Love boredom runs rampant both outside and inside the bedroom. And while it seems like a mystery – how the thrill doesn’t last forever – there is a simple, and correctable, cause.
The romance didn’t pack its black lacey self up and crawl out the bedroom window – you stopped making loving effort. Your neglected romance got kicked into the corner of your closet, sharing space with the lonely unmatched socks who are missing their mates as much as you are missing yours. You lost that loving feeling because you got complacent.
Complacency, plain and simple. You used to make effortless effort when you were dating. As you saw above, early in your relationship you had a lot of help from hormones and neurochemistry, sprinkled liberally with fantasies, stirred with needs, hopes and yes, sprinkled with sexual horniness. All of those ingredients conspired to make your sweetie and the courting of said sweetie of utmost importance. You spent time and energy chasing that big, sexy fish.
Then you caught him or her.
And over time, as is the nature of things, your energies turned to the next phases of life – building family, career and community. And that obsessive thinking about your partner started to wane.
Life got busy. Life got predictable. Novelty wore off.
The thing is, novelty is thrilling. That’s why it’s so easy to fall in love. But routine and predictability – the very foundation of a stable, committed relationship – can be ho-hum. And ho-hum is not good for Thrill.
It makes sense that predictable and romantic don’t exactly go together. Routine is the antithesis of surprise. If your partner strides in the door, kisses you passionately, and hands you a fistful of fresh picked poppies, you are delighted. Your heart jumps, your emotions flood with warmth and appreciation, and you feel like the luckiest person in the world. Now, imagine that your partner greets you that way every day for 14 years. Does your heart still jump?
So, as your love affair transitioned from new and exciting to familiar and pleasant, you lost that loving feeling.
And hey, it’s not all your fault – biology works against lifelong Thrill too. The hormones and neurochemistry of chase and seduction eventually shift to those of comfort and safety. With the snuggle hormones taking over, you want to stay together and raise the kids, and you want to wear plaid flannel pj’s and watch TV. But you don’t organically want to make the effort to swap plaid for fishnet or kidnap your spouse for an evening of oysters and jazz, the way you used to when things were fresh and exciting.
Your priorities changed. Familiarity crept in. You took your sweetie for granted. You got complacent. You forgot to make Loving Effort. Eventually, you got bored.
There. I said it.
Your relationship got predictable and comfortable. And here you are, with a severe case of love boredom. I know, it’s not your fault, right? Your spouse used to be so interesting. And then they got boring.
Except they didn’t.
Your spouse is still absolutely fascinating. You are the one that is boring.
You have a bored mind.
You are just not making the effort to be interested any more. Complacency. You believe you know your spouse so well – you actually think there is nothing left to learn about them. Seriously?
Holy Hannah. Think about that for a moment.
Your mate is never boring. Your head is. And while you may not be able to change your partner, as you saw in the last chapter you can definitely change your own mind. You can bring focused curiosity to the present moment, discovering the riches within it. You can fall in love again with your sweetie, instead of looking for someone new.
Stay tuned for future articles with Tips and Techniques for Bringing the Thrill Back.
For the Sake of All Beings – Wisdom, ComPassion, and Mindful Loving