If you’ve been in love for a long time, it’s natural to hit a stage when things begin to feel a bit of routine. Even if you get along well and appreciate each other, you may wonder if feelings of boredom are a red flag revealing that your relationship is in trouble. Does an occasional sense of restlessness mean you’re with the wrong partner?
It’s a valid question. As a marriage and couples counselor, I’ve met many people who struggle at first, but admit that they feel bored with their spouses and partners. A deeper look is needed to determine whether this is a sign of trouble or merely an indicator that your relationship has reached the level where you feel less excitement, but also enjoy a sense of contentment.
What is the difference between boredom and comfort in a relationship? Let’s take a closer look.
BOREDOM COMES WITH A DESIRE FOR CHANGE; COMFORT DOESN’T
Boredom means feeling stuck in your relationship, feeling deeply frustrated because you genuinely want something different. You may feel you’ve tried to keep your relationship fresh, but you’ve exhausted all options with your partner. Likewise, your partner may feel frustrated with you and may have stopped investing energy in your relationship. This feeling isn’t limited to sex, although a sense of sameness and apathy in your intimate life is a strong signal that your partnership needs attention and care.
Comfort, on the other hand, doesn’t come with a strong desire for change. It’s similar to the feeling you get when you’re finally home and can unwind after a long day. Your partner is the person you want to be with when you let your guard down and retreat from the outside world, ready to relax and just be.
BOREDOM CALLS FOR ACTION; COMFORT LETS YOU RELAX
When you’re bored, you may feel desperate to find a solution. This feeling usually means you need stimulation, action, and options. In your relationship, this may mean adding excitement through travel, learning, spontaneous adventure, and yes – more experimentation in the bedroom! Often, just admitting that you’re bored and want to try new things can lead to positive change – since your mate may be feeling exactly the same way.
When you’re comfortable with another person, however, you’ll feel great most of the time. Although there may be clashes now and then, your overall feeling is that you are meant to be together, and you won’t be searching for anything.
BOREDOM IS A NEGATIVE FEELING; COMFORT IS HAPPY AND POSITIVE
If you’re feeling restless in your primary relationship, there’s no doubt that it has a negative effect on you. You may feel hopeless about your relationship but anxious about what it would mean to end it. These thoughts and feelings may swirl in endless loops as you wonder what to do about the deep boredom you’re experiencing.
With comfort, on the other hand, you’ll generally feel happy and grateful that you found someone who “gets” you. If you feel content most of the time, even though the wild energy of new love has passed, chances are good that you’re settling into a love that has the power to last.
BOREDOM IS RESTLESS and EVEN ANGRY; COMFORT IS PEACEFUL
If you are bored in your relationship, you may feel so trapped that you can’t think of ways to heal your relationship. It might be hard to think of exciting things to do – and you may not even feel motivated to try. At the same time, you’re itching to do something, anything, to relieve your negative feelings, including leaving the relationship.
By contrast, comfort comes with a sense of peacefulness. When your relationship is generally satisfying, it will provide a haven from anxiety. There’s no need to worry about the fact that every day and every encounter doesn’t bring fireworks the way it did in the beginning. Contentment is a sign of maturity in your relationship and often means that, even with your ups and downs, you and your mate are meant to be together.
YOU CAN OVERCOME RESTLESS, NEGATIVE FEELINGS IN YOUR RELATIONSHIP
If you’re feeling restless, frustrated and bored, it’s time to take a good look at your relationship. These feelings don’t necessarily signal the end, but they are a warning sign you can’t afford to ignore. The good news is that with help from an experienced therapist, long-term couples can restore vitality and intimacy within their relationships. It all starts with clear, honest communication and a willingness to invest in each other.
I have helped hundreds of married and committed couples navigate the rough spots in their relationships, and I’m ready to support you. To schedule a conversation in my offices, get in touch with me today.