The Psychological Reason You Get Bored In Relationships


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Think about a time when you first accomplished a goal, got that thing you were saving for, or met the love of your life.

Feel the euphoria and excitement that overwhelmed you at the time.

Now, think about how you feel in the present moment. Hopefully you are still in love with your partner, still nostalgic about the goal, and still enjoy the “thing.”

But, it’s highly unlikely you feel the same intensity as you did in the beginning.

Enter: Hedonic Adaptation.

Despite how it sounds, no, I did not make it up.

Hedonic adaptation is most easily described as the feeling of getting used to something that was once enormously exciting. Essentially, the thrill fades and the person/place/thing simply becomes a daily part of life.

It’s why people with humongous houses will tell you it doesn’t feel that big, or why that piece of jewelry you saved up years for has been sitting unworn for just as long.

Excitement fades as the new thing becomes the normal thing, even though we hate to admit it. As creatures who strive for more, what happens next is that we raise the bar for what we want next. The goalpost is always moving.

Nobel-prize winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman has referred to this process as a “satisfaction treadmill.”

While it is exciting and ambitious to pursue higher goals in your career, level of fitness, or developing a new skillset, it’s easy to see how this becomes a problem in the area of relationships.

Why do so many people get lazy and content? Stop putting in effort, or showing affection to their partner? Why do so many people allow the romance or attraction to fade over time by trying less?

Hedonic Adaptation.

How can we fight against it?

Variety is the spice of life, as they say. But, it is also the enemy of adaptation. Relationships that have a set routine or lack of variety can feel dull or monotonous. This won’t allow opportunities for mutual excitement, fun, or sexual attraction to spark into your day or night.

We need to keep the spark alive by sharing new and exciting experiences together. Depending on when you read this, we may be fighting the quarantines from the Coronavirus. It may seem like this cuts off opportunities for new experiences, but nobody knows EVERYTHING about a person. Play games, cook new recipes together, be creative in the bedroom, have fun with each other.

If you’re not on lockdown, start exploring new areas of town, restaurants, bars, take a day trip, dress up and attend a charity event.

I cannot tell you how many married people I’ve spoken to that haven’t done something fun and exciting for months, or longer.

If we do not proactively work to keep excitement alive, it won’t happen on its own. Relationships test our level of commitment, and the LESS we do, the harder it becomes.

Aside from variety — practice gratitude.

When we take something for granted, it means we’ve stopped actively appreciating it (or him/her). Comfort in a relationship is essential when it means we can tell our partner anything or feel safe around them. But, if we become too comfortable, we can get complacent and watch the flame begin to fade.

Remind your partner what you love about them. Make sure they feel appreciated, and most importantly, make sure YOU take the time to FEEL the gratitude. It cannot be manufactured.

A human being with billions of choices for a partner to choose has chosen you to spend their life with, if that’s not seen as the ultimate honor, I don’t know what is.


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1 Comment

  1. Lonstermash Lonstermash on March 16, 2020 at 4:20 pm

    Love this! Now, if only I actually HAD a partner to remind what I love about, lol. d

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