If nothing else, it’s good to be proactive. I’m certain I read that somewhere. Stasis, entropy; certainly in all literature (if you should so choose to call it this) pertaining to our neverending quest for a greater more fulfilling existence with our significant other—and inclusively our insignificant others, is the bain of our times and must be forcibly resisted by diving headlong into the wonderful world of self-help.
With this in mind, I offer my own humble insights.
First off, it is stated that boredom and sameness of routine are the source of the diminished returns in our relationships over time. I assume this intimates a desire for something better as opposed to looking across the table one morning and asking the salient question: “Why is this person still here?” or “Bored!”
The answer often given is that we must strive for new adventures that rekindle whatever delights got us together in the first place, including, though not always stated outright, our throbbing biological urges. This, we’re told, can be accomplished by, say, joining a hot yoga class, hiking across Europe, or buying 10 acres of scrub in the Great Basin of Nevada and driving a slightly used front-loader around for no other purpose than it brings you joy or you’re bored.
Shockingly, my better half continues to be less than enthusiastic about my front-loader obsession.
The good folks at AARP have their own ideas: turning chores into a dance party (laundry, dishes, cleaning), gazing into each other’s eyes as you feast on leftovers, and giving thanks on Friday for three random positive things that happened that week, such as not smothering one another in our sleep (the last part is my small contribution to the idea).
I suppose these all have their merits, depending on how much excitement you can muster, whether you can afford it, and whether you feel it has any chance of actually moving your relationship forward. This, as suggested above, depends mightily on whether you can stand one another.
Now, I’m not adverse to yoga, I tried it in the past when I was more limber, or hiking across Europe—assuming my knees hold out. Nor am I totally dismissive of staring longingly at my lovely wife over our microwave bounty, except that it would lead to questions concerning what I’m thinking, which I’m loathe to divulge for reasons I’m loathe to divulge.
In truth, dancing while unloading the dishwasher will only lead to broken dishes, and the laundry room is too small to Cha-Cha. Sorry AARP. And while I hate to say this, it’s highly unlikely that, after many years together, weathering jobs, kids, homes, family, and the withering expectations that our competitive consumerist culture places on us, our throbbing biological urges will save for more than a night or encounter. Or two.
It may also be true that in this day and age when you do find yourself staring across the table and asking the “Why are you here?” question, maybe it is time to accept the need to move on. I understand completely if you have desires for adventures afoot and your partner has no desire for any journey longer than from the fridge to the couch. These things happen.
So, what’s the answer, smartguy, I hear some of you say?
I have no answer, and am too lazy to manufacture a great pile of manure for my own monetary advantage. I will say this, though: do you make each other laugh and are you willing to try something new at least once without making a grand production out of it? Or a grand rant about how you don’t want to? If so, you’ll probably muddle through. This assumes you’re not important to the survival of the human race like a famous couple now calling it quits.
On the plus side, if you hurt your back while attempting hot yoga, you can bond over physical therapy.
©2021 David William Pearce