“A busy, vibrant, goal-oriented woman is so much more attractive than a woman who waits around for a man to validate her existence.”
~ Mandy Hale
So, you found out that your boyfriend’s personality is boring and you don’t know what to do.
How long into the relationship did you find this out? Were there fireworks at the beginning and then they fizzled out and now you realize that he is pretty boring?
If this is the case, then the honeymoon stage was masking his true self.
Sometimes when there is extreme chemistry at the beginning, partners dive right into the relationship thinking they know all there is to know about one another. They don’t bother to ask questions and just go with the flow and enjoy each other’s company. Their attention is preoccupied by the attraction they feel for one another and by the activities they are involved in.
For example, if attraction is blinding you then you don’t really see the real him and are building a story in your mind of how you assume he MUST be. People build stories in their minds all the time without even realizing it. This is called narrative psychology.
If the activities and outings you both tend to are creating an illusion of enjoying each other’s company, then that may be another distraction from truly getting to know him.
For example, if you both go to the movies a lot together where there isn’t a chance to talk, then you two are not getting to know each other. Or you may be always going out with other people who are creating a distraction from learning about each other’s personalities.
Or was he pretending to have a more flamboyant personality in order to impress you?
The only way to really find out if he is truly boring or not, is to spend time alone with him with the goal of getting to know him.
That means going to quiet places for dinner or walks in the park where you can focus on asking him questions.
If you spend enough time together and your fears that he truly is boring are confirmed, then ask yourself what is it that you liked about him in the first place?
Was it just attraction or was he pretending to be someone he really isn’t? If so, then maybe it is time to consider moving on to someone whose company you do enjoy. You don’t have to be stuck in a relationship with someone you find boring.
On the other hand, if you can identify a quality about his personality that you liked from the start and you still see that quality in him, then explore that quality.
For example, maybe he is kind. In that case, suggest volunteering together at an animal shelter or doing some other kind of charity work together. Maybe he likes the same sport that you like, then suggest you go to a game together or spend an afternoon playing that sport together. Maybe you both enjoy comedy, then suggest writing jokes together.
At first you may think there is only one quality to his personality that you like and if you explore it further, you may realize he isn’t so boring after all because you may end up learning a lot more interesting facts about his personality than you expected to.
Here are two mistakes couples make regularly: Being Right and Controlling Your Partner.
When I say being right, I mean that we assume that our way of seeing something has more objective validity than our partner’s. Then we end up getting into an objectivity battle instead of talking about the real issue.
For example, my boyfriend is watching the NBA playoffs every moment these days and I don’t like basketball, it’s all he talks about if he talks and all and he is just so boring. I could start with a compliant about him spending too much time watching sports and end up in an argument with him about how justified or not he is in wanting to watch the games more than spend time with me. Or I could speak up about the real feelings and needs underneath…
When I say controlling your partner, I mean trying to get your partner to do anything other than what they are doing.
Women have been taught to do this through emotional cajoling, handling their feelings, saying things at just the “right” moment and in just the “right” way.
Men are often taught to do this through anger and threatening leaving the relationship. Ugh. Everyone ends up hurt and feeling unaccepted. So, in our NBA example, I could try to entice him into going to dinner with me and then feel hurt when he is still watching the TV over the bar and not listening to me and then pick a fight with him on the way home (that probably ends up in the objectivity battle from above). Or, I could speak up about the real feelings and needs underneath….
So… What should I do instead?
Try a direct request. We women are taught not to do this by centuries of culture by the way, so I know it’s really hard. Before you try it do a U turn…. move inward and look at what’s really bugging you. Are you only frustrated or sad or is there more underneath?
Try asking yourself:
“If he was more interesting what would change, what need would be met for me that isn’t met right now?”
For example, I have a need for surprise and variety, or I have a need to feel listened to about my work stuff, or I have a need to share intellectually with my partner. Try your direct request with needs language. “Hey babe, I really want to have more surprise in my life.
