Things were going so well at first.
The beginning of a relationship is always super exciting.
But give it 3, 5 or 10 years, and say hello to the relationship rut.
Find out what are the main causes of a relationship rut and how to get out of it with great tips from an expert dating coach.
- 10 Best relationship expert tips to get out of a relationship rut
- Communication examples to keep the spark alive
- How to maintain excitement in bed (even after 10 years)
- A psychological principle to help you get out of your relationship rut
- Why long-distance relationships work so well
- Relationship texting tips to send your partner (+ examples)
- The secret to relationship happiness (according to 2 clients)
- And much more…
By the way, have you seen my free Transformation Kit?
You'll get my best stuff absolutely free: 12 Opening lines that actually work, my 5 best texting tips (including copy-paste lines for Tinder), and the Friendzone Houdini. Download the Transformation Kit here.
Without further ado, let’s brighten up your relationship.
Tip #1: Stop having cold fights all the time
Sometimes I hear couples saying “We actually never fight!”
But usually, they have what I call ‘cold fights’.
Like the Cold War, there’s no DIRECT conflict. On the surface, everything seems like a beautiful dream.
But, if you look more carefully, you’ll see that there’s some sort of tension in the air. It’s way more subtle than an actual fight.
‘Want an example? You got it.
This is an example of something a girl could tell her boyfriend, but it’s just as valid for men too:
This seems like an innocent remark, but it’s not at all. This kind of flawed communication creates a bad atmosphere in your relationship.
Let’s say that [X] here went out “for a nice dinner” or got “a cute present” or planned an “exciting summer trip”.
What does a woman want to achieve by saying something like that to her boyfriend?
She’s implying that she thinks she’s not pampered enough and she wants to be pampered too.
The question has a negative connotation, which is “I never get anything“.
Of course, everyone can say something like that from time to time. It’s not a big deal if it’s every now and then. But all the time? That’s when the passion will disappear rapidly and the relationship rut emerges.
That’s why you should discuss the matter with her.
It’s crucial that you learn to communicate in a clear and healthy way, instead of starting a cold war.
Always focus on the SOLUTION rather than the PROBLEM.
How can couples communicate in a more relationship-oriented way?
Here’s an example:
Now your girlfriend is rewarding your good behavior, instead of blaming you.
By doing that, she’s building your enthusiasm: She’s happy with your positive behavior, which is a reason for you to take action and act even better.
There are also other ways to express it. For example:
So, learn how to communicate with each other in a relationship-oriented way. I’ll give you more tips in the article that will help you with this.
Tip #2: Keep your relationship strong and happy
I’m going to tell you a secret.
I know why relationships are so exciting at first.
It’s actually quite simple.
You’ve only just started dating that sweet girl, and pretty much everything is still ‘uncertain’.
You know so little about her… Does she like you? How much does she like you? What would she be like at a party or on holidays? What was her childhood like? How is she in bed?
A lot of excitement comes from all that uncertainty!
You still have plenty to discover. Every time you meet is a time of discovery.
However, as time passes, the uncertainty disappears. You start noticing patterns in the relationship and you start getting to know each other really well.
That’s very good! Now you get certainty in your relationship. That is also very important; otherwise, you would go crazy!
But too much certainty is often the root of a relationship rut: You already know how she’ll react to what you say. You already know what you’re going to do or eat. You already know exactly how to satisfy each other in bed.
Years go by, and you start noticing ups and downs in your relationship.
If you’re lucky enough, you might make it past the 7-year itch.
However, as time goes by, the routine really starts to drive you crazy and the relationship takes a hit.
It all comes down to one word: balance. Look for more uncertainty. Go to an unknown holiday spot. Visit a place you would typically NEVER go. Plan an exciting date. Experiment with new things in bed.
Read the next tip to find out how to keep the spark alive in your relationship.
Tip #3: A message to men: How to get out of a relationship rut
This is also for you, women, if you’re reading this.
As a woman, there’s nothing more frustrating than a man who’s passive in the relationship. A man who doesn’t show any initiative.
In a relationship, women want to feel appreciated, understood, and loved.
For men, those things are important too, but not as important.
If a woman feels that her husband is emotionally distant, this can easily lead to frustration.
For you, as a man, it can sometimes be hard to be completely involved. Perhaps the daily grind is getting to you. Or you might be just tired from work. It could also be that your girlfriend or wife sometimes overwhelms you with emotions, and you don’t know how to deal with them.
