TheConfidante In the Media
Did you want me to grab some milk on the way home?
Did you see that video about the royal dramas?
How’s your sister?
When was Johnny’s maths test again?
What’s for dinner?
Did you want me to collect Freida after school today and take her to netball?
The Johnsons asked to catch up on Sunday at 4pm – does that suit?
When are you mowing the lawn?
These questions are part of a normal, balanced and essential part of life that includes earning money to live and often caring for others. However, if it’s ONLY that – it is snorathon boring! Dissatisfaction, resentment and disconnection usually ensue.
Aside from the main issues of conflict and communication, you can imagine this is a common complaint in the counselling room. “Our relationship is dull!”
When Jan and Phil arrive on my couch, disgruntled, discontent and disconnected, I’ll ask about their lifestyles and current “best attempts to cope” with their lack lustre situation. Whilst consistency is healthy on many levels, they usually detail drab habits and routines that feature dull conversations about where the kids need to be, what's happening on TV, and what is for dinner before retreating to their screens. They're also over-scheduled and lack quality time. They're stuck!
What goes wrong?
They lost inquiry and wonder. They snagged their partner then became complacent and lost that beautiful, genuine inquisitiveness… and loneliness set in.
What do you do when your relationship has become boring?
I’m averse to the notion that relationships require a lot of hard work. This is not the case when we enjoy continual enquiry and wonder about our partner. I bet there is plenty you don’t know about them and how to make them excitable? I’m not suggesting you check in on their hopes and dreams for 10 years time on a daily basis, but a genuine continual curiosity to the amazement you chose to pair up with is a good start.
It is never too late to begin so here are my top three ideas to bring back the excitement from a boring relationship.
1. Wonder and enquiry means asking deeper questions. Be attentive to the answers and enquire even further. Pluck some curated questions from a jar around the dinner table, google them or buy my fabulous box of Questions to Know You cards that feature five categories to surprise, delight and entertain each other.
Here are a few:
2. Create new adventures and shared experiences. Plan ahead. I don’t know how many couples reveal they can’t remember the last time they did something NEW! A new fun activity requires thought, research and carving out time. Consider things that you haven't done before. What about activities you used to enjoy? Get out of the habit of the same ol same ol and do new things. When we enjoy shared experiences and take risks as a couple or as a family, they're memorable! The things we can’t see will bring more fulfilment than materialistic showy toys! Brainstorm some new ideas in the coming weeks that you could do a little bit differently or indulge in fresh newness you've never tried before.
3. Introduce spontaneous surprise in your relationship. What is a random surprise gift of fun act you could present to your partner this weekend? How will you make them laugh today? Can you shock them (in a good way!)? What is something they’ve always wanted to try, see or feel? Can you ask for something wild and unusual to bring back some zest?
Don’t get caught up in lazy habits that result in “flat-mate syndrome” and seize back the enquiry and wonder with intentional adventures and spontonaiety in your relationship!
I wonder what you’ll come up with?
Don’t forget to diarise my Facebook Lives each Therapeutic Thursday morning for Thriving Relationships to inject some relational inspirations into your weekend!
Joanne Wilson is the Relationship Rejuvenator and author of Renovate Your Relationship – All The DIY Tools For Your Most Important Project ($29.99). She is a neuropsychotherapist inspiring the community for thriving and dynamic relationships that impact generations for mental well-being. Find out more at www.relationshiprejuvenator.com
Joanne will be your Confidante, enabling you to speak freely in complete confidence and serenity. An integrated approach tailored to your specific needs will be utilised.
Joanne will be your Confidante, enabling you to speak freely in complete confidence and serenity. An integrated approach tailored to your specific needs will be utilised. Approaches such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Solution Focussed Therapy and Emotionally Focussed Therapy may be incorporated.
Relationship Specialist for Individuals and Couples online around the world and servicing areas for face to face sessions including Caloundra, Noosa, Noosaville, Buderim, Mountain Creek, Gympie.