Get Out of That Comfort Rut in Your Relationship

I’ve been in a relationship for almost three and a half years, so you’d think by now I’d have it all figured out. Some parts I’ve mastered. Definitely. But there are other parts that I’m still learning about, which is what makes it fun. I’m realizing that relationships are always shifting and changing, which makes sense because people are always changing too.

One thing I’m realizing is that relationships seem to have life cycles. There’s the beginning stages of the relationship where you want to spend every waking minute together. Take an hour apart to go to the gym? Umm…okay, I GUESS. Hopefully this phase doesn’t last too long, but everyone goes through it whether you want to admit it or not. Eventually, you get comfortable in your relationship and you start to rediscover your individual identity. You take time for hobbies and friendships and things like that. But I’ve found that when you’ve been with someone for a really long time, eventually you start to shift back to the “we are one” mentality that you adopted when you first got together . Here’s what I mean: You find yourself saying things such as, “We’ll be at that event.” or “We like that show.”

There’s no shame in it this. When you’ve been together with another person for a long time, eventually your lives start to blend together. It’s natural. It’s healthy. My boyfriend and I live together and work in the same office. He’s seen me at my best and he’s seen me at my…um…least elegant. You need to be able to let that other person in without having your guard up all the time, especially if you’re sharing a house or apartment.

But a few weeks ago I began a new kick. I’m calling it the “Just do you” movement. It’s basically a “get busy living or get busy dying” mentality. This new mentality means that I’ve finally going to actively pursue hobbies I’ve always wanted to pick up. Over the last few weeks I realized that I’d become far too comfortable in my relationship. I’d stopped working on myself as an individual and that’s dangerous. I was just feeling bored and antsy and I realized it was because I wasn’t really a 3D person anymore. I didn’t have enough going on in my own life. Just because you’re in a relationship doesn’t mean you get to be 1/2 a person. Not at all. The more well-rounded you are as a person, the better your relationship is. Just because I’m comfortable, doesn’t mean I get to just coast along.

While it’s great to have someone you can sit around and do nothing with, you still have to get out and do things. Go to a play, go to a museum, go to happy hour. It doesn’t matter, go somewhere besides your couch! Also, you have to have hobbies that don’t involve the other person. My parents have been married for 30 years, and my mom always says this is one of the biggest reasons their marriage is such a success. They are both fully independent people.

To start my new movement off right, I’m taking weekly tap dance classes and I’m finally taking weekly guitar lessons (always been on my bucket list) and I can’t wait. These are two things that I’m really excited about. Of course I’ll still make time for my boyfriend and nurture the relationship, but you can’t bring much to a relationship if you’re not feeling like a fully-developed person.

Do you ever feel like you’re in a comfort rut? What are you doing to get out of it?

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