A cause of stress, complaints, and unrest I hear is usually because couples feel bored with their relationship. At its best, it leaves people feeling stale. At its worse, it leaves people leaving the relationship, having affairs, or creating excitement/numbing boredom with addictions (food, gambling, drugs, alcohol, shopping...).
So how can we avoid that, or at least decrease the likelihood of that??
Don't be boring! Create excitement. Create novelty.
When people first start dating, their brains are lit up by the newness of the relationship. You're meeting a new person and finding out about their personality, their quirks, their interests. You're exploring your chemistry and how to be intimate and sexual with each other. You're probably going on dates and trying new restaurants or hikes or vacation spots. New new new!
Then familiarity and routine set in. While this can provide comfort, it can lead to neglect of people's need for novelty and excitement. Enter boredom!
So, here’s a hot tip to help when you are bored in your relationship: proactively create novelty! Go on dates! Experiment with sex! Tell different stories! Work on new projects together!
Other, not so sexy, tip: practice beginner's mind. Beginner's mind is a mindfulness concept of dropping preconceptions and engaging in life and interactions as if it’s your first time. Don't be a know-it-all. Don't buy whatever same old boring story you come up with about how the day or activity will go. Just be in the moment. Even if it’s just cooking dinner, see what you can learn or notice. See how you can find excitement. Create novelty in the mundane.
Holidays are a great time to get un-boring! Plus novelty and beginner's mind are the gifts that keep on giving. Enjoy!