The start of a relationship is often exciting; you’re learning everything about your partner, enjoying every moment with them, and beginning to fall in love. As you settle into the relationship and become more comfortable with each other, you may notice that boredom creeps into the relationship.
Perhaps it seems like you never do anything fun together, or you just aren’t attracted to your partner in the same way. Signs of a boring relationship can be easy to identify, and they may cause you and your significant other to grow apart. Here, learn how to deal with boredom in your relationship, as well as how to identify it in the first place.
Is the relationship getting boring? Why does this happen?
The truth is that signs of a boring relationship may crop up because of the natural ebb and flow of being in a committed partnership. At the beginning of the relationship, often called the honeymoon phase, two people begin to fall head over heels in love.
The relationship is novel, exciting, and fun, and it seems like you just can’t get enough of each other. It is natural for the relationship to become more predictable and for the initial excitement to fizzle out.
One reason that troubling signs of a boring relationship appear is that as relationships carry on, people stop putting in the same effort they did in the initial stages.
When you’re trying to secure a relationship, you’re on your best behavior, trying as hard as you can to satisfy your partner and get them to like you. Once you become more comfortable in the relationship, you may grow complacent and stop trying.
There is nothing wrong with feeling comfortable in your relationship, but becoming stagnant only leads to boredom. This can occur not only when you stop trying but also when you get stuck in a routine.
For example, you may have gotten used to coming home every Friday night after work, throwing on sweats, and ordering pizza, instead of going out and trying new things together.
A relationship getting boring can also occur because of issues in the bedroom. There is a rather large body of research on sexual boredom, and it suggests that becoming bored sexually can reduce wellbeing.
Feeling that sex is not exciting or that sex has decreased in frequency is relatively common among those feeling relationship boredom. These feelings can even lead to porn addiction and infidelity.
If you’ve noticed that things may have grown stagnant in your relationship, the following 15 signs give pretty good evidence that you are suffering from boredom with your partner:
1. You find yourself lashing out at your partner over small things
Once you suffer from boredom in your relationship, you are likely to build some resentment toward your partner. You may feel as if it’s not worth the trouble to stay committed to a relationship that doesn’t excite you any longer.
This can lead to you snapping at your partner over small things, such as leaving their shoes in the middle of the living room.
2. You aren’t having sex anymore
As mentioned above, the research shows that people bored in a relationship have sex less often and find sex to be less exciting. If you’re not trying to spice up your sex life, the two of you may have grown so bored that you just avoid sex altogether.
3. You find yourselves constantly sitting in silence together
A relationship that is suffering from unhealthy boredom is likely to become characterized by periods of silence. Perhaps you go out to dinner together, and you and your partner spend the entire hour scrolling through your phones and do not say one word to each other.
Or, maybe you come home after a long day at work, and instead of talking about your days, you retreat to private rooms to do your own thing.
4. You notice that you have simply stopped caring
Relationships are easy in the beginning, but it takes effort to develop a strong relationship that lasts. If you simply don’t care to put forth the work to make your relationship successful, you’re probably bored.
5. Other people start to tempt you
When you’re satisfied in a relationship, you will spend most of your time daydreaming about your partner, even if you occasionally have ups and downs.
When boredom starts creeping in, you may begin to fantasize about leaving the relationship or hooking up with that attractive coworker. It’s normal to have fleeting feelings of attraction for other people, but when they take over, to the point that you lose interest in your partner, this is a red flag.
6. You feel conflicting emotions
When you’re bored in a relationship, you may love your partner on the one hand but be incredibly unhappy on the other hand. This can lead you to swing from happiness to anger rather quickly. Quite honestly, one of the signs of a boring relationship is having emotions all over the place.
7. You’re not communicating at all
Another negative theme in boring relationships is a lack of communication. Maybe something is bothering you, but you simply don’t tell your partner.
All conversations may become “surface level” and focused on day-to-day communications such as, “What would you like for dinner?” instead of actually connecting and working through problems together. You may even notice that you’re fearful of opening up to your partner because you just don’t feel connected anymore.
When you’re suffering from boredom, you, your partner, or both of you may begin to pull away from the relationship. This can mean that your partner is always working late, or maybe you notice that you have started packing your schedule with nights out with friends or extra commitments.
This can be an effort to find excitement outside of the relationship or simply to avoid the reality that you’re bored and unhappy with your relationship.
9. You start to fantasize about being single
If you’re bored with your significant other, you might grow jealous of your single friends, and begin to imagine how much better life would be if you were single.
You might picture what it would be like to be able to live on your own and not have to answer to anyone, or you might think about being able to flirt with attractive people out at the bar without worrying about crossing the line.
10. The two of you never discuss the future
People who are excited about their relationship will look forward to their future together, and they will not be able to resist talking about things they want to do down the road.
If you’ve stopped talking about your next steps or your five-year plan, you could be stuck in a rut that indicates one of the signs of a boring relationship.
