Bust Your Long-Term Relationship Rut
Posted by Katie Ostoich on July 20, 2012 at 9:56 PM
It happens to the best of us. Every so often, your relationship is going to go into a little lull. There’s no need to panic, they’re just little ruts that you can find yourselves in because, let’s face it, routine can be kinda boring sometimes. And this is especially true when you live with your significant other. Let’s forget about the dry spell you all dread for a minute – this is a social dry spell. But don’t worry, you can get that excitement back in a few easy steps!
I’ve talked to some of my coupled up friends recently and found that we’ve all experienced this similar “social rut” with our long-term guys. Think about it: especially when you’re married or living together, your routine takes over your life a lot of the time because you just run out of time and energy! You get up, go to work, cook, have the “how was your day?” chat and finally melt onto the couch to watch an evening of mindless TV (or some variation of the above). And your nights out? It’s dinner at the same old burger place or drinks at the same bar with your same friends. Am I right? The weeks begin repeating and you find yourselves waiting for those peaks in the calendar: holidays, parties, vacations. You know, something different to look to forward to.
I want to make this point very clear: Going through a lull like this does not mean that anything's wrong with your relationship. It’s just something that happens when you're with the same person everyday. And, I’m not saying that having a routine is boring, because most of us like a little bit of predictability and stability (remember I love to make lists and could easily spend an entire day just planning anything and everything), but sometimes you need a little pick-me-up during the month. Am I right?
Recently my husband and I have actually tried to become more social: planning date nights, group outings, and weekend trips with friends. But we’ve also started spending more time apart, too. We realize how important it is to have our own lives while still enjoying our life together. And, honestly, it’s easier to spend time apart because I know I’ll see him at the end of the night. But it’s definitely work to keep things exciting. After two years of living together, we’ve figured out a couple tricks to get out of a rut:
Make plans with friends. It’s important to plan double-date nights with other couples or solo date nights with just your girlfriends. Having that outside social interaction keeps all of your bonds strong and prevents isolation. Just remember to keep the balance of friend time and couple time. You’ve still got to put in the effort and dedicate time to just your man to build some memories of your own.
Make plans with yourself. It’s really important to be independent and you’ve got to keep your sanity by spending time with yourself every once in a while. Turn off the cell, say bye-bye to the boy, and go for a run. Or a yoga class. Or hit the mall. Whatever makes you feel good! I promise, it feels so good.
Plan an extra special date night or trip. Forgo your usual favorite restaurant for one you haven’t been to yet. Save your money and book a weekend getaway or vacation somewhere you’re dying to go. If you’re not looking to break the bank, take a few days and take a trip to nowhere! Just get in the car and drive wherever the road takes you. Hell, even if you want to stay in, make it a themed movie night or pretend to camp in your backyard. Be creative, ladies!
Have sex. Often. It’s healthy to acknowledge that sex is lacking in your relationship and actually work on fixing it. Your sex life is sort of a gauge for how the relationship is going, and for some reason, it makes you more connected in other aspects of the relationship. So by all means, get to it.
Do something new together. My husband and I really like to taste different wines and beers, so we make it a point to learn as much about it as we can. We’re looking into classes we can take. Having something we can learn about and do together makes conversation new and exciting and makes going out to eat or going to the wine store an adventure.
Share a common goal. I will always be a runner at heart, but my husband and I do like to ride bikes together. This year, we’re training for a metric century road race – 60 miles. It means a lot of time spent together and something that we both want to succeed in. It’s exciting to meet certain milestones in training together and you always have built in support! No flaking on workouts anymore, hun!
Have you experienced a rut in your relationship—socially or sexually? Will you try any of my tips with your man? Do you have any tricks of your own?