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Take Risks  

One of the more insidious things that can damage a long term relationship is boredom.  Couples who report boredom in their relationships are more likely to have less satisfaction with the relationship in the long run than those couples who don’t report boredom. 

Think about it.  The early stages of relationship tend to be exciting and filled with new things and finding out information about this new person.  There is also a degree of risk involved as early relationships tend to have a certain degree of insecurity until they stabilize.  They therefore feel risky. 

How can you best fight boredom and bring risk into your marriage in a healthy, helpful way?  One thing you can do is make sure you do more exciting things together.   Activities or dates where you are exploring new things, seeking new experiences, or providing some kind of a challenge will keep the relationship from getting boring and stale.  While the once-a-week dinner and a show date is certainly better than no date night at all, if the same thing is done time after time it won’t produce as much closeness and good feeling in the relationship.

Keep three things in mind to avoid boredom in a relationship, or in anything for that matter: novelty, variety, and surprise.  This means doing new stuff occasionally, having a variety of activities you enjoy together and do together, and occasionally doing something that really breaks the pattern and provides a surprise.  All of this will help keep relationships more vital and energetic and thus help couples feel closer.

Another wonderful thing to do to avoid boredom is to take personal risks with each other.  I have talked elsewhere about healthy relationships being a forum for individual growth, and having a relationship that serves such a function will help keep it from being boring.  Open up with your partner about deeper aspects of your own life.  Wishes and dreams that may be scary to talk about.  Vulnerabilities and inadequacies you would rather not even think about.  And if you are one of those couples that has certain topics that are off the table, things you can’t, or think you can’t, talk about with each other.  Learn to get past that and put everything on the table.

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