Lifestyle

Get Out of the “Too Comfortable” Phase of Dating

Put the spark back into your love life

It’s Saturday night and your partner is settled in on the couch, drinking a glass of wine, and watching TV. If you’re also a homebody and happy hanging out at your house, that’s fine. But if you want to go out more often than he does, and he refuses, it can cause a rift in your relationship.

If your boyfriend or husband has become too comfortable in your relationship and you want to shake things up, here are some tips on how to add spice back into your lives.

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Figure out what you want

First, remember that nothing is a problem unless it is a problem for one or both people in a relationship. For some couples, hanging out at home, doing things separately and coming together for a few joint activities like meals, TV watching, going out shopping or out to a party or dinner with others, are what they want from their relationships, said Toni Coleman, psychotherapist and relationship coach.

“However if one of the couples feels their partner is too comfortable, this is probably code for taking them or the relationship for granted, that it’s gotten boring, and is not what they thought they signed up for. When this happens, it needs to be addressed. If it isn’t, distance and discontentment will grow,” she said.

“Nothing can be fixed unless both people can agree that it needs fixing and that they want to invest in fixing it. So, the first step is to have an open and candid conversation that lays feelings and concerns on the table. Even if one partner isn’t unhappy with the status quo, if they are able to see that it is a real problem for the other and care about their feelings and needs, there is something to work with,” she said.

How to fix it

Make an action plan. It can include anything you want it to include. Possibilities to shake things up include relationship counseling, a weekly date night, limiting TV watching, agreeing to engage in meaningful conversation for 30 minutes a day, checking in during the day just to say hi, cooking dinner together a couple of times a week, or sharing an activity that you both enjoy. The key is finding a way to address the concerns together and find a solution you both agree upon, Coleman said.

Problem solving together is the only way get out of a relationship rut. If you want to get out of the “too comfortable” zone, talk to your partner about how you’re feeling and work out a solution together, said Dr. Fran Walfish, Beverly Hills child, parenting, and relationship psychotherapist and author of The Self-Aware Parent and co-star of Sex Box on WE tv.

“Join a class of mutual interest, go to a lecture that can stimulate joint dialogue, or try something different sexually to mix it up and break the monotony,” Walfish said.

Don’t worry about the bigger picture

Don’t be concerned that this is a sign of a bigger problem. It is common for couples to lose that initial romantic spark as they settled into a long-term relationship, and end up living more like roommates than soulmates.

“It is not that feeling too comfortable with each other that is the problem; rather they are not investing time and energy into their relationship,” said Rabbi Shlomo Slatkin, MS, LCPC, a certified Imago therapist and founder of The Marriage Restoration Project.

“Couples can fix this issue by devoting time to their relationship. This can include weekly date nights, taking a class together, planning regular fun, and sharing regular appreciation for each other. Although they still may want time to veg or do their own thing, if they have regular connection time they can revive their relationship,” Slatkin said.

And remember, it’s easy to get out of a rut if both parties want to change things. Love is never to be taken for granted. It must be nurtured and cherished in order to grow and thrive.

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