After you have been in a relationship with someone for a long time, to a certain degree you’re bound to get bored at some stage or another.
But just because you’re feeling bored, doesn’t mean it’s time to jump ship. There is no need to panic – getting bored is completely natural and common.
As much as our favourite rom-coms make us love love, they don’t help when it comes to creating unrealistic expectations of it. This, combined with the comparison-fest that is social media, leaves us thinking our relationships are fall short. It’s important to remember that comparing your behind-the-scenes to a Hollywood edit, or Instagram highlights isn’t going to do you any favours.
If you’re getting bored with your relationship, before you start to panic, consider why you’re dissatisfied. There’s more to a healthy, functioning relationship than surprise trips away, expensive gifts and perfect selfies. In the age of Tinder and social media, it’s likely your first got to know them online.
The big problem with this is that it’s impossible to know exactly what the person you’re talking to means in what they’re saying. You just can’t read a 3-second message as easily as you can read someone’s face or body language.
The ‘talking’ stage
Not knowing what they’re really thinking was a real cause for confusion. I’m sure you will have spent the majority of the early days of the ‘talking’ stage of your relationship sat on the sofa with your best friend, trying to disassemble every single message your new beau sent you, before drafting the perfect reply (that isn’t too keen, but still somehow manages to leave the conversation open) and generally lamenting how much they were messing with your head.
No doubt a lot of over-thinking was involved…
…and maybe the odd drunk message. 🤷♀️
You might look back and cringe with relief that all the confusion is over. But in another way, wasn’t all of this melodrama kind of… exciting? It was something to gossip with your friends about over coffee (or cocktails). All the frustration, the waiting for a text back, and the second-guessing was – in some weird way – all part of the fun.
Exclusive but not official?
Eventually, you got beyond the ‘talking’ stage, and progressed into the realms of ‘exclusive but not official’. Whilst the ‘exclusive but not official’ is sometimes a bit of a grey area, that’s not to say it bored you. The ever-looming ‘will we, won’t we’ question provided a buzz, and that felt like anything but boredom.
Sometimes this was the best stage in your blossoming relationship. Everything still felt excitedly new. Whilst you certainly had a new sense of security in your relationship and where it was going, that’s not to say you felt totally at ease – you still found yourself asking, ‘what are we?’
As much as you looked forward to the future, one side of you kind of liked where you were at, and you didn’t feel the need to rush anything.
The ‘honeymoon period’
Even if you can’t remember exactly when or how you became official, you’ll probably remember how you felt. For the first few months of your relationship, everything was so fresh! You were still learning new things about each other, having first experiences with each other and those butterflies came back every time you saw them.
But then as unnoticeably as it began, you realised the relationship that was exciting to you just a few months ago has now got you bored. You’re not excited about seeing them anymore, because you see them all the time, and the time you do spend together isn’t anything to get excited about.
You’ve been serious for a while now, so the grand gestures and expensive dates are less frequent than you had expected. You spend a lot of time doing nothing, in each other’s company. You can only describe this as feeling bored, and it’s making you panic. Nothing else has changed, so it must be you.
The end of the beginning?
Boredom isn’t necessarily a reason to abort the mission. Often it’s just a sign of the end of the beginning, rather than the beginning of the end. Boredom doesn’t always mean you’re falling out of love, but that you’ve got to the point in your relationship where you know them so well. It’s less a sign of serious relationship issues than natural relationship progression.
And that is no reason to panic! It will take some adjustment, getting used to the anti-climax, but once you’ve adjusted you’ll realise it isn’t your partner that’s got boring, it’s the relationship. Once you’ve made that distinction, you’ll be able to work on it together. A good place to start is always quitting the comparison.