My boyfriend and I have been dating for about four years. I'm really in love with him, but lately I feel really bored too. I feel so guilty, but I just can't shake it. He still tries to be romantic, takes me out on dates, buys me flowers, etc. Our sex is fine, as fine as it's ever been. When I think about seeing him in the evenings after work, though, I just feel like, ugh. Boring. Same old. It's horrible, and I'm afraid if I don't fix this feeling, I'm going to sabotage the greatest relationship I've ever been in. What do I do? – Margo
Uh-oh, Margo. While your problem is not uncommon, it’s a serious one without an easy fix.
Are you sure you’re really in love with him and not in love with who he used to be, or just with being in a relationship? If you’re not in love with the guy he is here and now, there’s nothing you can do to change that. You can change your dynamic, your attitudes, and your actions, but you can’t force yourself into love with someone or change them back into the person you fell for.
Either way, your feelings are totally valid. Guilt is a four-letter word, Margo. You have the right to feel however you do, so stop feeling guilty, STAT! And while you’re at it, make sure you’re not overcompensating for your feelings by acting overly nice, promising him that everything is OK when you know darn well that it isn’t. You don’t have to tell him that the sex is meh and that you’re bored to tears, but you certainly shouldn’t try to convince him otherwise, either. Lies, even ones told in the name of sparing peoples feelings, are shitty, especially when they mess with people's hearts.
If you adore sex, then it’s no surprise that after four years of “fine” relations you’re bored, bored, bored. Guilt and boredom are boner-killers extraordinaire. You’re not going to want to bone him if you’re not happy in your life with him. So I encourage you to start with you.
Here’s some good news: boredom can be fixed. Are you tired of him, or is it your life together that feels stale? Do you have friends you enjoy, and are you seeing them as much as you need to? Got any hobbies and interests outside of work and your sweetie? Don’t blame your boyfriend if you find it boring to come home straight after work every day! There’s no rule stating that when you’re boo’d up you can’t change your lifestyle. It’s unrealistic to expect all of your happiness to come from one person. Try to go out more, with or without him, and see if that improves things. Make your life more dynamic and interesting for yourself and see if it rubs off on your feelings about him.
And now about the sex, my friend. How important sex is to you is part of what makes you an individual, Margo. If it’s NBD, that’s fair, but if you adore sex, then it’s no surprise that after four years of “fine” relations you’re bored, bored, bored. Guilt and boredom are boner-killers extraordinaire. There is no emotion less sexy than guilt, and none less passionate than boredom, so don’t punish yourself for your feelings about your otherwise lovely bf. You deserve an awesome, sweaty good time (hopefully with the guy you’re committed to)! Of course, you’re not going to want to bone him if you’re not happy in your life with him. So again, I encourage you to start with you.
One of the most common problems I see in long-term relationships happens when one person stops having an independent fantasy landscape. That's the place where all bets are off, there’s no such thing as boredom, consequences, or obligation. If you don’t have an active fantasy life, then all of your sexuality gets run through your bf, which can be hella boring, especially if he doesn’t rock your world in bed. Make sure you’re exploring what you like as it evolves over time, in sex and elsewhere. It’s on you to let your partner know what you like and what you want to try out, and, of course, it’s on him to respond like a champ.
The Mission’s resident advisor gets booked months in advance by San Franciscans seeking help with everything from figuring out their love lives to communicating with their pets. So we asked Jessica if she’d come on board to do a weekly advice column, Truth Talk, for The Bold Italic. If you have a burning question for Truth Talk with Jessica Lanyadoo, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org, and check back on Wednesdays to see if she has an answer for you.