How can I stay in a long term relationship without becoming bored?

Look within or be without.

08-15-18-33-57 / 13

Hello Diner. This feeling of becoming bored is natural to everyone. Scientists call this process hedonic adaptation. Prof. Sonja Lyubomirsky wrote on its details and how to mindfully control its effect. This Fortune will apply her concepts to your situation.

Hedonic adaptation is your mind’s way to adapt to positive or negative events. While it is the process that gives you that bored feeling, it allows you to heal from traumatic events like break ups or losses and get on with life. Without it, you will experience all the emotions from each event in your life at full intensity, but having it also brings that wonderful relationship honeymoon period to an end. Your personal experience probably shows that you get over new positive things a lot more quickly than something tragic.

Thankfully you can control its pace:

Appreciate the good. Pay attention to the good things that came about because of your partner–not just the nice things he or she has done, but how your life has improved.

Celebrate successes. Couples almost automatically vent at each other at the end of the day and (hopefully) empathize. Remember to share and celebrate good things.

Do fulfilling activities. Activities that are fulfilling and challenging (like learning new skills, going on adventures, building stronger connections with friends) can give you an ever-changing variety of new experiences.

Surprise yourself. Use your not having done something as a reason to do it, not as an excuse. Say yes. Give naysayers a chance to respect you for trying something they are too afraid to.

Balance routine with variety. Dr. Lyubomirsky’s studies showed doing a variety of things for your partner will yield a lot more happiness than doing the same nice thing over and over. It doesn’t have to heart-pounding, expensive, or something no other person has done, ever.

Let it affect your life. Let this partner change you for the better. Positivity brings about more positivity (likewise with negativity). Volunteering, being supportive, and showing appreciation are welcomed changes to your personality. Don’t let friends shame you.

Manage your expectations. When you start adapting to the positive experience, your sense of “normal” reaches a plateau. This causes an ever-climbing need for more excitement. Understanding this tendency will help you maintain a fulfilling relationship.

Throughout this Fortune, I stress “do” over “accumulate.” Even though you can use these suggestions to stave off getting used to new things, things not only stay the same, but wear and tear over time. Experiences are new every single time. Take care of your own personal boredom, and the excitement will naturally influence your personal relationship.




Folkman, Susan (Ed), (2011). The Oxford handbook of stress, health, and coping. Oxford library of psychology, (pp. 200-224). New York, NY, US: Oxford University Press, xvi, 469 pp