Relationship routines: causes and how to avoid them

Written by: Anel Martínez



Time to read 7 min

We all know about the effects of routine, and the monotony, when it comes to everyday life. Some people are quite comfortable when it comes to monotony, some like to plan ahead and have a predictable, scheduled agenda. On the other hand, some people are somewhat inclined with monotony and doing the same things at the same time, which makes them feel unmotivated. However, for the most part, people seek stability, which routine provides, but with the occasional spontaneous plan.

Then, what’s the problem? Most people settle into routine, often due to being tired and exhausted after a long day at work, which makes them avoid the urge to experience new possibilities or step out of routine. This can be dangerous when it comes to relationships, as novelty is one of the most important elements in keeping the “flame alive”.

Perhaps now is the time for you to find out about the keys to enjoy a quiet and stable life without falling into boredom and monotony. For this reason you will find some recommendations to ensure that your life will always include at least a minimum of adventure, fun and spontaneity, so that your relationship will keep alive the illusion and the desire to keep on getting to know each other.

What it is and how it occurs

One thing is clear from the beginning: routines are necessary. They allow us to live life with a sense of security and stability. This is particularly important when it comes to establishing an affectionate relationship between two individuals. But the problem comes when routine begins to consume the euphoria and joy and we end up losing motivation, which can lead to a crisis.

Although this might not surprise you, it may be a slow process that occurs as the relationship develops. This is due to the fact that we become used to the daily rhythm without being fully aware of what is going on in our lives.

Falling into an automatic loop means that we end up doing the same things all the time, which includes plans, discussions and, of course, sexual encounters. Therefore, we fall into a pattern that follows through inertia, due to a laziness about change. What are the consequences of all this? 

a couple arguing about something in the living room

Routine consequences

Monotony makes us lose sight of the value of our partner. In other words, we stop being aware of the necessities of our partner.

In addition, as time passes, people tend to experience a lack of interest in their love life, and lose motivation towards the discovery of new aspects of their partner’s life.

Obviously, we do not want to get to this point in any way, but it is something we get used to without realizing it. That is why it is important to identify whether we are falling into monotony prior to the actual state

How to identify couple’s routine

Although every couple has their own unique challenges or circumstances, there are a series of patterns, symptoms or signs which indicate the beginning of a monotonous relationship.

Many of them are common in all relationships, and if you can identify yourself with one or more of them, it’s time to do something:

  • You lose spontaneity: this means that you have settled in a passive role and no longer come up with new plans or ways to impress your partner. It may seem that everything is structured and there is no room for novelty.

  • Your sexual desire towards your partner seems to be lost: the erotic encounters with your partner no longer excite you as they used to. Also, your mind might wander about other things or other people. By this we don’t mean that fantasizing about other people or being attracted to someone else is an indicator, however, losing total interest in your partner is definitely a sign.

This is often related to sexual dullness, which implies always doing the same thing in bed, not allowing for new erotic experiences.

  • Communication and intimacy has diminished: this happens when you are becoming less and less aware of your inner world and your feelings, which leads to distancing and problems of understanding and, as a result, to indifference.

  • Lack of common goals: despite the coexistence and daily contact, there is no real interest in building a shared path.

  • You are feeling stressed out and frustrated: minor annoyances and everyday concerns pile up and become apparent, and are unloaded onto the relationship, with which you tend to unload all your tensions in an unfair and disproportionate way.

  • You find that the plans you make as a couple are boring: you no longer feel enthusiastic about the plans you make as a couple. The plans all seem the same to us.

a man frustrated in bed while his partner is sleeping

These are some of the signs that may be an indicator of monotony in a relationship, however not all of them must be present for there to be a routine of stagnation and disinterest. Perhaps for you there may be other patterns that are different from previously mentioned. Therefore, it is important to adopt a conscious attitude towards one’s relationship and not let yourself be carried away by day-to-day comfort.

What to do to overcome routine

There are a number of basic recommendations we can offer you, some of which require real commitment and motivation. However we are sure that you are reading this because you care about your relationship and its well-being.

The best thing to do would be to modify the way you are doing things. For example, try changing the plans you have with your special someone, by doing something you both want to do together for fun. It could be anything from going to a movie or going on a hiking trail. Planning things together will help you reconnect and build up excitement.

Take advantage when going for a walk to share your feelings and concerns you may have. Try to convey your feelings and worries by talking about it in a quiet atmosphere such as your own at home. Remember that it isn’t enough to have sporadic conversations , having uncomfortable conversations are necessary.

Make sure that the conversation is straightforward, sincere and direct. In other words, talk about how you feel, about your worries, your vulnerabilities, about how your partner makes you feel, and what you expect from your relationship. If the other person is aware of how you feel, he/she will be able to be with you and face common problems much more easily.

Regarding your self-image, most of us are inclined to relax our wardrobe. This may be a positive indicator that you trust each other, but there is a fine line between being yourself and neglecting yourself. Instead, try to eat healthy, maintain good hygiene and, from time to time, show off your seductive side.

a man washing his face

As we mentioned before, it is important to diversify your plans, but what if instead of planning everything, you just let yourself go on the spur of the moment? This can be beneficial for the couple who are on a tight budget and don’t have to spend a lot of money. This can also apply to all spheres of your intimacy, including sexual intimacy.

This is extremely relevant, because at first relations tend to be intense and exciting, but gradually lose interest and motivation. But, for this reason, consider it necessary to search for new places, practices, postures and toys that you can try and that will always maintain the novelty of your encounters.

Finally, be respectful of the other person’s independence. It is essential not to neglect ourselves. Our physical, mental health and well-being should always be a priority. This implies doing things that make us feel good, to spoil ourselves, etc. Paradoxically, self-care is reflected in the partner and this increases trust.

a man in the countryside

What if none of this works?

Sometimes it is not enough to change the plan, try new things or live intense and different experiences. Sometimes, the best thing to do is to seek help and advice from a specialist who can help and counsel you on relationship issues. More and more couples find it beneficial for the relationship to attend a professional in therapy, who can guide you and give you the tools you need to move forward and build your relationship.

We must also assume that the end may have come. Of course, we encourage you to work on and take care of your relationship, but either on your own or with the help of a therapist, we may discover that we are no longer in love or that our common project is not the same.

a couple discussing somethin on a couch

Having trouble in the relationship is not to be considered as a failure, people change and we may simply no longer share the same vision of life, the same values, or our paths may have been divided. Staying in a relationship out of inertia, affection and nostalgia for the past, causes us pain, resentment and apathy in the long run, both with ourselves and with our partner.

At this point, one must decide whether to put an end to the relationship or keep on trying, which, of course, implies a commitment to reconnect those emotions that have faded away . As to this, there is no universal solution and we must be aware of the work and effort we have to make to recover that special feeling as a couple.


The fact that we have fallen into monotony does not mean that our relationship is doomed. However, we cannot allow ourselves to fall into a passive dynamic and absolute relaxation, because romantic relationships (like any other type of relationship) require care and attention. By following the recommendations and guidelines we provide, you will be able to regain your sexual and emotional chemistry. Don’t be afraid to seek counselling from a specialist and place yourself in the hands of professional relationship experts to bring the illusion back to your relationship.

Anel Martínez

Author: Anel Martínez  (Sexual Coach at MYHIXEL)

Sexologist specializing in sex therapy and sex education, mental health and human behavior.