You want to feel comfortable in your relationship, of course, but can you be too comfortable? You sure can, and it’s important to be able to recognize signs that you and your partner are headed down that road, since that could mean you’ve stopped growing and evolving as a couple. As divorce attorney and author Nicole Sodoma tells us, “For a relationship to truly stand the test of time you must also evolve together, not just revolve around each other.” Here, six signs to watch out for.
6 Signs You're Getting Too Comfortable in Your Relationship (and Why It's a Problem)
Meet the Expert
Nicole Sodoma is a divorce attorney and author of Please Don’t Say You’re Sorry: An Empowering Perspective on Marriage, Separation and Divorce from a Marriage-Loving Divorce Attorney.
1. You Stop Dating Each Other
“No matter how long you’ve been together, it’s important for couples to prioritize each other,” Sodoma tells us, adding that date nights shouldn’t become old news, no matter how long you’ve been together. “Make an effort to make time for one another whether it’s a simple movie night at home or a special night out. For relationships to succeed, both people have to be willing to do the work.”
2. You’re Spending Time Together, but Not Engaging with One Another
It’s one thing to settle into a comfortable silence with your person, but you don’t want comfortable silence to become the norm. Sodoma explains, “Some couples think that as long as they are together it counts as ‘time spent,’ but if you’re both on your phones, computers, etc. it’s not the same as actually engaging in quality time spent together.”
3. You Put Off Important Conversations
“One of the keys to any lasting relationship, whether romantic or otherwise, is open and honest conversation,” Sodoma says. “Too often couples who feel safe and comfortable in a relationship will put off having the hard conversations.” She says this could be because we feel safe enough in our relationship that we dismiss the problems, or because we feel insecure about rocking the boat. Either way, “When couples start to avoid having the hard conversations, things can often go downhill quickly.”
4. You Take One Another for Granted
Maybe your partner makes you coffee every morning and at some point you got so used to it that you stopped saying thank you. “Comfort comes with a sense of security, but you need to make sure that sense of security isn’t taken advantage of and you stop caring for your partner,” Sodoma tells us. “Pay attention to the things your partner does for you that they don’t have to do for you, actively listen and make sure you recognize those moments.” A little thank you goes a long way.
5. You Assume You Know Everything They Think and Feel
You know each other on a deep level, but even the strongest couples can’t know exactly what each other is feeling and thinking at all times. This can be a problem, Sodoma says, when couples get so comfortable with each other that they stop checking in. “It’s important to remember we change and evolve as people and so do our thoughts and feelings—the next time you catch yourself assuming how your partner might feel about something try asking them. Grow together, not apart.”
6. Your Communication Consists of Logistics, Not Life
When’s the last time you texted your partner just to say you were thinking of them? Sodoma says, “For many couples, especially those with children, their conversations can be dominated by arranging schedules and organizing to-do’s—figuring out who is going to do what and where and at what time.” She tells us that if it’s starting to feel like you’re texting your roommate and not your spouse, it may be time to take some steps to bring a little life back into your conversations. “Put a greater focus on understanding your partner’s needs and don’t be afraid to restructure your relationship to do things with intention and purpose.”