Date nights can be exciting journeys. However, not all couples approach dating like Bear Grylls, who is prepared to cross mountain ranges and eat strange insects for the sheer excitement of it. Some couples may find date nights to be monotonous.
A recent study that was released in the journal Personal Relationships explains why some relationships grow monotonous and offers suggestions for how partners might reignite their desire.
How Couples Get Bored
Many couples’ initial excitement, passion, and sparks eventually wane, especially if they do nothing to address it. Getting “stuck in a rut” is simple.
Rich dates at the Costco food court and superficial conversations about what to buy in bulk may gradually replace lavish nights out on the town and significant, in-depth conversations. However, if dating turns normal, predictable, or boring, couples could grow disinterested in their union and long for the passion they previously shared.
When a couple initially starts dating, passion or a desire to be intimately connected is typical. Each late-night discussion and enjoyable new experience a couple has together can enhance each person’s sense of self.
Every time a person learns something new, takes up a new skill or activity, or has a unique encounter with a romantic partner, their self-concept develops or broadens. It follows that it is not strange that while a couple is in the first, exciting stages of their relationship, passion tends to be at its peak.
However, enthusiasm can wane with time. The spontaneity, unpredictability, humor, excitement, and butterflies that formerly characterized a relationship may cause partners to feel disillusioned and yearn for them.
Can Bored Couples Break Out of Their Rut?
Fortunately, psychologists have researched the reasons why some couples find their relationships monotonous and what they may do to liven up drab date nights. The current study investigated why bored couples frequently don’t take action to improve their union.
For a period of three weeks, couples who had been dating for an average of two years were asked to fill out a daily survey on their union by psychologists Cheryl Harasymchuk, Atara Lonn, Emily Impett, and Amy Muise. Couples reported daily on their level of passion and boredom in their relationship, including whether it felt “like a chore.”
Couples also mentioned how much time they spend each day engaging in fun, intimate activities with their partner and how high-quality these activities were. High-quality activities were those that strengthened the couple’s bond and made them happy with their union.
According to the findings of this dyadic study, couples who were dissatisfied with their union found it difficult to go on. Couples did interesting activities together less frequently the more bored they felt. The “exciting” shared activities that bored couples did engage in jointly tended to be of inferior quality.
Three months later, the couples were again surveyed about their passion. Findings showed that couples who felt highly bored with their relationship at the beginning of the study felt significantly less passion later on.
The researchers hypothesized that boredom led couples to arrange fewer, lower-quality dates over time, which in turn caused couples to feel less passionate three months later. This hypothesis was supported by the study’s longitudinal design.
How to Spice Up Bland Date Nights
It doesn’t follow that bored couples can’t arrange pleasant and exciting dates just because they tend to plan fewer of them. Sometimes all it takes to revive an exciting dating life is a little effort and imagination.
Exciting dates are a personal choice. A fun night out may not be what someone else considers to be fun. So, to spice up your upcoming date night, consider your partner’s viewpoint and do something different that you believe they could enjoy. The most recent psychological study indicates that it might eventually pay off.