True or false:

Being bored in your relationship is a red flag.

When asked this question, many people would instinctively say yes.

Being bored feels like a bad sign. No one wants to go somewhere boring, or talk to someone boring, or do something boring.

So why would we want to get stuck in a boring relationship?

Crazily enough, boredom could be a sign you’re on the right path…

As long as you’re practicing these three tips.

The Problem with Boredom

Human beings are wired to hate boredom.

In a particularly devious experiment, researchers left people alone in a room by themselves for 6 to 15 minutes, with nothing to do.

Well, there was ONE thing to do.

They could push a button and give themselves a painful electric shock.

Would people shock themselves, simply because there was nothing better to do?

Yes!

Researchers concluded:

“Most people seem to prefer to be doing something rather than nothing, even if that something is negative.”[1]

Which may explain why a BAD relationship can feel preferable to NO relationship.

(Sure he frustrates you, but at least dating him gives you something to fix!)

Another study found that too much boredom can be bad for your health…not because of the boredom itself, but because of the stupid things it makes us do.

People who experienced “quite a lot” or “a great deal” of boredom had a higher risk of early death.[2] (Boredom doesn’t kill people, but bored people are more likely to engage in risky behaviors, like drinking alcohol, to alleviate the monotony.)

Yes, boredom is painful.

But it may have a silver lining…

Boredom’s Silver Lining

Imagine you’ve been invited to live in a luxurious suite of rooms on a tropical paradise. The island is mostly uninhabited. There is no internet, no contact with the outside world, and very little to do aside from enjoy yourself on the gorgeous beach.

How long do you think you could live there, each day the same as the last, before you got bored?

For some, that sounds like sheer paradise. Nothing to do and nowhere to go? Sign me up!

For others, it only sounds good until they try it. The monotony eventually becomes unbearable.

ALL good things can become boring.

Boredom is built into anything that is stable, predictable, secure, and reliable.

Which means that the possibility of boredom will always exist wherever love is committed and solid.

Good love isn’t going anywhere. That’s why good relationships make bad TV.

A 20-year marriage is not “Love Island.” All that drama is more likely to break up a relationship than spice it up.

So, if you’re feeling bored, ask yourself whether you’re bored IN your relationship…

Or you’re bored WITH your relationship.

If you’re bored IN your relationship, then there are 3 things you can do.

3 Boredom-Busting Mindsets

If there’s one thing we know…

It’s that life throws you curveballs just as you get comfortable.

The way you feel now in your relationship is not how you’re always going to feel.

The trick is to sail through those dry stretches without panicking or assuming something is wrong.

These three mindsets can help.

1. Meaning and purpose

In everything worth doing, there are parts where it feels like a hard slog.

But you get through it, because you know it’s in service to a greater goal.

In relationships, your future together is that greater goal.

You’re in it for the long haul. This is a marathon, not a sprint. You’ve got to pace yourself.

Boredom becomes an opportunity to rest and recharge before the insanity hits (as it always does!).

2. JOMO

When you look at everyone else’s relationship, they all seem to be having a lot more fun.

FOMO, or the Fear of Missing Out, makes us compare ourselves to others. What we have never seems to be as good as what they have.

The antidote to FOMO is JOMO.

JOMO is the Joy of Missing Out.

You can’t do everything. You have to pick what matters to you. Then you commit wholeheartedly to it, rather than looking over your shoulder to see what’s missing.

In many ways, that’s what long-term love is all about.

You commit to what you’ve chosen, and you make it the best it can be.

3. Perspective

Sometimes we blame our relationship for how we feel, because it’s an easy target.

But many times those feelings of frustration and stuckness come from elsewhere.

When you feel stuck personally, when you’re not sure you’re living the life you were meant to live, that discontent seeps into all other areas of your life.

You feel trapped in routine. There’s not enough room in your life for big dreams. You’re not fulfilled creatively. You’ve lost yourself.

Instead of looking to your relationship to solve those challenges for you, claim some “me time.”

Go on a retreat. Take a weekend away with just you and your thoughts. Get back in touch with who you are.

When your relationship has meaning and purpose…

And you’re not comparing it with anyone else’s…

And you’re making time for your own goals and dreams…

Boredom can feel an awful lot like contentment.

Without those things, boredom can feel intolerable.

When do you think it’s time to leaving a boring relationship? Let us know in the comments!


[1] https://science.sciencemag.org/content/345/6192/75

[2] https://academic.oup.com/ije/article/39/2/370/684049

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