The easy way for men is to disappear into a life full of mindless distractions such as gaming or watching football. That way you have nothing on your mind.
If your relationship is in a rut, it’s possible that you’re neglecting real communication with your wife. Maybe when she tells you about her day, you only listen with half an ear.
Keep in mind that she’s consciously or unconsciously aware of this. She doesn’t feel appreciated, and she’s going to start showing you what that feels like (especially in the long term).
You can have a mature conversation about it and find a solution.
However, girls often do not communicate their disappointment clearly. I don’t want to make generalizations, but that’s something I observe quite frequently among the couples I coach. For example, she’ll try to draw your attention by making passive-aggressive remarks.
Little by little, the relationship issues begin to arise!
What’s the solution?
If you’re stuck in a relationship rut, it’s important to give her attention. Even if you’re tired, even when you have very little energy, make sure you really give your girlfriend the attention she deserves.
Men often ask me ‘what do women want to hear?’, but that question misses the mark. Mainly, women just want you to listen.
Tip #4: You need less salt in your relationship
Here’s what might seem like a silly question:
If your neighbor knocks on your door to ask you for some salt, how much are you going to give him?
Probably a big cup full. Who cares? It doesn’t cost a dime.
Back in the day, though, things used to be completely different. Salt was so scarce it was even used as a form of payment.
What’s my point?
This economic principle also applies in a relationship. It’s the reason why long-distance and LAT relationships work so well.
It all comes down to one word: scarcity.
Why do you think that companies sometimes make a limited edition of their product? If there are only 100 units of a certain pair of shoes, they immediately become much more valuable.
But are those limited edition Nikes really that valuable?
No, they’re not.
They’re probably not even as good as the regular Nike Air.
Value doesn’t exist. It’s all a matter of perception. Value exists in the eyes of the user.
Sounds pretty good, right? Nice and deep and all.
But how do you apply this to get out of a relationship rut?
If you’re living together and you’re sharing every single meal of the week, there’s not a lot of scarcity.
You spend way too much time together.
I’m sorry to say this, but your presence has become like that cup of salt.
One couple described the secret of their relationship to me as follows:
It can be a bit stressful to do that, especially if you have a symbiotic relationship with your girlfriend.
But trust me, distance can be very healthy and a good way to overcome your relationship rut.
I’m not saying that you should break up or start living in separate places.
But, you can get a little busier. Go away for the weekend on your own. See your friends more. Have a life without the other.
This can make your relationship special again.
Now let’s move on to a subject I love: texting your girlfriend.
Tip #5: Text your way out of a relationship rut
Hear me out. I’d like to give you a simple tip.
There’s a lot you can change and improve just by texting.
Sometimes the reason you’re in a rut is that you don’t put any effort into the relationship.
Of course, there are 10,000 ways to make an effort in a relationship. Cooking a good meal, paying attention to the other, pampering her in bed, giving your partner a long massage or surprising them with a gift are all nice options.
But you can also send thoughtful messages.
For example, you can send a sweet picture of an animal like this one:
And you write:
It takes little effort, but it’s very sweet.
Just by sending something funny and cute to your girlfriend during the day, you’ll start appreciating each other just a little bit more.
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Tip #6: Keep growing as a person
There’s one BIG mistake I always see in relationships:
People get comfortable and feel that now that they’re in a relationship, they don’t have to grow anymore.
They achieved their goal: they have they’ve captured their soulmate. They stop putting effort into their personal growth.
That’s sure-fire way to a relationship rut. You stop growing as a person, you stop pursuing your goals, because of the sense of achievement the relationship brought.
A relationship is not an ultimate goal. It’s your vehicle.
Through that vehicle, you can grow to even greater heights. You can do that in the gym, at work, intellectually or spiritually.
It doesn’t matter. As long as you don’t sit on the couch all day. Because if that’s what you’re doing, then you can be sure that your relationship dip is coming.
If you both put effort into growing, you’ll notice that you remain a challenge and a source of inspiration to each other. It will even make you more attractive to one another.
These are wonderful things to experience in a relationship. I made a video about it, where I discuss 10 activities that you can do in your relationship that make you even more attractive.
Want to see more?
Tip #7: Get your sex life back on track
This simple trick gave my sex-life a complete boost back in the days.
