Anyone knows that when you're in a relationship with someone, at the beginning, it's exciting and it's new. Everything you do together is tons of fun and it's only made better when you find that you get along with each others' friends and family. Birds sing, the clouds part and it's a perpetually sun shiny day where ever you go and you have the Brady Bunch kids serenading on your walks about the town. Hell yeah. Life is good! The something happens, without you realizing it. Some of the sheen wears off the formerly new relationship; you start to get annoyed by the things you thought were cute that your partner does. You get irritated and maybe even a little bored. What the hell IS that anyway? My friend, it's a little place I like to call “the Comfort Zone.”When things are going good, it's easy to accept things as they are; we can become complacent and just put ourselves into “cruise control” mode. Why do we do this? Any number of reasons. I would offer that one of the primary reasons is that we feel very, very secure in the relationship. It's an easy trap to slip into. Things become easy and it can seem as though the work we used to put into the relationship at the beginning is no longer necessary. Not so fast brochacha!! Even the largest tree will die if it is not watered, droughts kill the mightiest tree. So, too, is it with relationships. Where there is a drought of effort it will take shape in a variety of ways in your relationship.
How the Comfort Zone can tear your relationship apart
- Your sex life – This should be a no-brainer. Often one of the things that falls off is sexual performance and satisfaction. Primarily this can occur when partners are no longer attempting to please their partner, instead looking to get their own “rocks off.” Some of you might call that inconsiderate behavior, I would go one step further and call it a complete loss of passion and zest for the relationship and the significant other. When things are mundane, things get boring and who wants boring and unsatisfying sex? I know I've said that guys are “just happy to be there” but any man worth his baby batter agrees, they prefer pulse pounding-sweat-inducing sex over the wonder bread variety.
- Lack of interest– Remember when you got roses just because? Well, in the comfort zone, you're as likely to see a tumble weed blow by your work place as you are to see your sweetie go out of their way for you. The fight is gone, the hunt; the chase is over. What reason is there for someone to continue courting their lover? It's exciting to know that you got something you wanted, this is especially true when we nab a person who we find physically and mentally attractive. Again, when time passes what reason is there to “hunt?” You've already caught your prey!
- Got no respect – A lack of respect and/or consideration can be a source of frustration in a relationship where the passion has become as irrelevant as Dustin Diamond's rap career… or his acting “career,” for that matter. Anyway, because we feel no need to “do work” we just don't do it. We don't make that extra effort to ask our lover “did you want fries with that,” or even do simple tasks such as taking out the trash.
- Just doesn't care – Have you or your S.O. started venturing out in public in your PJs and Uggs? Not only should you be ashamed of yourself, but someone ought to kick you in the crotch! Just stop it! Put some damn effort into your look, people and have some damned pride!
These things happen because there's not an appreciation of danger; there is a lack of respect for the fact that the signficant other could walk out on them at any moment. There's no game to be hunted and devoured; the game has gone “extinct.”
Or has it?
Stepping outside of the Relationship Comfortzone.
- Creating a sense of danger and urgency – Let's face it, you don't know what you got until it's gone. It's as true today as it was when Adam and Eve got kicked out their sweet garden in Bel Air. This is where forcing the issue, having a discussion and following up with some actual action makes the complete difference. When someone feels they are going to lose something, they squeeze a little tighter, they hold on just a little bit more. Sometimes we need to show that we're not only going to talk the talk, but that we're going to walk the walk, too.
- It's time for something completely different – Chances are, since you've been together for a while, you've gone to each others' favorite spots and nothing is all that much of a surprise. At that point, it's time for something new that neither of you has experienced. It could be dinner at a new place, it could be a hike in an area or park neither of you have been to, it could be a road trip for parts unknown. Literally.
- Improvise – If your sex life has gotten boring, it's time to try some things to improve the mood and interest level. Role playing can be a good way to do this. There's no wrong way to play this, however, one thing my GF and I have wanted to do is to play up that we're strangers at a bar, who meet and hookup for some naughty play after dark.
- Talk – Yep, it turns out that communicating is one of THE single biggest factors why a relationship crumbles. Or, I should say, one of the reasons they fail. People can sit around and ask their friends for advice about their relationship issues, but, at the end of the day, it doesn't replace an old-fashioned heart-to-heart with the S.O. Just be sure to what they do and not what they say.
The comfort zone is an area, I've been told, is a place you want to spend as little time as possible. It doesn't help one grow and, as one good friend said so wisely: “If you're coasting through life, you're going downhill.”