Bored in your relationship? Try this.

Sometimes it’s hard to pinpoint why you’re bored in your relationship or when things started to get dull. Maybe you notice less hugs, kisses, or meaningful conversations with your partner. Or there’s a lack of excitement between you and your spouse. Boredom in romantic relationships might happen because your energy is focused on kids or work, or it feels like the same old routine. Disconnection that fuels boredom can come from not spending time together, fighting more, or having sex less.

Whatever the reason, it’s normal to experience boredom at some point in your relationship. And for military couples who have to cope with long separations from each other, it can feel hard to stay connected. The tricky thing with boredom in a relationship is that it can give way to a range of other feelings such as loneliness, frustration, or friction towards your partner. Laziness in putting effort into your relationship, sadness, or anxiety over whether things will work out are also common when boredom surfaces. The upshot is there are things you can do to reignite the spark that’s missing.

  • Savor your memories. Take some time to reminisce about why you and your partner decided to be together in the first place. Talk about when you met, what attracted you to each other, your first date, or other favorite memories of special times together. Try to recreate some of those first experiences you shared too.
  • Expand your “relationship” comfort zone. Make new memories by doing something you might not typically do as a couple. For instance, go for a run, take a cooking class, or explore budget-friendly fun through your installation’s Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR) program. Keep an open mind and focus on events or activities you’re both willing to try, including ones that just might make you laugh together.
  • Commit to positive thinking. Instead of viewing boredom or your partner as a problem, take another look at things and focus on what’s going well. Reframing requires a lot of practice, but it’s worth it. A good way to start is by growing gratitude for your partner.
  • Get closer. Rev up the intimacy to beat the boredom. Get back to flirting with your partner. Compliment him or her in warm ways. Or change how you greet each other at the end of a long day. Spice things up in the bedroom too.
  • Focus on yourself. There are also things you can do on your own to help decrease boredom in your relationship. Find a new hobby, do something just for yourself, or reach out to friends for comfort, advice, and fun. And consider new ways to engage in your relationship and relate to your partner. For example, think about how you can show interest in something your partner loves. Try doing nice things for her or him without expecting anything in return. Embracing those things in life that make you happy can increase joy in your relationship.
  • Call in reinforcements. Couples therapy is a great resource for those who feel the boredom might be too much to tackle alone. You can learn communication, conflict-resolution, and problem-solving skills too. Also, couples tend to benefit from having a neutral place to help deal with problems and find solutions.

Boredom is a normal part of intimate relationships, no matter what the cause. Still, it’s important to get things back on track with your partner—and get ahead of boredom growing into something bigger. Visit HPRC’s Relationship Skills section for more tips.

Resources

Aron, A., Norman, C. C., Aron, E. N., McKenna, C., & Heyman, R. E. (2000). Couples' shared participation in novel and arousing activities and experienced relationship quality. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 78(2), 273–284. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.78.2.273

Harasymchuk, C., & Fehr, B. (2010). A script analysis of relational boredom: Causes, feelings, and coping strategies. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 29(9), 988–1019. doi:10.1521/jscp.2010.29.9.988

Reese-Weber, M. (2015). Intimacy, communication, and aggressive behaviors: Variations by phases of romantic relationship development. Personal Relationships, 22(2), 204–215. doi:10.1111/pere.12074