Let’s flashback to 7 years ago. I was traveling in Indonesia and Thailand with my girlfriend at that time. We had spent every single day together for months. This made a 1-year relationship feel like 5 years.
It was super fun and exciting to be traveling so much, but because we mostly just talked to each other, we soon ended up in a relationship rut.
And not only that!
Our sex life started falling apart as well. We were young and full of life, but we still only had sex once a week.
So, I applied the tip of uncertainty that we discussed earlier.
How did we do that in bed?
We discovered a dice game in a book. From 1 to 6, we wrote down 6 different options to do in bed. Think of something like:
- She’ll do everything I say in bed
- I’ll do everything she says in bed
- Extra dirty talk during sex
- Super long foreplay
- Crazy locations
- Golden shower (joke, no thanks)
With this game, say hello to an exciting relationship!
Why does this work so well? And how do you go about it?
Some of the things we wrote down were still new to us. It can a bit stressful to initiate such things, like having sex in a public place for example. But by ‘giving away’ the responsibility to the dice, it becomes very easy!
Obviously, only write down things that you are both really comfortable with.
This is a perfect way to get some positive uncertainty and overcome your relationship rut.
Tip #8: Relationship ups and downs: Avoid the house-party mistake
Now I’m going to tell you a near-shocking story.
An old friend of mine met his super cute girlfriend at a house party.
They fell madly in love.
Soon, they became part of each other’s group of friends. Both were real party animals, so they started going to more parties.
And why was that a problem, you ask?
That first time they met they were both under the influence of a certain party drug that gives you a lot of great feelings when you take it.
Now you’re thinking:
Hear me out.
They started getting used to being in that state together at parties. Don’t worry, they didn’t get addicted, but there was a very unhealthy edge to their relationship.
It always had to be over-the-top. Things were never ‘just normal’ between them.
Because of those unrealistically high standards, there was no room to just feel normal or to be vulnerable.
A relationship is not always fireworks. There are always ups and downs in a relationship. And that’s okay.
You might be in a relationship rut because you’re expecting too much from each other.
Tip #9: Eliminate fear from your relationship
Many people’s biggest insecurities are the same: the fear of being abandoned, the fear of not being good enough, and the fear of betrayal.
How such fear expresses itself, however, is different in every relationship. For example, some people get very jealous, while other people are emotionally distant.
Why do I mention this?
Because if you (or your partner) give in to your insecurities, you’re going to start behaving accordingly.
Whether you’re a people pleaser or a jealous person, these kinds of behaviors are not attractive at all. There are other things women find attractive in a man. If you (or your partner) suffer from fear in your relationship, you’re not going to act out of love, but out of fear.
In the short term, it’ll cause a relationship rut, and in the long term, it’ll lead to bigger relationship problems.
So, you should become aware of your fears and stop them from dominating your actions!
Either you control them, or they control you.
Tip #10: Find balance
A friend of mine and his girlfriend used to live together in a small village.
She was a nurse and worked very hard. He was unemployed and looking for a job.
You would expect him to help out a bit more with the household, right?
But no, she took care of the cooking and the washing… just like a mother.
Oh, and she also paid their rent.
Now, if the guy was ill, for example, this could be understandable.
But no. He was just a lazy bastard. He’d spend his days gaming, drinking a little too much, working on his music…
That’s great, but a relationship is something you both contribute to!
It was very obvious that the imbalance was going to lead to problems in the relationship.
Why? Because they weren’t like a boyfriend and girlfriend anymore; they were like a mother and her son.
The underlying psychological cause for this kind of behavior is that guys unconsciously seek their mother’s love from their girlfriends. The same is true of girls; they often seek their father’s presence from their boyfriends.
Either way, it’s not a healthy basis for a relationship.
This video is a perfect (and funny) example of this kind of situation:
Anyway, the girl slowly but surely lost respect for my friend. The situation lasted for months, well after the initial relationship rut started. After that things exploded, and they broke up.
There’s a lesson to be learned from that story:
Make sure you both contribute equally in the relationship. It’s common that one takes care of the domestic tasks, while the other pays the bills. That’s totally fine. Not everything has to be 50/50, as long as it feels fair to both of you.
Having a more balanced relationship is the best way to overcome your relationship rut.
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Sending you a lot of positive vibes. I’m sure your relationship rut will end soon!
Dan de Ram