If you’ve been in a long-term relationship, you’ve probably gotten to the point of being in “the comfort zone”. This is where you and your partner have fallen into a routine of whatever is easiest, quickest, and (let’s face it) boring. Many times, it looks like this: go to work, come home, have dinner, watch TV, go to bed, repeat. If you have kids, there are a few more steps, but usually the pattern is pretty similar. The comfort zone is nice at times. There are few expectations, it’s simple, and you get to relax. However, prolonged periods of living in this zone can be destructive to the health of your relationship and cause disconnect between you both.
Being in the comfort zone is not always bad, but it is important to break the pattern once in a while. If you find yourself in a daily routine that is not fulfilling your needs in your relationship, you might be stuck in the comfort zone. There are many ways to interrupt this pattern, but I’ll mention just a few simple ones to help you reconnect and get you started.
Go outside together
Unless you have a job or daily opportunity that allows you to be outside on a regular basis, you’re probably not getting enough sunshine, fresh air, or overall connection with nature. A simple way to break your comfort zone pattern is to take a walk on nice days with your partner and just enjoy being outside together. This can be a great time to reconnect not only with each other, but with nature as well. Win-win!
Try a new [fill in the blank]
Many times, couples fall back on what they know when they’ve entered the comfort zone. This is true for going on dates as well. A majority of couples I work with don’t even enjoy going on dates with each other anymore because there is nothing new or exciting they’ve done in a while. Worse yet, some don’t even go on dates anymore. The ones that do, however, go to the same restaurants, maybe see a movie, and go home. Why not pick a restaurant with an entirely new cuisine? How about a game of mini golf? What about a cooking class? There are plenty of different, fun, and lots of inexpensive ways to have date nights that get you out of your regular routine. I liked reading this article that speaks to why it's important to mix up your dating pattern:
Surprise your partner
This is pretty broad, but there are numerous ways to shake up the normal and throw some element of surprise in the mix. Little gifts and tokens of affection are great ways to surprise your partner. Unexpected texts throughout the day just checking in to see how they are doing or simply to say “I love you” are always welcome and appreciated. Finding ways to speak your partner’s love language out of the blue will certainly catch him or her off-guard. Doing the unexpected shows them you care and are thinking about them.
There are many other methods you can try out to exit the comfort zone. I’d love to hear your ideas and your favorite ways to keep things interesting in your relationship. Please contact me through phone (720-381-2755) or email (tradewindstherapy at gmail dot com) if you find it difficult to get out of your routine and need some guidance leaving the comfort zone. I’d be happy to help you find ways that work for you!