These days, I wonder how any therapist stays afloat. Nobody has to go through therapy any more. This is because if you have a problem, all you have to do is Google it, and presto! You will find the solution! And what is even more surprising, these solutions are presented in a few very simple steps. There are “Five Steps to Energize Your Partner in Bed,” which I skipped over, because when I go to bed these days, I really don’t want more energy than I already have. My days are busy, and I need my rest. There are “Seven Steps for Increasing Your Productivity,” “The Ten Top Tips for Losing that Extra Weight,” (I looked at this one, but gave up after all the glowing references for kale), “Four Easy Ways to Encourage Intimacy (yada yada; I need more sleep!), and so on.
But as I surfed around the internet today, I stumbled upon (no pun intended) a guide that was intriguing. It was called 6 Steps for Overcoming Boredom in Your Relationship. That got my attention immediately, because there are times when my husband is incredibly boring. I chalk that up to the fact that we have been married for such a long time. So I thought these tips might help.
Tip one was Decide what you mean by ‘boredom’ in your relationship. This one was a no-brainer for me, anyway. I am bored by science, flow charts and spread sheets, data in any form, pondering what makes the difference between humans and other species, and golf. These are all things that my spouse finds fascinating. So I asked him the question, and his response was predictable (because, of course, we are bored with one another!) My husband finds HGTV, cat memes, You Tube videos of dogs being reunited with their returning Afghanistan servicemen, Facebook updates featuring Pinterest recipes, and “Some eCards” as boring as hell. According to the experts, these answers show that we are not bored with each other necessarily. We just find each other’s interests boring.
Next, we are supposed to identify our individual mental images of our relationship. So I asked him:
ME: What is your mental image of our relationship right now?
ME: You have to answer. The experts say this is important.
HIM: My mental image of our relationship is an image of a TV, some cats, and a Kindle.
HIM: Well, when I think of you, you are either watching a decorating show, holding a cat, or reading.
ME: But that isn’t our relationship. What about your image of our relationship?
HIM: Oh. (pause) Well. I don’t have one of those. What is yours?
ME: I don’t really have one, either.
HIM: So what does this mean? Hell. Just skip that step. What is the next step?
I quickly scanned the rest of the steps. “Well, it asks if you are fascinated by my quirks and foibles. Are you?
He paused. “You mean, like the way you dental floss while watching Call the Midwife? Not really. What about you?”
“No. I am not fascinated by the way you file your nails instead of clipping them, the way men are supposed to.”
Ok. So moving on, the article mentioned making a plan to adjust your relationship to a more dynamic one.
ME: So we have to make this plan. To be more dynamic. What should we do?
HIM: (After a slight pause) Go to the movies? And then pizza?
Brilliant! Suddenly, we were both alive and excited! No boredom here! We both heaved a sigh of relief and went upstairs to change out of our robes and into actual clothing, and then we were off on a dynamic and interesting activity. And we like the same kind of pizza!
Really. These experts need to get a life.