Is your relationship stuck in a rut? Psychologist reveals how to stop your relationship becoming ‘predictable and boring’

Finding new ways to keep excitement alive in a long-term relationship can be hard, but this one tip is sure to help

bored couple
(Image credit: Getty Images)

A psychologist who specialises in relationships has revealed how to avoid long-term partnerships becoming ‘predictable and boring’ - and it's more simple than you might think. 

For many people in long-term relationships, reliability is big thing. It's reassuring to have someone you know you can fall back on, someone who you know will be at home when you return, someone who you can trust to split the rent and bills with. But reliability and predictability are two different things, and the latter isn't what we always really want in a partner. 

The feeling of falling in love with someone, those honeymoon first couple of months, is unparalleled. But, quickly, relationships can become 'routine and predictable' as you fall into life together, perhaps having to try 'scheduling sex' to fit it into your days or weeks. 

So you might try going out on date nights to create excitement, though this ignores the two most important things that keep intimacy alive, or you could spend some time figuring out how to spice up your relationship or you might even start questioning if you are actually 'in love'. But before you jump the gun, psychologist Limor Gottlieb, believes she has the answer to the ultimate question; how can you avoid your relationship becoming ‘predictable and boring’?

"Over time, relationships can become routine and predictable, leading to boredom and complacency," she told Hello! Magazine. "Research shows that couples who feel stuck in a rut are more likely to experience distress and dissatisfaction in their relationship over time."

So what can couples do? Gottlieb wants them to 'prioritise novelty'.

She explains, "Novelty refers to introducing new and exciting experiences, activities and elements into the relationship regularly. Novelty plays a significant role in keeping the relationship fresh, exciting and vibrant.

"Introducing novelty injects an element of surprise and excitement, which helps couples maintain their passion and intimacy as it keeps both partners engaged and interested in each other."

Novelty can look different from couple to couple. For some it could mean trying out new activities together, like cold water swimming. For others, it could include travel, whether that's renting out one of the many Airbnb properties on the Greek island of Paros to get all the 'One Day' vibes or it's jetting off to one of the most popular holiday destinations kids want to visit

Novelty doesn't have to be a big thing like that though, the expert shares. Instead, couples can find novelty in the everyday by finding ways to surprise each other with thoughtful gestures like gifting the other both the time and products for some self care, or by 'trying new things in the bedroom' like tantric sex

The most important part about bringing in novelty is to keep communication open. As Gottlieb says, "Discuss your interests and ideas openly to ensure you both feel engaged and excited about incorporating novelty into your relationship. It’s important to regularly reflect on your relationship and discuss ways to keep it exciting and fulfilling. By prioritising new experiences and embracing spontaneity, your relationship will not only survive, but thrive."

5 ways to introduce novelty into your relationship

To make introducing novelty into your relationship a little easier, Gottlieb has five tips to get you started.

1. "Explore activities neither of you have tried before. This could include anything from cooking classes to dance lessons or hiking," she says. "The key is to step out of your comfort zones and try something new together."

2. "Plan trips to destinations you've never visited before. Whether it's a weekend getaway to a nearby town or a more extensive adventure to a different country, traveling together can create lasting memories and strengthen the bond between partners."

3. "Surprise your partner with unexpected gestures or gifts. It could be as simple as preparing their favourite meal or arranging a spontaneous date night."

She adds, "Surprises keep the relationship exciting and show your partner that you care and are thinking about them. Surprise your partner with thoughtful gestures, small gifts, or spontaneous acts of kindness to keep the relationship fresh and exciting."

4. "Establishing unique traditions or rituals can add a sense of novelty to your relationship. Rituals and traditions, such as weekly date nights, monthly adventures, or a yearly getaway to celebrate your anniversary, promote bonding and boost your connection."

5. "Break out of your routine by trying new restaurants, attending events and shows, exploring different areas in your town, or simply changing up your weekend activities. By changing things up you will have new experiences and topics to discuss, which will enhance your connection."

Keep up to date with more wellbeing news such as how many of these 5 phrases do you and your partner use? They're a green flag for a strong relationship and if you got married at this age, research suggests you're less likely to get divorced - but it turns out age isn't one of the top reasons marriages end. 

Charlie Elizabeth Culverhouse
Royal News and Entertainment writer

Charlie Elizabeth Culverhouse is royal news and entertainment writer for She began her freelance journalism career after graduating from Nottingham Trent University with an MA in Magazine Journalism, receiving an NCTJ diploma, and earning a First Class BA (Hons) in Journalism at the British and Irish Modern Music Institute. She has also worked with BBC Good Food and The Independent.