Thrills, chills, and squeals. Adrenaline junkies at heart! We love to hate horror movies, push our fear factor limit by creeping through haunted houses, plunge from ledges with nothing but a glorified rubber band fending off the grim reaper, and flock to amusement parks in search of a thrill like hard ‘n’ horny “gentlemen” waving dollar bills in a strip club. Some of us take on those thrills, climb on stage, and bump and grind…while others stand on the sidelines, live vicariously, and just…watch. One group will leave with a thrill. The other, only the bill. So, here’s the question: If life were an amusement park and new experiences the rides, which rides would you stand in line for? Which ones are worth it? Worth the wait…worth the risk? Would you opt to play it safe, take the short line, and settle for the Teacups, Tilt-a-Whirl, or indoor shows? Or would you seek out the risk, build anticipation in line, and get your adrenaline pumping on the biggest, baddest, hair-raising, death-grazing roller coasters in the park? The shush or the rush?
Relationships present the same dilemma. Once we pair up, settle down, and marry…then what? Do we settle into routine, expect the expected, and watch our zest for life run away with the hottie next door? Or do we dare to dry new things, strive to grow as individuals, and sample life’s wide array of flavors together…as a couple? Do we opt for a love affair with life…or bore one another, derail our marriage, and flirt with divorce? Keeping a marriage on track is not for faint-hearted. It takes work, work, and more work. Hitched hoopla has it that marriage will falter under the strain of many things…paying the heating bill in a cold economy, disciplining an undisciplined child, a sexual affair in a sexless relationship, or who the hell’s turn it is to scrub the toilet. While all are deal shakers, sheer boredom may just be the big daddy deal breaker. After all, what does one do when bored? Bored with monotonous chores, with do-nothing weekends, with rare ordinary sex? Hmmm…look for something else to do? SomeONE else to do?
Hold on to your pride! YES! Humans are inquisitive by nature. We do NOT like to be bored…not with work, not with life, but most importantly…NOT with love.
Studies show that modern couples are looking for partners who make their lives more interesting, more fun, more…stimulating. 😉 We’re looking for the va-va-voom! And according to divorce statistics, we’ll sacrifice family and finances to get it. Dr. Gary Lewandowski, a professor in New Jersey, performed studies proving that individuals use relationships to accumulate knowledge and experiences. That what we’re looking for in a partner above all else is self-expansion. We want to learn, to grow, to view ourselves in new and exciting ways. So, if we see our partner as a source of gained knowledge, creativity, and fun, we’re more likely to remain committed. But once we stop expanding, we grow bored and begin looking elsewhere to further ourselves. Damn egos.
Researchers conclude that couples who have fun together, engaging in silly or intellectually stimulating experiences, report feeling more connected…more in love. And on the flipside, those who only engage in boring monotonous stimulatingly challenged experiences — i.e. chores — report feeling disconnected…unhappy…wondering what else, or who else, could be waiting around the corner. Disconnection precedes divorce. No fun…no hon. Laughter is, in fact, the best medicine…for all your boring needs.
Doubt our need for excitement? Just count the zeros on the paychecks of entertainment stars. We want, need, and will pay high dollar for entertainment. “Entertain me” may sound very self-serving. It is. But we are. We ignore our self-serving ways. Reject our selfishness out of guilt…blame our boredom on something more socially acceptable. Irreconcilable differences, perhaps? Reject away…but at our core, we’re self-serving individuals…human beings successfully evolved to outwit, outplay, outlast. To do this, we must grow, learn, and expand. Without the idealistic pressures we place on ourselves, without the societal expectations of being a do-gooder, without worrying about what someone else will think…drop the mask. Explore the “banned no-man’s land” of your mind and ask yourself…
“Am I bored?” No judgment…no one’s listening.
The reality is…as long as we’re growing, learning, experiencing, pushing life’s envelope, and having fun, we’ll stay committed. We’ll plant ourselves in our spouse’s garden, reach for his sunny rays of excitement, soak in his nutrients, and grow. We place great value on that garden…remain content basking in the “glow of the know.” But once the sun recedes, the garden shades over, and the nutrients dry up…we begin to wither and droop. Our buds drag the ground. We long for someone to dig us up, transplant us to another, more promising garden, and bring us back to life.
Next up: affairs, separation, and divorce.
Is it any wonder a new relationship is so exhilarating? It presents us with new ideas, new experiences, new takes on life, and new sides of ourselves. Makes us feel alive. Being in any long-term relationship, good or bad, will usher boredom to our doorstep. We can let it in, settle into our butt-imprinted comfy chairs, and fall asleep watching sitcom repeats…or we can meet it at the door dressed as our fun alter ego and take it…take us…for the ride of our lives.
So, how do we provide ourselves AND our sweeties self-expansion?
Step out of the comfort zone. Try new things. Go new places. Meet new people. Explore unexplored sexual taboos. Take a class together. Discuss politics, news, the latest Chick Hughes article, culture…life. Engage in a friendly debate. Constantly push and challenge one another. Anything to keep us feeling fresh, new, relevant, ALIVE. When we feel alive together, we feel connected…In Love! Mi Amore!
So, while touring life’s amusement park, which rides will you get on? Will you go for the rush or settle for the shush? All couples can get on the Teacups together, but they may not get off together. A terrifying toe-curling coaster with your sweetie will leave your blood pumping, your heart racing, your connection sealed, and sparks flying. You’ve just self-expanded together. Love and learn.
Love on the edge. 😉
“Boredom: the desire for desires” ~ Leo Nikolaevich Tolstoy
Life’s many faces 🙂