Let’s get right to the point – although I’ve been in a relationship for 5 years now, it is (almost) never boring. The main reason is that both of us chose a certain way in our personal lives and as a couple, we continuously and consciously choose to get out of our comfort zone.
It may sound harsh and unpleasant, but it’s not. As long as we step just a bit out of our comfort zone, it adds a certain level of challenge and interest to our life and avoids our relationship from turning into a survival show.
There are many ways that we force ourselves to get out of our comfort zone. One of them is to break routines and patterns. It starts with the small things, like switching sides of the bed every couple of days. Quite often, when we visit friends and family, we stay over for the night. It’s not always as comfortable as staying at home and it gets us out of our usual routines.
Even in the small daily routines, we try to infuse this technique. Sometimes, my beloved one shaves me, in addition to cutting my hair. Sometimes I brush her teeth.
Another way we try to get out of our comfort zone is to go to workshops what will help us grow, and which are not just fun (for example, a non-violent communication workshop or acrobalance workshop). We also dare to share everything that is on our hearts, even if it’s uncomfortable, even if the other side won’t enjoy hearing what we have to share. We sometimes do a “sharing evening” where we sit after dinner and share, while the other one just listens.
Out of all of these things, the sharing concept is the most fundamental in our relationship, and it’s always surprising. It started while we were traveling in Central America. After 3-4 months of traveling, my beloved one suggested that we do a “sharing evening”. I gave it a try and both of us were so surprised that after being together 24-7, at the end of the day, we always had something interesting from our inner heart to share! If I didn’t have something specific to share, I would just share how I felt throughout the day, and many times it turned out to be a profound share about things that troubled me. Things I didn’t even realize were bothering me!
In time, I realized that this tool contributed a lot to our relationship, not just by keeping our relationship interesting, but by keeping it healthy. It made us talk about all the little things we’d otherwise ignore or hide, and together we looked for ways to deal with them.
If you want to try adding sharing evenings to your life, here are some basic “rules” and the benefits you will discover, as I got them from my master (and lover):
Sharing is different than an ordinary dialog, in the sense that the sharing gives a space to express oneself, knowing no one will intervene in the middle of the share, and the whole space is only for the one who shares. The role of the other person is only to listen.
Although it’s hard at first not to react to things that are shared, in time it gets easier and it becomes habit to fully listen to the other person. The one who shares gets the opportunity to have an emotional and mental sequence, which sometimes helps to get to deeper feelings than if there was a discussion on the matter.
Skip the technical details (the time you left work, how much time the train delayed, etc), and focus on the feelings and sensations that have had an impact on you for better or worse.
After the first person finishes sharing, he or she can ask for comments or can ask for there to be no comments. Only then, once the first person is completely done sharing, may the other partner start sharing.
My advice to you – find your own ways to get out, even if just a little bit, from your own comfort zone. You can try our ways, and/or find your own at your own pace. From my experience, when you practice stepping out of your comfort zone, each time you can step a bit further. Banish boring from your relationship. Make a habit of sharing and listening. And discover a trust filled, open relationship that is not only more interesting, but is also more resilient and fulfilling.
Uri likes to challenge patterns, conventions and even taboos. He loves to learn, experience and challenge himself. He is the co-author of TwoHaveFun – Great Activities for Awesome Couples.