embrace the bore-gasm
Sliding into his-and-hers sweatpants together could be exactly what your relationship needs. Here’s why you should date someone you can be boring with. .
What’s the bet that right now, you’re going ‘Whaaat?’
It’s the obvious response. First as break-up dealbreakers go, boredom comes up tops—higher, even, than cheating. Second, you’re bound to know at least one Beyond Boring Couple who make even airport delays seem exciting. And third, ‘being boring’ has had such bad press that it makes cutting your toenails in bed look sexy. Still, hear us out.
How often are you told to ‘be yourself’ in a relationship? There’s nothing wrong with that: take being a unicorn out of the game and of all the things you could be, ‘yourself’ wins every time. But what does that really mean? In relationships, it actually becomes ‘be your best self.’ Show your funny, smart, popular, cultured, online-savvy, the-pulse-of-cool side. Be intense. Be dramatic. Be passionate. In other words, bring your rock-star self. Perform. Impress. Be ‘on’ 24/7.
Yet increasingly, psychologists are saying that
lasting connections rely on deeper things: less of doing and more of plain being. Being vulnerable. Being still. Being, well, boring. ‘Being boring together is one of the early markers of an enduring relationship,’ says registered psychologist Janne Dannerup of jmdpsych.com. But being with someone you can be boring with shouldn’t be confused with being with someone who makes you boring, she says. ‘All relationships need exciting shared activities to thrive.’ So when it comes to a partner who makes you boring, get out or change the dynamic ASAP, she says.
it’s a heads up
twenty-three-year-old Drama student Mishka, who has just emerged from a ‘mind-numbing and socially-suicidal’ two-year relationship with Gab, wishes she’d listened to. ‘Over time, I shrank myself, my interests, my friendship group, my curiosity, my everything,’ she says. ‘He was reclusive and jealous. Three months in, when I was moving into his place, my friends sat me down and told me I was getting really boring and giving up my life. They were right. But it happened so slowly that I didn’t see it.’
It’s a familiar pattern, and its price is steep. ‘If you find yourself becoming boring with someone, you might have to either discard that relationship or balance it by introducing new friends and activities into your life,’ says Dannerup. ‘If you spend all your time doing nothing with your partner, life can become meaningless.’
Being on the go together all time is not the answer either. ‘With a life partner, you need to be able to enjoy doing nothing and being alone together,’ Dannerup says.
could regular sweatpants-andseries sessions
really be key to relationship sustainability? Twentynine-year-old Bing, a self-confessed ‘expert’ in short-lived romance, needs no convincing. ‘Between the ages of 21 and 26 I must have had around 15 relationships,’ says the copywriter. ‘I’m talking “I-love-yous” and meeting parents, not just flings.’ So what kept going wrong? ‘I thought guys were with me because I’m the cool connected chick who is up on all the buzz. I couldn’t ever drop it—and it was exhausting. For me and my boyfriends. I couldn’t imagine anyone wanting to hang out with the slightly nerdy me who wears glasses while watching TV. I wasn’t brave enough to introduce them to her.’
It takes balls to be boring with someone you’re falling in love with. ‘To ensure that you can be idle with your partner, you have to be emotionally brave,’ says Dannerup. ‘Show yourself as you are when you’re alone from early on. You either gain a secure and healthy relationship, or discover irreconcilable differences and save yourself and the other person from disappointments, toxic interactions, and heartache.’
With her first anniversary with Waldo coming up, Bing agrees. ‘He was a friend of a housemate and I never thought he was remotely interested in me. I think that’s why I didn’t care if I came across as boring,’ she says. ‘I was curled up on the couch with the flu the first time we met. By the time we got together, he knew how I obsess about doing the dishes and a hundred other little things I’d never shown anyone I was dating. He’d seen me styling and grooving plenty of times too but he says he fell for me when I was making a birthday card for my grandmother’s 80th. It took me four hours and it was super cheesy.’
there’s no escaping the fact
that activities such as making a birthday card (or tidying up a closet or watering the plants or vegging out in front of Our perfect wedding) are far from riveting. They’re no match for hitting the dance floor at the newest nightspots, catching the cream of indie cinema at the next film festival, or holding the floor with your hilarious take on Internet-breaking memes. Equally though, they’re an inescapable part of real-world, dayto-day living. ‘Dare to think that if you new love is the right person for you, they’ll love to be with you when you’re just being your simplest self,’ says Dannerup. Because to exclude the ‘boring’ from relationships is also to exclude real intimacy and real connection—and they’re one exciting adventure.
‘To make sure you can be idle with your partner, you have to be emotionally