Would you be willing to do something spontaneous this weekend?” When couple’s come into my office one of my first rules is that we are gonna handle 80-90% of our problems through direct request rather than through complaint.
Ok, here’s the most important part of direct request….it has to be ok for your partner to say no.
If that happens, you can enter into a negotiation and deeper discussion or you can grieve it and let it go. If you find yourself grieving a ton you can look inside and see if you are getting enough of your needs met in this relationship to stay and or to address the issues you are having or you can decide if it’s time to move on.
My first question for you is this—Is he boring or are you too used to overly dramatic relationships?
I work a lot with people who grew up in a home where one or both parents fought a lot, or there was a lot of anger, blame, hostile over-reactions, and emotional drama. Very often when you come from this kind of family environment you think you want a calm, close, loving relationship, but you end up being attracted to the same kind of drama. When you do get into a relationship with someone who is calm, accepting, and unruffled, it’s very likely you’ll think that he’s kind of boring. And it may be hard for you to tell if he’s really engaged in the relationship because he’s not reacting with lots of emotion and drama.
So, figuring out WHY you think he’s boring is important.
Do you think he’s boring because: He’s constantly on his phone rather than paying attention to you? He’s only interested in video games and watching TV? He doesn’t listen? He can’t or won’t talk about things that are interesting to you? He never wants to go out? Is he much more engaged in his other relationships with family, work, and friends?
If so, then he sounds uninterested and uninvolved with you. If, however, he’s just as disengaged with his other relationships, that’s more of an indicator of depression. In either case, he’s not really ready or involved enough to be part of a relationship. Time to move on.
However, if he’s just low key but is engaged and interested in talking and being with you, then it’s more likely that he’s just not into drama and/or he’s more of an introvert.
When he’s upset, is he able and willing to talk with you about the problem? When events fall apart, does he remain calm and tries to solve the difficulty? Is he less forceful and aggressive than you’re used to? Do you find yourself waiting for him to finally blow up, but that never happens? Does it kind of throw you off because he’s so calm and not excitable?
If this is your situation, it’s likely that you’re very used to a more dramatic, passionate, or hot-tempered relationship.
If you like those kinds of relationships, then this low-key guy won’t fit what you want. However, if you’ve come from a chaotic, dramatic lifestyle but would like to have a less tense, agitating, and anxious relationship, a boring guy could be just what you’re looking for. These modest, unpretentious, quiet guys are more likely to be reliable, dependable, consistent, and helpful in difficult situations. He may not be as exciting as you’re used to, but in fact, he could be the key to the loving, comfortable, long-term relationship you’ve always wanted.
How did you not know that he was boring before he became your boyfriend? Too much sex and too little conversation?
“Boring” is a subjective evaluation. It’s fairer to say that you feel bored with him than that he is boring. Someone else might find him really scintillating! You also need to ask yourself what it is about him that actually bores you. Is it how the two of you spend your time? Is it that he’s not intellectual and you are? Is it that you disagree on things? While you can look for common interests, nobody significantly changes who he is because of a relationship.
How interesting are you?
Do you bring energy to the relationship or do you rely on your partner to keep you engaged? While common interests really help, they’re not essential. If you are stimulated in your own interests, you can bring that energy to your relationship by communicating with each other. Differences can actually be a good thing for a relationship. They provide the opportunity to be exposed to things you might otherwise never experience.
Boredom stems from complacency and often the fear of something new or different.
Does this describe you? If it does, it might not be your boyfriend but dissatisfaction with your own life. Take a personal inventory. Are you living the way you want? Do you like your work? Do you have good friends? Are you interested in what’s going on in the world? When was the last time you tried something new?
If you look at yourself and find an interesting and stimulating person, then this might not be the right boyfriend for you. The question you have to ask yourself is why did you pick him in the first place?
Sally LeBoy, MFT – www.sallyleboymft.com
You may not, except with express written permission, distribute or commercially exploit the content. Nor may you transmit it or store it in any other website or other form of electronic retrieval system.