Hosted by Dr Ashish Paul who is a Natural Fertility Expert as well as a Ayurvedic Doctor, Medical Herbalist, Yoga teacher and a NLP Master Practitioner.
Guest: Dr Aman Bhonsle, Ph.D.
Introduction for Dr. Aman Bhonsle
Dr Aman is a Relationship Counsellor, Consulting Psychotherapist and Author who deals with emotionally distressed clients having problems with their interpersonal as well as intrapersonal relationships. Apart from helping people with smart approaches to deal with boredom in a relationship, he also works with them to find dignified and eloquent solutions.
1. What are some of the reasons why people get bored in their relationships?
Boredom is not just a problem that is exclusive to relationships. People in general get bored in life at some point.. Although, every relationship gets boring with time but when you have a dysfunctional relationship, boredom creeps in .
Essentially when a routine sets in, monotony enters, or when your life partner stops surprising you – from here the roots of boredom can also be traced. Boredom isn’t necessarily something bad or something to be afraid of but it is a challenge. And whenever you are challenged, either you can get washed away by how hard it is to deal with or you can accept it and think about improving the situation as well as yourself. So it is about how you deal with boredom. Is it something you are trying to avoid or is it something you understand, process, and try to go above or beyond.
2. Besides from being bored in a relationship, what other problem do your clients come to you with?
Usually a lot of us feel guilty about how they feel. For example, sometimes they may feel guilty about losing interest in their partners or about being bored. We are socially conditioned to feel ashamed for a lot of our emotions, not just boredom. So,very often when a client comes to me, I have to first make them realise about the feeling of boredom because many times they can be in denial and not accept it.
Every relationship goes through that stagnant phase where the boredom challenges the very existence of the relationship or the foundation on which it is built on. So when a client comes to me to fix boredom in relationships, I have to work hard to unravel the emotions they are experiencing. Very often boredom is at the root cause of it all where the partner has stopped surprising and stopped being spontaneous with you. They have stopped asking the question of what you need from each other in order to be happy, excited, and connected.
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3. Is boredom a modern day concept and are we seeing more of it now that everything around is evolving? What are your thoughts?
What happens is as years go by, cultural values also mutate and evolve. So, I think back in the old days, the concept of being bored with your partner was not accepted; specially for women to have their own emotional desires and expression. So even if someone was bored with their partner at that time, there is no way we could have found out because they would have subsided the emotional trajectory in their relationship. Whereas in today’s world, where everyone is vocal that you can even tweet or make a meme about it. It shows that we are more aware about it now but that does not mean that boredom did not exist in the past. It’s just that they were not in the position to come to terms with boredom because the cultural values bound them.
Boredom in today’s world exists because there are questions and needs that are left unaddressed and not communicated well enough. Sometimes it can also be a catalyst to have an honest conversation with your partner to really know what’s missing.
4. Do you think that women have more expectations from a man to be the instigator?
As I said there is a cultural pattern, so its always the man bending down on his knees to propose. Though now the stereotype is changing, I’m talking about what the pattern has been from the past few years. all these stereotypes may influence women to expect the man to make the effort first and take the initiative. Which is why I tell all my clients regardless of their gender that they don’t have to feel entitled. Ask questions if you have doubts and search for answers.
To prevent boredom in relationships, every relationship has to be constantly renewed. Like a snake sheds its skin, you have to shed many sides of yourselves before making any progress. The fact is that boredom is a challenge, which will come your way and sooner or later you will lose your bag of tricks. That’s why it’s important to keep yourself updated and interesting.
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5. Do you think communication is the key to fix this problem?
It’s not just communication, it’s about how you communicate. You cannot be disrespectful, insensitive, or have a negative ulterior motive when you communicate. Remember that you are talking to solve a problem not to compound it. You are talking to give relief to someone who is important to you and not to win an argument because you may win the argument, but lose the person in the long run. That is why every time you speak to your partner, ask yourself “how can I make this situation better and not how can I make this situation go away”.
You should also be careful with the tone you use and make sure it is not accusatory. For example, instead of saying “You are always getting on my nerves”, say “I feel disturbed by the situation”. So once the accountability of actions takes place you may realise that it’s not the other person that needs the fixing, but it is the communication that does.
6. What can one do to find a solution to boredom once they have acknowledged that it’s there?
Firstly, what I tell couples is that make your peace with boredom and it is important to stop treating it like a villain. Because as I said before, it can be a catalyst or a conversation striker for beautiful and honest things. So, if there is boredom, you don’t say that “Oh no my relationship is over” instead you try to find the reason behind it and see if there is something in your schedules that needs to change, is there something in the way you talk that needs to change, or are the usual activities you do together are a little too mundane.
So, all these questions should be asked in order to find the solution. And of course, if you wonder “ is boredom normal in a relationship?” Yes, it is. Thus, it is equally important to explore each other’s as well as new interests. So, essentially it is more about keeping things exciting or “spicy”, and keeping boredom at bay.
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7. How can you tackle boredom in a relationship and does it help if you are with your partner all the time?
People grow at their own pace and their appetite of learning depends on the speed, which varies from person to person. So, don’t be joined at the hip with your partner. Give him/her their own space and freedom to do what they love. And when people wonder, “what makes a boring relationship?”, the answer is being overly available to each other among other factors. Be understanding of each other’s interests and respect it.
Also, one mistake I constantly see is that people try to turn their partners to their counsellors and all they do is rant or complain. This could also lead to the onset of boredom because your partner could get tired of listening to complaints constantly and eventually gets bored. Which is why you should mix and match the range of topics you discuss with your partner and if you have nothing to say, it is okay too because that does not necessarily mean that you are losing interest in your partner.
8. Can talking about your past help this issue?
It depends on what kind of partner you have. If you have an experience of living with a boring partner in the past, you can resonate with this. The question is, do you have a partner who is mature, or someone who would judge you for having a past. If your partner is rational and practical, they would understand that your past does not affect your present situation because you have grown and moved on. In that case you can share your past with your partner, which could even lead to a beautiful bond because you may realise that both of you have certain common incidents and elements that are similar and the feeling of relatability and understanding can bring you closer to your partner.
Dr Aman: “Don’t wrestle with your boredom. In fact, use boredom as a catalyst to revive your interests in certain things and navigate yourself through the choppy waters of life because it’s about knowing when to set your sail that catches the wind and one way or the other you have got to sail the storm”.