Boredom isn’t a lack of things to do, but an unwillingness to do things we fear.
Especially in relationships. Intimate relationships, friendships, co-workers and family all can fall into the rut that’s too easy and stale. Bringing on the boredom.
“Just spice it up” is the usual recommendation. And in some cases doing something different will bring a new experience, but it’s not always the answer and can create more problems.
Because the problem isn’t variety but….SAFETY.
Neil Sattin of Relationship Alive – The New Love Paradigm talks more about that.
“If you don’t feel safe in your relationship, then you will have a hard time being fully in your relationship. You’ll tiptoe delicately around anything that could upset the balance. You’ll put yourself (or your partner) in a box, which creates a pseudo-safety.”
You might recognize the common saying “oh I already know how he’ll respond”. The truth is you don’t know the other person.
It’s not possible to know everything about someone else, they don’t even know everything about themselves. But it does create a pseudo-safety that will eventually feel boring.
Feeling Safe in a Relationship
“However, if you do feel safe in your relationship, then you will be willing to take risks. To be vulnerable. To ask for what you want.
To celebrate when you get what you want – and…to not take it personally (or feel like it’s the end of the world) when you don’t get what you want.
Those are just a few examples of the kinds of actions that will keep a relationship juicy, and inspiring – the opposite of boring.”
When Variety Could Hurt the Relationship
“But if you’re in a relationship that’s stuck in a boring place, if you add some of that “variety spice” to it, you could very easily find that blowing up in your face.
Do you see where this is going? Variety, in these circumstances, will make a bad situation worse. Because it can make an already unsafe situation even more unsafe.
Here’s another reason why:
If you don’t have enough safety in your relationship to create variety together, then the variety that you create on your own will often take energy away from your connection.
It’s known as an “exit”. And if you have too many exits in your relationship, you’re sailing in a very leaky ship and probably won’t get too far before you have to bail. Buh-bye boat!
So how do you know if the way that you’re filling your need for variety is helping, or hurting your relationship?”
Are You Feeding Your Relationship or Avoiding It?
“Like I said, we all need some variety in our lives. But the key is – are you choosing it in a way that’s feeding your relationship? Or has it become an exit, a way of avoiding the courageous acts that can truly feed your connection in a sustainable way?
In the end, the power to overcome boredom or stuckness in your relationship is about how safe your relationship can be, and then what you do with your partner, in that safe space, to build the positive intensity.”
Try this simple exercise to help create more truth, realness, honesty and intimacy.
Liz Coleman, RTC, is a Registered Therapeutic Counsellor based in Surrey, BC. She specializes in anxiety, anger, insecurity, and relationship problems. If you have any questions about this article or would like to schedule an appointment, please call Ms. Coleman at (604) 809-8947 or use the convenient form on her Contact page.