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Boring Relationship? & How to Fix it & Get Out of the Rut

Boring, Boredom, Relationship,Excite, Relationships

Boring relationships are all too easy to slide into. Too many couples give up on either finding new things to do together or taking any action that would make things more interesting. One of my favorite anniversary cards I used to give said “So are you going to go to dinner & a movie or the more adventuresome movie then dinner??” This captures the problem exactly.

 

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Boring Relationships & How can You Fix Them?? Episode #34

I’m amazed at how many couples allow their relationship to become stagnant. It’s easy to make excuses, we’re too tired after work or busy with the kids. Relationships require work to keep them fresh. You have to be committed to trying new things out. The opposite of boring is being creative. In fact I’ve always secretly suspected that’s the entire purpose of boredom: to encourage more creative energy.

Change a boring relationship by being willing to be more creative. Creativity is the first ingredient of success.

Too many people don’t think of themselves as creative. There are many ways to be creative that don’t require a paintbrush. I consider myself a Culture Queen & spend time sharing information about theater, ideas from author lectures, great books, cool things that are happening or places to go; a johnny appleseed to spread the wealth that culture offers. I consider that effort a way of being creative.

In order to be more creative you have to change. You can’t grow without being uncomfortable. Change is really hard to do because we love the familiar. Doing the familiar is easy, change is hard. Prepare yourself that giving up being boring means doing things that won’t necessarily work out.

If you want to be more creative there is only one way to make that happen; you must tolerate mistakes & failure. So you try things & they don’t work so what?? Focusing on preventing failure will stop you dead in your tracks. Accept there will be many things you try that won’t work……and keep exploring. Laugh & celebrate your mistakes and I guarantee you will be on a path to new possibilities.

The second ingredient on the road to a more interesting relationship (&life) is curiosity.

Curiosity is the engine that can propel you out of your comfort zone. When I decided to learn how to podcast I was curious about ways to influence larger numbers of people than just 1 or 2 at a time in my office. I explored possibilities and as difficult as technology can be my curiosity kept me open & willing to learn hard things.

Think of any 3 year old you have been exposed to, they are completely curious unless they are hungry or tired. Curiosity means you are open to new experiences. Curiosity means you are willing to be awkward & embrace uncertainty, you are so curious that certainty & grace are not important. You experiment with the whole world around you at three.

I took my 3 year old grandson to the dinosaur museum & in Pittsburgh the art museum is right next door. So I asked Tucker if he’d like to see my favorite artist Van Gogh & of course he said yes. I had to find the Van Gogh the first time we went so he saw furniture, vases & sculpture as we whizzed around looking for Van Gogh. The second time we went to see Van Gogh I knew where it was & we bee lined right to it. Tucker says to me “Where is the shiny man?” & for a minute I wasn’t sure what he meant, then I realized he meant the suit of medieval armor we had seen on the first trip. I easily found the shiny man to his & my delight. This is a perfect story of being truly open to new experiences.

I think change is hard because it often demands a shift in values. I’m asking you to give up the values of safety & doing what’s familiar & trade them in for the more uncomfortable vales of creativity & curiosity which means being uncomfortable.

Letting go of a boring relationship means being open to new possibilities. When a political candidate in Tennessee publishes a billboard “Make America White Again” he is playing to people’s fears. It is fear that strangles new possibilities. Fear stops you from exploring other people, places or things.

Apathy also defeats curiosity, it’s easier to not care than to do the work of pursuing your curiosity. Try to find the delight within curiosity & your life will be richer for it. It’s such a valuable part of you, don’t let it disappear. At a lecture at Chautauqua on how virtual reality will change the future Jesse Schell said “In the 21st century the curious will win.”

The third ingredient to NOT having a boring relationship is changing your FEAR/SAFETY value & frame of reference to EXCITEMENT/POSSIBILITIES.

Excitement is the opposite of Stagnant/Boring. We as a culture too easily cut off excitement as children grow up, if it’s a weird or unusual direction. I still remember the books I made in high school with cardboard covers, blue embroidered titles wrapped in saran wrap. My excitement is not easily squashed.

Exploring possibilities means feeling awkward & failing. It’s trying that matters not success. I made our whole family take dance lessons. My son was the best in the class, my teenage daughter was sullen & very unhappy to be there & my husband & I were the worst dancers there. I still think all that matters is that we tried it.

Fear & Excitement usually travel together. It’s just that fear gets more influence in our heads because it’s hard to try something new & easier to just avoid it all together. Accessing excitement means having some faith that it might be worth it. I have complete faith that so much of adventure can be worth it. We caught the right bus in Hong Kong going the wrong way for over an hour, the views were extraordinary & it’s one of our favorite funny stories to share.

So you have to decide excitement is worth it more often than not & push through your anxiety/fears that make you so uncomfortable you want to bail.

Drugs & alcohol will allow you to float where you are instead of exploring new opportunities. People use alcohol to numb themselves which will prevent nourishing excitement.

Interrupting a boring relationship requires effort. It’s a lot easier to just let things go on as they are.

The fourth ingredient is being able to do something you may not want to do because it gives your partner pleasure.

So you do some things you aren’t crazy about because the other person finds delight. I go to baseball games & I’ve found enjoyment in our stadium (voted best in the USA) and it is a beautiful venue. I go more often than I want because it’s important to my husband. In return he just went to hear Angelique Kidjo a singer he knew nothing about.

Also try new things together that you may be initially skeptical of because you need to find more options besides dinner & a movie. The brain loves novelty so it’s really important to explore & experience something new. Life is a buffet & you want to sample different possibilities before your time on this planet comes to an end.

My challenge for you today: 1. Ask yourself when was the last time you did something new that made you uncomfortable? 2. When was the last time you did something you weren’t happy about for your partner? 3. If you had more courage & had less fear what is something you’d like to try? 4. Look in a local paper’s section on weekend activities; highlight things to do you are curious about 5. What are some ways as a couple & an individual you might try being more creative, just brainstorm play with some new ideas.

My next episode topic in August is by request sent to me thru my website email: [email protected] It will be: Relationships with Personality Disorders like Borderlines or Narcissists.

Hey, I have a few questions for you. Will you think for a moment about who you know that would enjoy this podcast? What are they doing right now? If you told them to try this show, would they do it? Would you mind pausing this for a bit and sending them a quick message? Thanks soooo much!!

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