When you think of romantic relationships, the first thing that usually comes to mind is the start or the end of them.

But no one really talks about the middle, which is when both parties start to settle in and get used to each other’s presence and involvement in their lives. After the initial “honeymoon phase”, the excitement seems to fade, and this adjustment period is crucial.

Comfortable vs. Boring: What’s the Difference?
There are a few simple signs that help you distinguish whether you’re comfortable with your partner or just bored, such as the following:

• The desire for something new – Boredom essentially means you’re bored, and you want something new. Comfort, meanwhile, feels as if your partner is your “home”, and the person you want to be with when you let down your guard.

• The need for a solution – If you’re bored, you’ll start looking for ways to “not be bored”. This doesn’t happen when you’re comfortable with your significant other.

• The need for happiness – Boredom is never a positive emotion, while comfort feels as if you’ve found “the one” and you’re just taking the time to settle in with your partner.
When you start to notice these signs in how you think and go about your routine, be sure to talk about it with your partner.

How to Bring Back the Spice
The key to any healthy, long-lasting relationship is not falling into the trap of boredom, which is the slow, but ultimate, killer.

Fortunately, there are a lot of ways to keep yourselves from going into this rut. Here’s how you can bring back a little more excitement:

• Add the element of surprise. The biggest reason why couples get bored of each other quickly is because of routine. While it’s great to have one, it’s also easy to feel lazy and get stuck in them, and this is can go south very quickly.

• Do the things that matter to them. With any mature couple, passion comes with a genuine understanding of your partner’s needs – and this extends to doing things that make them happy, even if it doesn’t make sense to you.

• Find change in yourself. Don’t try to change your partner into what you want him/her to be. Instead, try to find a part of yourself where you’re not doing so well, and try to improve it. If you’re not sure where you can improve as a person, ask your partner for feedback!

No love story is like the movies – almost all rom-coms you see are highlight reels of what actually happens, and real life is much more complex than that.

While it’s possible to have a completely fulfilling and satisfying relationship, you also need to accept that you will have a lot of ups and downs with the person you live – and sometimes, even its own dull moments.