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How To Avoid Becoming Complacent In A Relationship

How To Avoid Becoming Complacent In A Relationship

While you’re still dating, you start out trying to show your best sides to make the other person enjoy spending time with you.

Over time, if you get settled in and start feeling like you don’t have to make an effort anymore, you stop investing energy in the relationship. This can make your relationship lose its spark and for you to drift apart.

Being comfortable in a relationship is a good thing, but when you become too comfortable, complacency tends to creep in. This leads to the relationship breaking down – you stop spending quality time together and communicating and, eventually, you start to feel unhappy.

Keep reading to learn how to recognize the warning signs of becoming complacent in a relationship, how to avoid it and how to overcome complacency if it’s already set in.

Are You Comfortable Or Complacent In A Relationship?

couple using phones in bed

There’s a difference between being comfortable and complacent in a relationship. Comfort is a result of learning to trust your partner, while complacency is caused by a lack of effort in a relationship.

How do you tell if you’re comfortable or complacent?

You’re comfortable if:

• You’re part of each other’s lives.

• You don’t worry about them breaking up with you out of the blue.

You disagree without getting angry with each other.

• You laugh together often.

Your silences are comfortable.

• You can talk about any topic, no matter how uncomfortable or difficult.

• You can trust each other with your secrets.

You let each other do your own thing.

• You call each other just because, and don’t worry who texted first.

You know your partner won’t judge you.

• You know each other’s family and friends.

It’s normal for the passion of the early relationship to settle down. As you get to know each other and share experiences together, the intensity of the honeymoon period wears off.

Instead, it’s replaced by a sense of commitment, warm affection, and supporting each other. Being comfortable in a relationship means trusting your partner enough to be completely yourself with them.

You’re complacent if:

• You are the worst version of yourself when you are around each other.

You stop caring about your physical appearance.

• You don’t feel curious about your partner’s life.

You have no desire to share your experiences.

• You’re bored with each other.

You spend time together glued to your phones.

• You have nothing to talk about.

You don’t talk about your problems.

• You take things out on each other.

You’ve stopped going on dates.

• You have sex much less often than you used to and there’s a lack of physical intimacy in your relationship.

Before you make your relationship official, you show your good side, make an effort and try hard when it comes to your partner. Sometimes this changes after you become a couple, as if getting together was the final goal and now you’re done.

In long-term relationships, you get too busy with daily life and time together becomes scarce. You’re comfortable, but it’s slowly sliding into being too comfortable.

Relationships take work, so when you neglect yours, everything breaks down in time. If your relationship just exists, without you trying to develop it, you’ll become dissatisfied and unhappy sooner or later.

10 Signs Of Complacency In A Relationship

woman feeling neglected as her boyfriend is using phone

The following signs don’t all have to be present to tell you that you’re getting complacent, but it’s a good checklist of things to pay attention to to prevent it.

1. Lack of effort

One of the first symptoms of complacency is when you stop caring about your appearance around your partner. Do you dress up when going out, but not to hang out with your significant other?

This doesn’t happen just due to the fact that you don’t feel like you have to impress your partner anymore, but it’s also a sign that you’ve stopped caring about how your partner sees you. And that matters.

Not caring about grooming or good manners soon enough becomes not wanting to bother at all when it comes to your partner. In a relationship, always trying to do better is important. It keeps what you have alive and helps you grow together as a couple.

2. Lack of attention

If you often forget to check in with your partner or you don’t respond when they’re looking for attention for one reason or another, you’re on a slippery slope. Gradually, avoiding small ways of showing attention turns into distance, and distance often signifies the end of a long-term relationship.

First, it turns into ignoring each other, hanging out but you’re both on your phones, spending more time with your friends than your partner, and then you neglect each other so much that you lose interest in each other’s thoughts and feelings.

3. Lack of appreciation

Your partner is always there and you’re used to having them around. They’re always cooking dinner or doing chores or picking you up. If you’re not bothering to say thank you because it’s understood that they’ll do all those things for you, they’ll start feeling unappreciated and resentful.

Small gifts, genuine compliments and doing things for your partner are a way to show them that they matter to you. If you don’t appreciate your partner, you’ll stop looking at them as someone you’re lucky to have, but simply as someone who’s around.

4. Lack of communication

In a relationship, communication is key. Everyone knows this, but it’s still a common problem in all kinds of relationships. It starts off as not having time to talk to each other, and ends with not having anything to say to each other.

If there’s conversation, but it’s only surface level; if you’re not talking about feelings; if you’re not confiding in each other; if even small talk becomes difficult; if you don’t talk to each other about things that matter – all of these are symptoms of communication problems.

Working to improve communication is vital, because a healthy relationship is impossible if you can’t communicate.

