It happens to every relationship. Things are going smoothly, you’re happy, you’re rolling around in the midst of being in love, then BAM. You wake up one morning and try to figure out how you got there, in a bit of a rut, sort of stagnant, without any idea as to what to do next.
But before you can fix things and get your relationship back on track, you need to recognize that you’re in a rut in the first place. Here are 10 signs that things are less than awesome.
1. You’re bored most of the time.
After being with someone for awhile, of course you’re going to get bored. Relationships take constant effort. If you don’t make that effort all the time to keep things spicy and fun, then obviously both you and your partner will get bored.
2. You’re starting to find other people attractive.
First of all, just because you’re in a relationship doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the other attractive people in the world. It also doesn’t mean that you can’t have a little crush on a coworker or that hot dude you see at Starbucks every morning. This doesn’t mean you’re betraying your partner, it just means that you’re not all that interested in them at the moment, which is fine; it happens. As long as you don’t do anything to act on whatever crush you might have, you’ll move past it and up out of the rut.
3. You’re easily annoyed by your partner’s quirks.
We all have our quirks. And, although we loved our partner's idiosyncrasies in the beginning, they become a real pain in the ass when you’re in a relationship rut. Similar to any crushes you might have on someone besides your partner, you’ll evolve past being annoyed and learn to love those quirks again, especially if you make the effort to find the cuteness in them that you once saw. And I mean REALLY make the effort.
4. You know something’s off, but you can’t define it.
When we’re in a relationship rut, it’s sometimes hard to realize that that’s what it is. You know you’re still in love and you know you don’t want to throw in the towel yet, but you’re just sort of “meh” about them. That “meh” feeling is proof that you’re in a rut, not that you need to say goodbye.
5. You realize you need to spice things up, but you’re not sure how.
Should you go on a vacation? Maybe join a swinger’s club? Have sex in the shower for a change? It’s hard say, because what’s considered spicy is different for everyone. Communicating with your partner that the rut is real and spice is necessary, will help you figure out what need to do to liven things up.
6. The day-to-day is slowly killing your soul.
Every morning you both wake up, you shower, you go to work, you come home, one of you cooks, the other does the dishes, and then you watch TV until bed – who wouldn’t feel like they’re in a rut if that was their life? Go out to dinner! Go take a painting class! Meet up for a quickie during your lunch break! No two days of your life should ever be the same, whether you’re in a relationship or not.
7. When you have sex, you feel like you’re just going through the motions.
Once upon a time the sex was great, but now it’s almost mechanical. You kiss, he touches your boob for 10 seconds, you touch his penis for 13 seconds, then you have intercourse and you’re both asleep in less than 15 minutes. No wonder you’re in a relationship rut! You need to add new goodies to the menu, or at least do things in a different order!
8. You say, ‘I love you,’ and wonder if you mean it.
I’m of the belief that love never dies. Ever. But when you’re bored and feeling down on your relationship, it’s hard to fully believe yourself when you say, “I love you” out loud. It’s not that you don’t; it’s that you need something to spark that feeling again, so when you do say it, you know it’s true. Find that spark. It was there before, so it can be there again.
9. You long for the early days when your relationship was new.
Ahh! Don’t we all?! But the problem is that you will never get back to those days when your relationship and love were new. But, as much as that might be depressing, just think about what you have now: comfort and stability. They may not seem as exciting, but it’s just as important, if not more so, than excitement. That's the stuff that keeps you together.
10. You don’t want to let them go, but you’re not sure how to remedy things.
A relationship rut is exactly that – a rut. It’s not a breakup, it’s a not a sign that things are over or that you can’t turn things around. A rut is like a lull in a conversation. At some point someone has to break the silence and address the elephant in the room in order to move forward. Once you recognize there’s a rut, you need to talk about it. You need to work on digging yourself out of it and getting to that happy place again.