You come home after a long day at work and make dinner for yourself and your long-term partner. You settle down in front of the TV before heading to bed and repeating it all the next day. On the weekend, you might have sex on Saturday morning and get a takeaway in the evening. No arguments, no fuss. Comfortable, safe, easy. But is it what you really want?
Now, I’m not saying that being comfortable with your partner is a bad thing, nor saying that you should be hitting the town every night having crazy adventures. Everyone loves a takeaway night and some Netflix and chill. What I am saying though, is to watch out for when you slip from being a loving couple to being almost platonic friends, because neither of you has the energy to break up with the other.
I’ve seen plenty of my friends go through life for years with a lacklustre relationship, before finally making that jump to single-dom and realising how much they were missing out on. I’ve also been there myself! The thing that sticks with me is what a colossal waste of time it all was, when I was spending the best years of my life with someone who didn’t make me feel great – the relationship was just ‘meh’ and I actually try not to think about it too much because it really annoys me.
Make your own moves
Unfortunately, as I know from experience coming to the realisation that you’re unhappy in your relationship can take a long time, even if those around you can see it clearly. Once you do finally come to your senses, you need to do something about it and tell the other person, which can cause tension and hurt, especially if they don’t feel the same way.
I finally dropped the bomb and it was a horrible time, we were broken up but still had to live together which was super hard. When I finally broke free, I began to experience all the things I had been missing, moved in with a great group of people, hit the dating scene and began doing things my own way, on my own terms.
Spice it up
Conversely, you may realise that things aren’t as interesting in your relationship as they once were, but you know you DEFINITELY don’t want to break up. That’s okay – you can bring it back to how it used to be.
If I’ve learned anything, it’s that communication is key. It’s easy, when there’s no arguments or tension, to keep things moving along and not rock the boat. I guarantee you’ll end up feeling worse in the long run if you do this. If you want to avoid a shouting match, open the conversation gently, avoiding accusations like: “You never take me for dinner anymore”, rather saying: “Remember when we used to pick a different restaurant to visit each week? My favourite was…”. Doing this avoids confrontation and hopefully can get you on the right track again.
Getting it all out can help, especially if it has been building up for a while. You may find that under the mundanity of everyday life, the person you fell in love with is still there and you can rebuild what you had at the beginning. On the other hand, you may find that you still love that person, but in a different way – it might be time to let go.
Speaking from experience – you’ll be fine. You’ve got this!