5. Lack of intimacy

One of the most obvious signs of becoming complacent in your relationship is declining intimacy. This isn’t only limited to a lack of sexual desire towards your partner or a boring sex life: emotional, mental, spiritual and physical intimacy are all important.

Not being sexually interested in each other is a problem, but any type of intimacy missing from your relationship is another red flag.

It manifests as a lack of interest in what your partner has to say, not being vulnerable with your partner, not sharing individual experiences with each other, not engaging in non-sexual physical intimacy, such as cuddling.

6. Lack of excitement

wife bored of husband

Once your relationship gets stuck in a comfort zone, it’s inevitable that you’ll start feeling bored. This happens to a lot of couples because their lives become a race to complete their daily routine and every day becomes the same.

Some signs that your relationship no longer excites you is when it starts feeling like a chore. You feel less attracted to your partner and start fantasizing about others or about being single. You don’t have fun together and when you do something fun, you don’t try to include them.

7. Lack of care

Complacency is a silent killer of relationships because it sneaks up on you gradually. You ignore your problems until you give up on trying to solve them because you don’t stop caring about your partner and your relationship.

This can also turn into irritability without caring how it makes your partner feel. You start taking things out on them because you can.

They’re always there, and you pick unnecessary fights over something entirely unimportant. Everything annoys you, which results in constant criticism.

8. Lack of romance

In a new relationship, all you can think about is enjoying time with your partner. When date nights become scarce and you veg out watching Netflix or playing with your phone, you can be sure that your relationship is in a rut.

Relationship complacency has set in when you don’t feel the need to go out together, if you stop finding joy in the little things with each other, or if spending time together is last on your list. When the days of wanting to do something cute for your significant other just because are gone, it’s time to do something.

RELATED: 30 Morning Date Ideas To Awaken Romance

9. Lack of closeness

Lots of people stay in long-term relationships that aren’t working out of habit, even when they’ve lost their connection with their partner long ago. To prevent getting stuck in a relationship with someone you don’t feel close to, you must stop complacent behavior in its tracks.

If you stop making each other a priority, you soon begin feeling distant. Distance can build up quickly despite the familiarity with each other.

You’ll notice that you’re drifting apart if you start doing things like missing each other’s important events, if there’s a lack of curiosity about your partner’s life, if you stop eating meals together or when you stop casually touching each other.

10. Lack of understanding

When there’s no understanding and empathy between partners, you can feel alone despite being together. Understanding can be complicated because looking at things from another person’s point of view is challenging.

Once you stop trying to connect with your partner and understand them, you’ve either become complacent or you don’t care anymore.

You can notice that you’ve stopped trying to understand your partner if you disregard their opinion when it’s different from yours, if you stop being interested in things that matter to them, if you lash out when you feel frustrated instead of trying to empathize.

How To Overcome And Avoid Complacency In A Relationship

man and woman having a vulnerable conversation

You don’t become complacent in a relationship overnight. Life gets in the way of effort or you fall into a rut, and little by little, you start taking each other for granted.

Things don’t immediately get bad, but if left unchecked, complacency can lead to numerous problems and eventually cause the end of your relationship.

1. Decide to do better

When it comes to relationship problems, you must always start with yourself. If you wait for your partner to change, you could wait forever because they might be thinking the same thing.

Being the first one to make a move to work on your relationship also shows your sincerity and willingness to have a healthy relationship.

So you must first change your mindset and decide to do better at being in your relationship, and never stop learning how. Be honest with yourself and think about your own behavior in the relationship: would you like a partner who behaved in the same way?

When you decide to start making an effort again, you’ve already achieved a lot, now you only need to be persistent and not change your mind if it gets hard. If you love your partner, keep in mind that effort is what’s going to not only save your relationship, but also make it thrive.

2. Talk to your partner

Talk to your partner about what you intend to do, but never stop talking to them after that. Throw in a generous amount of listening too. Learn to communicate better in a relationship to achieve a new level of ease relating to your partner.

Good communication is actually easy: listen and be sincere, don’t play games and don’t expect your partner to read your mind. It only takes a little practice. Regularly catch up on what’s going on, talk about how you’re feeling and tell each other what you need.

Tell your partner how you feel and don’t bottle up your emotions. They tend to explode if kept for too long. Listen to your partner with the intent to understand and pay attention to their needs. Tell each other if you have problems and deal with them as they come up.

3. Make time for each other

Everyone needs alone time and time to share with friends, but when you’re in a relationship, you need to spend quality time with each other regularly. Do things together and take part in different experiences to deepen your bond and share enjoyment.

Turn to each other and take the time to connect with each other: share your thoughts, feelings and concerns. It can be nothing more involved than talking to each other about your day before you go to sleep, telling your partner about interesting things that happened, about your worries or plans for the next day.