11. Restlessness takes over
A boring relationship can lead you to feel on edge and unable to relax because you’re worried that you’re missing out on life. Or, maybe you’re so fearful of talking about your dissatisfaction with your partner that you can’t let your mind rest.
12. There haven’t been any new adventures in quite some time
When two people commit to each other, life can become monotonous at times, but this can be especially problematic if you and your partner never try new things together. If done to the extreme, falling into a predictable routine can send you straight toward relationship boredom.
13. You’d rather have fun on your own
If your partner bores you, you might notice that you have more fun doing things independently rather than with your partner. You may even intentionally make plans on your own, doing hobbies that you enjoy, rather than inviting your partner to join you.
It is, of course, natural and even healthy to maintain separate interests in a relationship. Still, if all of your time is spent alone and you have no desire to share fun times with your partner, there is probably an issue at play.
14. You make no effort to resolve problems
All relationships involve conflict from time to time, and people who are satisfied in their relationship will attempt to resolve problems in order to keep the relationship afloat. If you’ve grown bored, you may simply ignore problems because you see no point in fighting for your relationship.
While it may be natural for passion for dying out over time in a relationship, there shouldn’t be a complete lack of romance.
When you’re suffering from severe boredom in a relationship, you may begin to feel as if you have no desire to even be around your partner, which can indicate they’ve become more of a roommate to you.
How to fix a boring relationship: 5 strategies
So, do you want to know what to do when bored in a relationship? You have to learn how to keep the relationship exciting. Consider the following five strategies for how not to be boring in a relationship:
1. Make date night a regular thing
If you want to learn how to deal with boredom, starting with a regular date night is a step in the right direction. Commit to have a date night, perhaps two Saturdays per month, and stick to it.
You might consider trying a new place for dinner or perhaps taking on something new, such as taking a trip to a new city or trying a couple’s massage.
It is easy to grow apart when we are wrapped up in our own busy lives and comfortable in our relationships, but communication is key. If you want to fix a boring relationship, you have to talk to each other.
Reserve time at the end of each day to have a meaningful conversation about how your days went, and consider scheduling a weekly “relationship check-in.”
You and your partner can discuss how things are going, what you need from each other in the coming week, and if there is anything you aren’t getting out of the relationship that you need.
3. Explore sexually together
Since sexual boredom is frequently cited among those suffering from boredom, you can fix your relationship by trying something new in the bedroom.
Explore your deepest fantasies together, or try incorporating something new, such as wearing a particular outfit or engaging in role-playing.
4. Make an effort to make each other happy
Little romantic gestures, such as dressing nicely for each other, leaving a post-it note thanking your partner for doing the dishes, or simply taking time to show physical affection can go a long way toward fixing relationship boredom.
Research suggests that expressing gratitude can make for a more satisfying relationship, so taking time to thank your partner can be a strong method of fixing a boring relationship.
5. Seek professional intervention
If strategies to resolve relationship boredom simply aren’t working, but you’re committed to staying in the relationship, it may be time to seek professional intervention from a couples counselor. In counseling, you can learn strategies for better understanding each other and improving your communication.
In addition to the strategies above, you can consider setting new goals together, such as working toward buying a vacation property, or you might work toward a specific savings goal, like setting aside $10,000 in your joint savings account.
Is it normal to be bored in a relationship?
While suffering from boredom within your relationship is not ideal, some degree of boredom may be normal or healthy. For example, sometimes, the signs of a boring relationship simply indicate that the relationship is free from drama or toxicity.
Perhaps you are used to relationships with a high degree of conflict. Still, you’re feeling bored in a relationship because you and your partner get along, respect each other, and have a healthy relationship. When you’re experiencing healthy relationship boredom, this is not only normal but ideal.
To know more about healthy relationship boredom, watch this video.
On the other hand, if you’re bored in a relationship, and it has led you to feel disconnected from your partner.
If you never have fun together and never have anything to talk about, this can lead to the relationship’s downfall. In this case, it’s time to try new things together and learn how to keep the relationship exciting.
When you notice signs of a boring relationship, you may become panicked. After all, a boring relationship can lead to unhappiness and may even lead you astray. Some degree of boredom can set in as you grow comfortable in a long-term relationship with your significant other.
Still, suppose you are so bored that you’re looking for an escape from the relationship or are no longer willing to put forth the effort required to make a relationship last. In that case, it’s time to try some strategies that teach you how not to be boring in a relationship.
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
Jenni Jacobsen is a licensed social worker with a master's degree in social work from The Ohio State University, and she is in the process of completing her dissertation for a Doctorate of Philosophy in Psychology. She has worked in the social work field for 8 years and is currently a professor at Mount Vernon Nazarene University. She writes website content about mental health, addiction, and fitness.
Licensed as both a social worker through Ohio Board of Counselors, Social Workers, and Marriage/Family Therapists and school social worker through Ohio Department of Education as well as a personal trainer through American Council on Exercise.