You and your man friend have been dating for over nine months. Things are going, let’s say, well. By now, you have argued over certain people, dealt with the deeper trust issues and overcome the petty jealousy. You know what makes them blush, what grates-their-carrot and how they take their coffee. If you sneeze, it means he is probably sick to. Things are comfortable. Very comfortable. Maybe, even too comfortable. After nine months of dating, you might find yourself pregnant, with a “food baby”.
Something happens, without you realizing it. Some of the glitter wears off the relationship. You are annoyed by things that were once so cute. You get irritated and maybe even a little bored. When things are going great, it is easy to just put our relationship into cruise control mode. The fight is gone, the hunt and chase is over.
Falling into the sinkhole, also known as the “comfort zone”, can be life threatening for your relationship. Think about it. Getting too comfortable with each other leads to the someone (often us girls) feeling as if we are being taken for granted. Taken for granted means there is some lack of respect and lack of respect then leads to lack of trust. This may seem like a big jump from letting your hair down to hectic trust issues. The truth is, it’s such a sneaky, slow slide down the hole, you don’t even realise how far down you have already gone.
Let’s be real though. It is only human nature, as a relationship develops, to let your hair down a bit, and to let yourself go. Where does it stop though? Many of us who are in serious relationships have gone through this phase or maybe we should admit that we are in this phase right now. We gain a little extra weight, we don’t spend as much time picking out the perfect outfit, we stay in bed all day eating cereal and watching series (for the third weekend in a row) and maybe we even stop shaving ( yes this applies to both men and women alike, if you know what I mean). We lose the desire to look good and keep our person happy. Soon, that magical spark dies out, the relationship seems boring and we don’t know why.
In my opinion, society is the wicked witch in the story. She is trying to brainwash you by saying that the sinkhole is a wonderful new phase in your relationship. Come on, who on earth will believe that your “soon-to-be-dead” relationship is a wonderful thing. Well, to be honest, many of us do. This is because this witch has created many beautiful mantras to justify this kind of behaviour. For example: “Love is not only skin deep”. Basically, they are telling us that we should be so comfortable with each other that we no longer need to do irrational things like going out on dates, dressing up, smelling nice or even try out a new ‘things’ just to impress each other.
Now, I agree that comfort is an important indicator that your relationship actually works. You don’t want to be with someone that makes you edgy and nervous. Feeling safe and comfortable is amazing and it definitely means you have grown into a deeper relationship. I believe that once this phase kicks in, a lot of couples are up for a big challenge. Some couples manage to appreciate the beauty of a mature relationship, and maintain a balance of pleasure, fun and comfort. Others just become lazy, a bit of a fatty and smelly. Taken too far, comfort can actually lead to things going wrong. Too much comfort leads to letting your arm, leg and unmentionable hair run wild and not making an effort to preserve the chemistry that brought you together in the first place.
Let’s face it, you don’t know what you got until it’s gone. We have all experienced that. If you haven’t, well the, that’s great for you. For most of us, we want what we don’t have and then realize (too late) that we actually had the best. It’s as true today as it was when Adam and Eve got kicked out their sweet garden. This is where having a discussion and following up with some actual action makes the complete difference. When someone feels they are going to lose something, they squeeze a little tighter, they hold on just a little bit longer. Get out of bed and do something spontaneous. Go for a walk (some of us should rather run), wash your hair and most importantly, shave. Yes, it does take effort and you actually have to get up off your bum, but that is the only way to keep your relationship exciting. Otherwise, before you know it, that person you are so comfortable with will be looking for other people to bring excitement into their lives again.