Have You Grown Complacent In Your Relationship? How To Tell And How To Fix It

One of the biggest wake-up calls in this life is when it’s a Saturday night and you’re blowing up your mom’s exercise ball while your significant other is passed out on the sofa behind you and Netflix is asking you if you’re still there. Sometimes, no matter how passionately we commenced the relationship, we get stuck in a loop. But how can we spice things up again if we’ve become complacent? In fact, how can we tell if this has happened to us? Read on.

  1. You stop taking care of your appearance. This is one of the first and most noticeable warning signs that things have lost their shine in your love life and you’ve grown complacent in your relationship. No matter how happy you are, you have to keep putting the effort in to make things work. Once one thing starts slipping, you are effectively telling your partner that they can stop putting in the effort too, and that will eventually transfer into areas that are emotional as well as aesthetic.
  2. No one suggests interesting date nights. Are you content to stay in all the time in PJs with your partner while you have a crappy takeaway or microwave meal in front of the laptop? Unpack that. Soon you will be deluded into thinking that contentedness is the same thing as being happy and free. A relationship should be about the future and excitement and spontaneity, not just slobbing out together. That’s not intimacy or comfort, that’s flatlining. Make a plan, take a hike, travel!
  3. You get lazy affirming each other. We all need to receive verbal support as well as emotional and physical. We want to be told that other people listen to us and hear our needs. If your relationship just becomes a series of grunts to turn the volume down, you will be an old married couple before your second date. Take the time to reintroduce romance to your relationship. Bring home small gifts, or gestures that communicate your interest in them. Push each other to be better, don’t just return to your teenage self. You both deserve better.
  4. You stop spending time together. It’s so important to have a wide circle of friends outside the relationship, but something’s wrong if you stop wanting to hang out with your partner while you’re with them. Ultimately, your partner should be one of your top priorities. If you feel that you can spend weeks apart and not really miss each other’s presence, there’s something amiss and you’ve clearly grown complacent in the relationship. You should feel their absence and look forward to seeing each other, rather than just presuming that all is well and taking them for granted.
  5. You’re always complaining about them. There are some things that friends are just built for, and that’s complaining about the boyfriend to them. However, if you find yourself constantly complaining about the same things, or being frustrated by their habits without communicating this to them, it’s a vicious cycle. You have to either give them a chance to grow and address your dissatisfaction or break up with them. Stop the cycle.
  6. You stop communicating your feelings. This is a sign of, at best, complacency, and at worst, a relationship on the fritz. Address this quickly by having a sit-down and a check-in about where you both stand. If things have changed, that’s normal, but you have to listen to what your heart is telling you rather than bottling it all up. Some people have really poor communication skills, but maybe that’s just because no one ever gave them a space to ask for what they want. Acknowledge this.
  7. Spice things up. Interrogate all areas of the relationship. Buy some rope, find a new spot for date night, start a running group. Start changing how you communicate – have vetos. Introduce new “soft rules” for the relationship, like committing to a date a week where you actually have to leave the flat and get dressed up. Do whatever makes both of you comfortable but also excited and keeps you from being complacent in your relationship.
  8. Take a trip. There’s nothing more fun than traveling to get out of a funk, and these shared cultural experiences will do you both the world of good. If it’s laughing at their attempt to order coffee in Spain, or their entry into “Dad mode” in the airport, or giggling on the walk home after a night of cocktails and cheese, you will see a different side of your partner. Fall in love again.
  9. Bake. Keep it simple and try out new recipes at home if traveling isn’t feasible. Baking is always a great option because no matter how you might screw it up, butter, sugar, and flour are a combination that can never go too wrong. Your house will smell great and you can dance around the kitchen covered in flour with the best of ABBA and your partner for company.
  10. Take up a hobby together. Maybe it’s painting, or a ceramics class, or football matches, or running. Either way, you will be learning new skills and expanding your brains.
  11. Reassess the relationship parameters. Maybe things need big-scale reinforcements, or maybe the relationship complacency is actually a sign that you might need to take a break. Perhaps, you try an open relationship for a week, or maybe you try moving in for a month as a test run. Don’t be afraid to be honest, to experiment, and, if necessary, to leave.

Be kind to yourself and explore all these possibilities, friends. You’ll know what feels right. Growing complacent in your relationship doesn’t mean it’s over, but it does mean you need to switch things up.

Hannah has a Masters degree in Romantic and Victorian literature in Scotland and spends her spare time writing anything from essays to short fiction about the life and times of the frogs in her local pond! She loves musical theatre, football, anything with potatoes, and remains a firm believer that most of the problems in this world can be solved by dancing around the kitchen to ABBA. You can find her on Instagram at @_hannahvic.