How to Tell If You’re a Boring Partner
Take the test if you dare — but don’t force your partner to take it!
“It’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.” — Marilyn Monroe
Remember how it was at the beginning?
You couldn’t wait to see your partner, you could talk for hours, you’d hang off all of their words — and they off yours. (At least you think they did.)
But lately the conversation has dried up. So has the sense of adventure. You wouldn’t call it bad — just predictable, a little stale. How was your day? What’s for dinner? Who’s on dishes? What’s up with the kids? Who’s doing the pick-ups tomorrow?
You feel a niggle of discontent. Your life, with your partner, is boring. But, as you hit the Netflix button for the sixth night in a row, a random thought floats into your head.
Maybe that semi-conscious person in track pants on the couch next to me is thinking the same thing. Maybe I’m boring to be with?
It’s a smart question. Before you file your relationship under Dry as Dust, it’s worth turning the spotlight on yourself to see if the problem may lie — gulp — even closer to home than your partner.
Here’s a test to help.
How to Tell If You’re a Boring Partner
Do you: (answer yes or no).
1. Always greet your partner with: How Was Your Day?
Okay I don’t want to be too tough on you: asking “how was your day” is better than no question at all. But seriously? You can do better than that for someone you love. Think about what’s been going on for them and form a specific question around that.
2. Believe you are the Exciting One in the relationship. OR believe you are the Dull One.
Both of those beliefs are unhelpful in a relationship — so if you are clinging to either of those it’s time to let it go.
It’s supposed to be a partnership into which two people bring their strengths AND their vulnerabilities. That means you should both get to shine — and be able to take a back seat — when appropriate.
3. Talk more than you listen.
True, one person may be more of a “talker” than the other — but check that you’re both getting fair opportunity to speak. One of you (the quieter one) may have hopes and dreams you haven’t been able to express.
If you are a person who waits for a gap in the conversation so you can pounce on it with stories of your own wonder, hit pause. Sit quietly in your chair and sip your drink. Let your partner have the gap all to themselves.
4. Say nothing at all.
Saying nothing — or shutting down — even if you are low in mood or struggling, puts a massive strain on relationships. It’s important to contribute, to let your partner know what’s up (or if there’s a reason for your silence). Silence is unnerving in a relationship; it’s important to make an effort.
5. Wish your partner was more like you (even if you don’t say so).
People often believe they would be more content with someone more like themselves. That’s not true, nor is it fair — your partner should be as free to be who they are as you are.
It may also be that one of you in the relationship is plenty. Just saying.
6. Always function as a creature of habit.
Take the same route, eat the same food, do the same things — day after day after day. I get it, keeping things structured lowers anxiety, allows you to cope and provides a solid framework for your life. But utter predictability can also feed boredom, both in yourself and in a relationship. So try to change things up a little. And, when you can, make a suggestion — initiate something.
7. Complain a lot.
Even if you have good reason for complaining, like a high stress job, constant negativity is hard to live with. So is hearing the same work-stress stories night after night. If that rings a bell, try to back up the truck a little when you hear yourself start up. And, if you have a particular stressor in your life, seek help for it so your partner doesn’t have to take all the load.
8. Decline most invitations or your partner’s suggestions.
Withdrawal from other people, social events, and life generally, is a symptom of depression. So if you find yourself doing this frequently — and especially if it is more than you used to — keep an eye on your mental health and seek help if you need it.
9. Feel bored with life.
Feeling bored with life will snake through your relationships with your partner and any family you have. If you feel disinterested and unmotivated, take care not to lump all the blame on your partner.
Maybe your life needs a reboot — or you need to spice things up for yourself? A new job? A fresh project? Take up a new interest? Meet more people? Join a community group? If this is you, begin now; any form of change will give you more to bring to your relationship.
Boring? If you noticed a sprinkling of “yes” answers, you can do better. There are lots of things you can do to bring some colour, or even just a little intrigue, into your relationship. Start by making a change — anywhere.
If all your answers were “no” why are you still here? Please take your riveting personality away to your wondrous relationship so the rest of us can focus on improving ours.
How To Be A Less Boring Partner (and Maybe Even Fun)
“Somebody’s boring me. I think it’s me.” — Dylan Thomas
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