I had been dating my guy for a year and a half when I realised life felt as stale as a piece of old sourdough. We loved each other. It wasn’t that, bit this tale is about how I saved my relationship from a crash and burn.
I have two small children from my previous relationship and life is pretty much a series of routines until bedtime.
Even our weekends were predictable. Mow the lawn, do the washing, markets, yum cha, swimming lessons, a movie in the afternoon, and then the evening routine. Rinse and repeat.
I decided perhaps this caring, kind-eyed man was too boring for me. I needed someone more exciting I thought, so I broke up with him and subsequently broke his heart into a million jagged pieces.
Some may suggest that once the rush of early love has passed and you slide into what life actually looks like, that this feeling of boredom is normal. It can go one of two ways. You can discover who that person truly is and fall deeply in love with them, or you might realise that once those initial fireworks have faded that maybe you just aren’t right for each other.
Sigmund Freud once said; “Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar,” in this instance meaning if you find someone boring, maybe they just are.
But sometimes boredom in a relationship may actually be a symptom of something else.
It could just be that the “Groundhog Day” of family life, or even plain old life, has the ability to suck the life right out of you if you allow it.
With my paramour gone my life did not get more exciting. In fact, the gaping hole that he left in my heart made the realisation I’d made a terrible mistake crash down around my ears. He wasn’t boring. I was.
Family life generally is.
Thankfully, when I explained my blunder with my heart in my hands he agreed to try once more. I insisted we both write a list. Well, two lists to be precise.
I had an inkling that these lists could be the thing that saved my relationship.
One list of things we wanted to do on the weekends we had the children, and the other was things we wanted to do on the weekends we did not.
We asked if money was not a consideration, nor time, or distance, what have you always wanted to do? What have you ever vaguely considered doing?
It wasn’t all deep soul-searching for stuff to flick our switches, sometimes it was simply someone at work saying they did something cool. We both made a wish list of activities, large and small.
He and I gave ourselves a couple of weeks as we gently, gently found our groove after “the million pieces of heart incident.” Then we came together in a bar and over a glass of chilled Pinot Gris we revealed our lists.
Soon, we discovered we both had always wanted to try indoor rock climbing, and go hot air ballooning. He discovered I wanted him to cook me dinner regularly, trying new recipes he’d not tried before. I discovered he wanted to travel to Croatia.
We both wanted to explore beaches in our home city, and take day trips for picnics. He wanted dance classes, I wanted tantra classes, and the list went on.
As we read and re-read our lists we grew excited for our joint future. Endless possibilities to explore together both as a family unit and as a couple of carefree lovers with the world at our feet.
We are now approaching our sixth anniversary, and we have nowhere near completed our list.
That said some things have had a repeat performance. He cooks new things for me a couple of times a month, and we were both surprisingly adept at rock climbing and keen for more tantra.