Relationships are supposed to be exciting.
And I’ve done exciting.
I had an illicit affair at a monastery. I bought an overnight ticket and showed up on a a woman’s doorstep with flowers. I’ve had sex in central park and on the long island railroad.
But despite all that excitement, nothing lasted. Except maybe the heartbreak and the stories. All of this has taught me that adult love healthy love isn’t really all that exciting, in fact it’s actually pretty boring.
Drama is for the movies
In the movies, romance is always exciting, but the love is rarely healthy or well balanced. When you watch movies pay attention to the background couples. The one’s going to work and making dinner, the ones the protagonist who can’t seem to get his shit together is always talking to.
These people are too boring for the main characters but they’re happy. They talk about their problems, they get along, they love each other, without needing to overcome triumphant odds.
Hot sex is never the answer
Immature passion is fueled by conflict and tension. Adult passion is generated from commitment, love, and devotion.
There are adults who are boring and passionless, but it’s easier to create passion with some romance and creativity than it is to create healthy love from dysfunction and co-dependence.
You can have hot sex, but it doesn’t have to come at the cost of stability and love. In fact being able to talk about your desires and find excitement means more hot sex as your relationship deepens.
Things that work are smooth
Anything that works well is smooth, a bicycle, a car, a train, a relationship. Yes relationships are hard, and you’re going to have breakdowns. Knowing how to change a tire and talk things out is important.
But if the ride is always rocky and you can’t go a few days without a problem or a total blow up, that’s not workable. It doesn’t mean either of you are broken. It’s rare a breakdown is due to a single part, instead it’s usually the system that isn’t working.
If you can go to a coach or counselor and get it worked out, great. But be honest if it never was that smooth to begin with.
It’s probably your fault
When things don’t go well we like to point the finger at someone else, but more often than not it’s on you. Not because you’re the one who’s the bad partner, but because you’re not being clear about your boundaries, what you want, and how you’re really feeling.
It’s easy to make things appear good by not talking about anything, but that’s not healthy. You’re just waiting for time bomb to go off. If you talk often, things settle down, they get boring, then even your disagreements become predictable. It’s not perfect, but healthy love isn’t perfect either.
Get responsible, clean up your side of the street, and if they can’t meet you there, walk away.
Life is mostly about boring moments
90% of running a marathon is boring miles and steps. There’s 5% at the beginning where you start and 5% at the end which is somewhat exciting.
That’s basically how life is. I live a pretty incredible life. I’m nomadic. I hike over 10 miles every weekend. I do work I love. And most of my life is boring. It’s just the good kind of boring.
Finding simple joy in the small things is a cliche for a reason, because life is literally made up of boring moments.
Sure it’s nice to look for someone you can run off into the sunset with. But what if instead, you looked for someone you’d enjoy waiting for a bus with. Or someone you wouldn’t mind getting up in the middle of the night with? Or someone you could sit across from dinner and say nothing with? Not because you had nothing left to say, but because you didn’t need to say anything at all.
That sounds like the kind of love worth looking for.