How to Use Curiosity as a Cure for Relationship Boredom

Bored couple watching televisionCouples who have been together for a long time find themselves in patterns of routine behavior. Although there is an immense amount of comfort in knowing what your partner will do, think, and even say, these trends can also become excruciatingly mundane. According to Harville Hendrix, PhD, author and relationship therapist, an injection of curiosity may be just the cure for a boring relationship. In a recent article, Hendrix explains how being curious can stimulate those feelings of new love in a not-so-new partnership.

Hendrix says that most couples try extravagant things to spice up their relationships, like taking fancy vacations or buying expensive jewelry. But if the relationship has underlying stress, no amount of elaborate embellishment will keep the love going strong. Busy lives filled with careers, children, health issues, and financial burdens can leave little time for relationship maintenance. But Hendrix says that taking care of the bond between partners does not require a huge investment of time or money, just a little shot of curiosity. Being interested in each other opens up the door for communication—and we’re not talking about just the day-to-day chore list that usually gets regurgitated either. Hendrix says that when a partners sit down and listen, actually listen to their loved one, with interest and engagement, they will learn their secrets, their fears, and their dreams.

Even if people have been together for decades, there is still much to learn. Hendrix suggests spending just a few minutes each day being in what he refers to as a “state of curiosity” with your partner. He also recommends that couples make subtle changes in the way they talk to and treat each other. Being sensitive to how attention is given and received will help create understanding. Rather than using words that are insensitive and may bring up old hurts, Hendrix suggests partners think about the way compliments are given and recommends each partner make an earnest attempt to lavish the other with genuine affection, respect, and occasional curiosity. All of these things are key ingredients to sustaining a loving relationship. “I have also experienced that this process is kind of, well, sexy for couples,” says Hendrix. “So don’t be surprised when this technique leads to new techniques between the sheets.”

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  • Sally

    Sally

    June 16th, 2012 at 11:47 PM

    Really it is the small things and tiny surprises that do much more to a relationship than an expensive gift..make a meal for your partner instead of taking her to a fancy restaurant..it will have a much better effect on the relationship..we need to go back to the basics to make relationships work better and to spice them up.

  • Fred

    Fred

    June 17th, 2012 at 11:53 PM

    I often wondered why they say love diminishes after marriage.Some say it’s because you take the other person for granted and some say other things.

    But monotony seems to be the best answer. And what better way to beat that than spice it up a little by evoking curiosity in each other? That is what most relationship thrive upon score marriage. Then why not after?!

  • ned t

    ned t

    June 18th, 2012 at 4:22 AM

    Hate to say it but I am just not curious about her anymore. Whta if I feel like there is nothing else to know or learn? Think it’s time to move on?

  • Devyn

    Devyn

    June 18th, 2012 at 11:11 AM

    When partners grow disinterested in one another than that is a serious problem for relationship continuity and longevity. Sometimes you have to fake it til you make it, and even on days when I just want to sit down and read a book and be quiet for the rest of the evening I still try to make it a point to engage in conversation with my husband about his day and find out the things going on that he may be worried about or just wants to talk about. It might not be the most engaging thing that we have ever talked about but it is better than sitting around staring at the walls with nothing to say to one another.

  • jesslyn

    jesslyn

    June 19th, 2012 at 2:11 AM

    I think in a relationship, it is not just about buying expensive gifts, in fact that is the least important things to do. I think in a relationship is about spending quality time together, chatting and interacting with each other.

  • stressmom

    stressmom

    June 19th, 2012 at 4:31 AM

    What can you do when one partner is fully dedicated to finding out everything there is to know about their spouse but the other partner wants nothing to do with all of this divulging?
    What is the engaged partner to do them? You can’t make someone talk to you when they don’t want to.

  • Lark w

    Lark w

    June 20th, 2012 at 4:38 AM

    I have tried so many things with me and my husband but the one thing that I have always found that works that magic that we are looking for is when I genuinely express to him just how crazy about him I really am. That’s the best relationship boost that any marriage can have.

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