Being in a relationship rut doesn’t necessarily mean you are in bad relationship. Whether you are frustrated, bored or fighting and bickering all the time, relationship ruts are normal.
According to studies, a couples’ long term happiness with each other and their relationship depends on a few key factors and these are all very straightforward and obvious things, but when in a relationship rut it is amazing how many of these factors are missing.
Key factors in couples’ long term satisfaction with relationship and each other:
They do say that all work and no play leads to dullness and this is something to remember in a long-term relationship. Getting caught up in the daily grind of domestic chores, children and work stresses doesn’t lead to relationship bliss and to a degree this is normal. Indeed one of the most well documented findings relating to Western marriage is that periods of intimacy are prone to fluctuation and that a general decline in love and satisfaction occurs after the initial ‘honeymoon period’.
There is no exact time frame as to when long-term relationships will lose their lustre, which is not surprising as all relationships are different and of course individual circumstances will also have a role to play. The general signs of a relationship being in a rut include: arguing, a sense of boredom, feeling isolated and lack of interest in and or intimacy.
Whilst highs and lows in a relationship are common, if the passion in a long term relationship is constantly flatter than a deflated balloon then there is something wrong and it is time to start looking towards a little relationship rejuvenation.
Remember relationships require effort and that you need to approach any efforts you propose to make with regards to your relationship with an open mind and an optimistic outlook.
Doing things together is obviously key to maintaining a relationship, but what you need is quality time together. Simply doing all the mundane things together or having a set routine that sees you doing the same things all of the time can lead to boredom, which is linked to having a decreased relationship quality.
Relationship happiness can be boosted dramatically by introducing a playful element to the relationship or just new things, such as cooking together, learning a language or exploring new places or cuisines can all help to break the cycle of boredom.
Try reflecting on exciting things you did together in the beginning of the relationship and the things that made you fall in love. Write a list of all the things that you love about your partner and those that made you fall in love with them.
When you find that working and family commitments make it impossible to find the time for an evening out or a weekly date night, then try not to feel despondent or resentful over it, instead opt for something that you can achieve, such as a lunch date or coffee break and dedicate twenty minutes each evening to each other and this should be twenty minutes without distractions, no phones, no TV and no shop talk. Read more here
Work together to create a list of simple things you want to do together as a couple and then look to do at least one of them per month. It might be simple things like eating at a new restaurant, watching a classic film together or cooking a meal together.
You may find that your relationship has deteriorated and that sex has become infrequent or a difficult subject to broach. If you are looking to introduce some closeness into your relationship then don’t forget the importance of non-sexual touch. Hugs, cuddles, massages and even holding hands are all actions that can all boost feelings of affection.
Don’t be embarrassed to seek external support. Whilst it’s probably not a great idea to propose couples therapy a few weeks into a relationship, in a long term relationship sometimes some relationship therapy is beneficial. Sometimes, just talking it through with an impartial marriage counsellor can help, but for issues relating to trust, intimacy and long-term dissatisfaction you may want to consider turning to Tantra. Tantra focuses on deepening the intimacy and connection between a couple.
However, you choose to escape a relationship rut, it is essential to remember that relationship satisfaction is tied to personal life satisfaction and so you must work on your own happiness, you can’t rely on a partner to make your life great; work to make a great life regardless of whether single or part of a couple.