Falling into a relationship rut is easier than you think. It happens to the best of us but doesn’t mean you and your partner are doomed to live a life of boredom. With a little effort and creativity, you can kick your relationship back into high gear. To find out how we got some rut-busting advice from Alisa Bowman, author of Project: Happily Ever After.
Look at the root cause
First things first, if you want to get out of a rut you have to look at why you’re in one. “Think about what’s causing your rut,” Bowman says, adding that chances are, you and your partner are just going through the motions of being in a relationship and not really doing anything to build excitement. She suggests looking at the different areas of your relationship where this complacency tends to happen and implementing some strategies for overcoming each one.
Spice up sex
Having so-so sex? The bedroom is one of the places where ruts happen all the time. What started off hot and heavy is now ho-hum and predictable. Bowman suggests asking yourself if you’ve been going through the same sequence of moves every time you have sex. If so, it’s no wonder you’re both bored! “Mix it up. Have sex at a different time of day. Try a new position. Get kinky. Do it in the bathroom. Seduce your partner in a new way,” she says. “Get creative. Creativity is key.”
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Kick start conversation
Another area where things can get a little blase is when it comes to conversation. If all you ever talk about lately is what brand of laundry detergent to buy or whose turn it is to take out the trash (Boring!), it’s time to get out of your communication rut. Not sure what to talk about? We love Bowman’s idea to interview your partner. “Periodically pretend you are a reporter who is writing a profile on your partner,” she says and adds that in order to come up with the questions, ask yourself what you would need to know in order to write this story.
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Deal with stress
If your relationship rut is more all-encompassing and being together has started to seem banal, the stress of every day life could be to blame, Bowman says. Even if there are countless items on your to-do lists, Bowman suggests getting chores done together as a way to reconnect. Turn on music you both love and clean the house together, work on the bills together or run errands together. “Too often we do such things separately in an attempt to get them done more efficiently, but we lose our togetherness in the process,” she says.
Keep an open mind
One of the biggest contributors to relationship ruts is assuming you know all there is to know about your partner. “When we’ve known someone for a long time, we tend to label them,” Bowman explains. For instance, we think of them as “lazy” or “hard working” or “smart” or “dull.” Resist the urge to do this and instead continually see your partner as a work of discovery. Every day wake up and ask yourself what you don’t know about your partner. There’s a lot you don’t know, Bowman says and by remembering that, you can then set out to discover more about your partner every day.