4. Put each other first

Putting each other first is a sure way to stop being complacent in a relationship. Choose to love your partner in a way that they are supposed to be loved: without restraint and with utmost sincerity.

What does it mean to put your partner first? It means that your relationship is more important than anything else – other people and their opinions and expectations, material things, and your own ego.

Make your partner the first person you call with news and the first person you look for advice from. Respect your partner and let them know they can trust you. Protect them and make their life easier.

Tell your partner you’re trying and ask them what they need from you. Be honest with yourself and with your partner and don’t waste time on things that don’t matter. Think about what’s important and what you should let go.

5. Express your love and appreciation

man and woman having a conversation

Let your partner know how much they mean to you by expressing it often. Tell them what you appreciate about them and your relationship. Build them up and remind them and yourself why you love them. This will improve both your partner’s sense of self-worth and your relationship.

The easiest way to know how to do it is to ask your partner what you can do to help them feel more loved and appreciated. Show your partner how much they mean to you through your words and actions.

Nurture the feeling of gratitude for everything your partner is and does for you. Notice things about them and compliment them.

Thank them for all the things we tend to overlook. Show your partner they’re special to you with words, small gifts, cuddling, gestures – anything that’s a part of their love language.

6. Work on deepening intimacy

Your connection with your partner should have an important place in your relationship.

Be emotionally available to your partner and bond with each other. Don’t skimp on tenderness and expressing your love. Show them care and consideration. Be thoughtful and affectionate.

Show your partner how you feel with physical touch. Hold hands and hug as much as the both of you are comfortable with. Enjoy each other’s company by being fully in the moment.

Try something new in bed and spice up your sex life, or simply make enough time to connect on this level as well.

7. Escape the routine

Can you remember the last time you did something with your partner that both of you enjoyed that wasn’t a part of your everyday routine? In romantic relationships, there are lots of ways to combat complacency if you are willing to work on it.

When your days all melt into one, it’s time to shake things up. Share experiences and make memories with your partner for an instant boost of excitement and relationship satisfaction.

Try new things together and incorporate exciting or new activities into your days. You can do anything that’s interesting for both of you and that you can do together. Take a class and learn something new, go on a vacation, cook a new recipe together.

Make an everyday thing fun and look at the world through your partner’s perspective.

RELATED: 20 Amazing And Cute Late Night Date Ideas For All Couples

8. Share goals, burdens and victories

Set relationship goals to keep moving in the right direction. These can be ways to improve your relationship or to enjoy it more. Once you know what you want your relationship to be like and where you want to go, work on it with your partner.

Share individual goals as well. Be there for each other while trying to achieve something, or set a goal you both want to reach and motivate each other.

It’s important to feel that you’re on the same team. Even when going through a rough patch, knowing that you have each other’s backs is an enormous comfort. When you don’t have to deal with things on your own, everything is easier.

Laugh together and celebrate together. Make time to acknowledge special occasions like anniversaries, birthdays and achievements and observe them.

9. Show interest in each other

Complacency means not updating your knowledge of your partner because you’re taking them for granted.

Human beings are complex and unfathomable. You can never know your partner so well that there’s nothing left to discover. They’ll surely change their mind about something, develop new interests or their environment will change.

This is why you need to regularly update your love map about your partner. A love map is the knowledge you have about everything that’s a part of their personal world: their likes, dislikes, co-workers who annoy them, their childhood dreams, or their history.

Show your partner that you’re curious about them and that you’re eager to find new things to discover. Ask your partner questions about anything you don’t know, and things that might have changed. Is their favorite movie still their favorite movie?

10. Make an effort for each other

Relationships need care and effort, but there’s nothing difficult about it. The small things you do for your partner to show them you appreciate them and the small efforts to make them smile go a long way in preventing complacency and getting bored in a relationship.

If you don’t know where to start, do what you used to do when you were trying to be the one your partner falls for. Have date nights where you spend time together and do an activity or just hang out.

Small acts of kindness like leaving your partner short notes or snacks are romantic and sweet. Do something special for your partner often to show them you’re committed to making your relationship work.

To Sum Up

Becoming complacent in a relationship might not seem like such a big problem at first, but in time it can ruin your relationship. Noticing the signs early that you’ve stopped making an effort and started taking your partner for granted will help you nip it in the bud.

Showing the other person care, appreciation and interest will reignite the spark in your relationship. Remember why you’re together in the first place and nurture your relationship. Bring back romance and doing something special for each other.

Complacency gets worse little by little, so if you’re still in the early stages of approaching your relationship casually, you’re just in time to fix things the easy way. If it’s already become a problem, it will take a little more work, but working on your relationship is what it’s all about.