By Dr. Samantha Rodman

Nobody wants a relationship that consists of endless drama and fighting, but an emotionless and monotonous relationship doesn’t sound much better. Many people wonder whether their relationship has enough passion and excitement. So how can you tell if your relationship is balanced or boring?

What Makes a Relationship “Balanced?”

A balanced relationship is one where there is no daily conflict. When there are conflicts, they are worked through without threats, ultimatums, or wounding insults. Partners enjoy being together, but also have interests and friends outside the relationship. Jealousy is not very frequent, as partners trust one another and prioritize their commitment.

How Dysfunction Plays into our View Of Relationships

One major issue to explore is whether you are used to being in dysfunctional relationships, or you grew up witnessing one between your parents. When people are used to being in, or observing, volatile and unpredictable relationships, it changes their idea of what amount of drama is “normal” for a relationship.

If you grew up seeing daily screaming and fighting, you may know that you want a healthier relationship. But you still may subconsciously expect that any romantic relationship will involve a certain level of arguing, jealousy, and storming out of the house in a rage. If you grew up with a parent with substance use or personality disorder issues, this is amplified.

Once you find a more stable partner, it may feel to you that they don’t care as much about you because they don’t initiate arguments, try to control you, or act jealous. If this is the case for you and your relationship, then it is essential to recognize how your ideas about relationships were shaped by your past experiences and observations. It will take time to get used to a new normal, where a relationship isn’t characterized by constant turmoil and drama.

Understanding Change in a Relationship Over Time

It is also important to think about how your feelings may have changed over the course of your relationship. The initial stages of a relationship are called the honeymoon stage because everything feels perfect and exciting. Both people generally feel that they have finally found the person that they have been looking for, the person who is ideally suited to them.

The honeymoon stage can last a couple of years, and after that, the disillusionment stage may kick in, followed, hopefully, by an acceptance stage where there is deeper love and seeing your partner more objectively and compassionately.

How to Push Through “Boredom”

If your feelings of boredom have been there since the inception of the relationship, a stage at which most people feel extremely positive and excited, this would be a sign that perhaps you and your partner are not compatible.

If, however, your feelings of boredom emerged after a couple of years of monogamy, this would be much more common and less of a reason to doubt the relationship as a whole. Instead, boredom at this stage may be able to be improved by communicating more frequently, doing exciting things together, tackling new projects, reading books together (Author’s Note: My book 52 Emails To Transform Your Marriage was written specifically for couples feeling bored or disconnected), or even going to couples counseling.

Finding Middle Ground

Nobody wants to settle for an uninspiring relationship, but there has to be a healthy middle ground. If you recognize aspects of yourself and your relationship in this article, share it with your partner and discuss! Often, when both partners can discuss an issue openly, even boredom, they can work together to tackle the issue, and to reconnect.

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