Relationships go through different stages, including the dreaded relationship rut.
At first, everything is super-passionate. You can’t keep your hands off each other and butterflies are a regular occurrence. You’re walking on air and can’t believe your luck. Of course, this type of emotional high simply can’t last forever.
You might watch films and wonder why your relationship isn’t as exciting, or why you’re not still tearing each other’s clothes off like Christian and Ana. The truth is, real life is nothing like the movies, and thankfully so. 50 Shades of Grey is not only slightly worrying in terms of power balance, but it just looks so exhausting!
[Read: The 9 relationship stages all couples go through]
Once things start to calm, you might find yourself falling into a routine. This is pleasant at first, but then it has the habit of becoming a little, well, boring. Enter the relationship rut.
The 6 signs you might be in a relationship rut
Relationship ruts are extremely common, but it’s important to try and get yourself out of it. Not only is your relationship not going to be the most fulfilling thing in the world, but you might end up taking each other for granted as a result. [Read: Tired of your relationship? Here’s how to fix it IF you want to]
#1 Everything becomes repetitive. It’s easy to fall into a routine. Essentially, you do the same things at the same time, you don’t try new things, you talk about the same subjects. It’s easy and it’s comfortable, but where is the excitement?
Sure, life is boring sometimes, but you can always try and make things a little more exciting by focusing on new things. Everything becoming super-repetitive and predictable is one of the signs you’re in a relationship rut. [Read: All the signs of a boring relationship and how to bring back the fun]
#2 The butterflies have gone on vacation. It’s not that you don’t love your partner, because you really do, but you just don’t get the same thrill that you used to. In some ways, it’s normal for the butterflies to reduce drastically, but they shouldn’t ever go away completely.
#3 You start comparing your relationship, and it usually comes up short. Comparing your relationship to someone else’s is literally the kiss of death. When you start doing this, you’re going to notice the things that your partner doesn’t do. This might drive a wedge in your relationship.
Remember that everyone’s relationship is different. We all move at a difference pace. However, the fact you’re comparing your relationship means that you might not be happy with what you’ve got and a glaring sign of a relationship rut. [Read: Here is what to do when you need to reconnect with your partner]
#4 Communication is dwindling. A happy and healthy relationship requires communication. If you’re not talking much anymore, start working on it.
When you fall into a relationship rut, you don’t have much to say to each other. This is probably because you’re stuck in a routine and nothing exciting is happening. You literally have nothing to say to one another!
#5 Your sex life has become predictable. Relationship ruts are characterized by predictable sex lives. So, if the time you spend between the sheets is less than thrilling, that’s something you need to try and work on. Sure, relationships aren’t all about sex, but intimacy means you’re bonded together. When that’s not really working as well as it should, you may start to drift apart. [Read: How to make sex more interesting when it’s boring and really lame]
#6 You start to think that you might be better off with someone else. The grass isn’t always greener, and the next step after comparing your relationship to someone else’s is that you might start wondering whether you’d be better off with someone else. This is simply because the bond you share has become a little stale. It’s not necessarily a sign of something deeper or more serious.
Of course, it’s normal to have problems for a short period of time, e.g. a week or two. That could be down to one of you feeling stressed at work or having a problem of another kind. This normally passes. However, if it’s longer lasting, that’s a common sign of a relationship rut.
[Read: Is it time to end it? The 13 signs your relationship isn’t working out]
How can you tell if it’s something more serious?
A relationship rut doesn’t have to be the beginning of the end, and in most cases, it’s not. It’s simply a sign that you need to give your relationship a little TLC and work on strengthening your bond.
We take things for granted when we don’t have to work for them anymore, and that’s what it’s like once a relationship has been going for a while. You’ve gone past the stage where you’re on your best behavior. You’re now comfortable and in a regular routine. That can easily lead to taking each other for granted and not paying as much attention. [Read: 20 very ingenious ways to keep a relationship exciting and fun]
Relationships are like muscles. You need to work them out a little to make them stronger. If you think you’ve slipped into a relationship rut, focus on each other and do things that you wouldn’t normally do. Try new and exciting things. Talk, spice up your sex life a little and basically pay each other a bit more attention.
Of course, there is the small chance that this isn’t just a rut at all, and it’s something more serious. [Read: 15 rules to follow to be a good partner in your relationship]
Relationships don’t always last. It’s sad to say, but it’s the truth. A relationship rut that you can’t seem to get out of is a pretty damning sign. Most ruts are easy to climb out of. Once you recognize it and start to change things and focus on each other more, you’ll find that most things improve. However, if after some effort nothing changes, you should ask yourself why. [Read: 20 signs a relationship is over – How to recognize the end and move on]
In that case, is it worth staying? Is it worth it to be in a relationship that makes you bored every single day, which has no passion, no emotion, and the butterflies have taken off to another land completely, with no sign of return? Personally, in that situation, as hard as it would be, I think I’d have to say goodbye.
We’re not all perfect for one another. Sometimes we have to walk away to find happiness, and to let the other person find their happiness too. Of course, that doesn’t have to be the outcome for every relationship that experiences troubles.
As long as you can communicate, as long as the love is still there, and as long as both of you want to work at climbing out of your relationship rut and rekindling the flame a little, there is hope. All you need to do is focus, talk about the things you want to try, set boundaries together, and just go for it. [Read: Happy and naughty ways to keep your relationship fresh forever]
Many couples also find that once they reignite the spark in the bedroom, the rest falls into place. It’s not a bad place to start. Plus, it’s quite fun to try too!
From there, focus on being intimate in other ways, using massage, talking, cuddling, caressing, setting date nights, and trusting your partner with your secrets. These are things which strengthen the bond, bring you closer, and kick the rut right out of your relationship.
[Read: 13 weird and unique ways to build intimacy with your partner]
If you think you’ve fallen into a relationship rut, take some action and keep talking. The more you talk to your partner, the more you encourage them to do the same, and the better chance you have of rekindling the passion that you lost.
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