing your schedule.
Pencil into your agenda things like:
- Go on a date
- Have sex tonight
- Hold hands while watching a movie
- Talk for 10 minutes right after work
- Set Short-term Goals Together
Along with penciling in new rituals, try to set short-term goals with your partner.
For example, perhaps you were both runners in your younger days. Although you may need a knee brace now, try to lace up your running shoes and commit to a 5K together.
Remember, running isn’t exactly the point (so, you can walk the race). The main goal is to rekindle a motivating fire aimed at a specific goal.
When both of you carry the torch, it will light a romantic fire inside you as well.
- Stop Accommodating One Another
Many bored couples share common qualities such as kindness, anger avoidance, and selflessness. Attending to one another diligently but dutifully, you essentially accommodate your partner to a fault.
Meanwhile, needs are going uncommunicated, conflicts unresolved, and true intimacy unexperienced.
Resorting to a sort of autopilot state, your relationship may rapidly drift over into the land of boredom.
To exit the land of boredom, you need to quit biting your tongue. Speak to one another. Commit to resolving old wounds. Open up and be vulnerable to one another.
- Plan For The Future
Few things are more boring or flavorless than not having any sense of anticipation for the future.
Sit down with your partner and talk about your future. Discuss your goals for 5, 10, and even 20 years from now. Dream, and dream big!
It becomes easier to approach life fearlessly when you’ve got someone by your side. With your partner in your corner and a beautiful future on the horizon, you can add color, flavor, and freshness to your relationship.
- Find a Common Bond
As mentioned before, many couples find themselves stuck on autopilot.
This robotic state certainly gets the job done, but it’s utterly void of all vibrancy or flavor.
To add some spice, find activities you like to do together. Maybe you are foodies and would enjoy trying a new restaurant once every two weeks. Perhaps you’d rather go see a live band every Friday night. Or, maybe the two of you are a more hands-on couple and would enjoy learning how to mold pottery.
There is something for everyone. If you’re having troubling pinning down an activity, try venturing outside your comfort zone.
You’ll never know unless you give it a try.
- Get an Outside Opinion
If this stale and flavorless era in your relationship has become more than a hiccup, consider seeing a therapist for help.
Getting professional help doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong. What it means is that you care about your relationship too much to let life drown it out with epic dullness.
Which life can absolutely do.
Take the first step…
If you’re ready to take a step toward re-energizing your relationship, I would like to help. Please contact me by phone or email so we can discuss how we might work together to achieve your therapeutic goals as quickly and effectively as possible.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Linda K. Laffey, MFT