The Fight Against Roommate Syndrome

Hi everyone, Laure here. Welcome to forBetter. Let’s jump right in!

I have been hyper-focused on “Roommate Syndrome” more and more these days as my own relationship settles into 10-years of marital happiness. Major hurdles of house buying, baby making, relocating to a new state, and getting a grip on our financial future are now behind us. Predictability and stability have settled in the place of chaos and novelty. Neither of which are bad, just different.

My biggest fear for my own relationship and those around me is the dreaded roommate syndrome. Call it what you will, but what I am talking about is the curse that falls upon a comfortable relationship and the person you once found exciting, sexy, intriguing and fascinating is now predictable, comfortable, and stable.

When your life partner begins to feel more like a roommate that you simply share space, cars and credit cards with… you know you have a problem.

Roommate syndrome is sneaky. It creeps into your relationship in tiny moments when you least expect it. Like when you forgo a date night out with a babysitter to stay home to watch the season finale of Game of Thrones.

Or… when you start eating dinner in separate rooms.

Or… when you do find a moment together at a coffee shop, you immediately use your time to surf Reddit or facebook on your phone.

These moments of connection or disconnection are choices that you make on a daily basis. The tragic part about these choices is that most people don’t recognize the impact their daily choices have on the long-term health of their relationship.

There is something powerful about relationships that have stood the test of time and have established a routine of trust and commitment. What I am talking about — “roommate syndrome” — is about going BEYOND the trust and commitment. It is about breaking the mold of growing old together. It is about bringing SEXY back (Justin Timberlake reference). And so I am on a crusade to reveal the excitement, passion, and fun that established that loving feeling (Top Gun reference!) in the first place.

What is the cure for roommate syndrome?

The cure is intentionality, curiosity, risk, and togetherness.

You have to intentionally make choices on a daily basis that foster novelty and togetherness.

Did you know that the average person cycles through the same food selections every 10 days? This means that you have a stock selection of groceries that you purchase from the store and the same menu you prepare day-in and day-out. Your relationship is a lot like this too. Relationships get stuck in comfy habits of the same restaurants, friendship groups, nightly routines, workout routines, etc.

The fight against roommate syndrome begins with expanding your daily habits and activities to include things that are new, and different. This requires curiosity and a bit of healthy risk.

The fight against roommate syndrome is about infusing passion into the relationship. Believe it or not, I am not talking about sexy-time passion. I am talking about the type of passion that wakes you up in the morning and keeps you up late at night. It is about discovering what ignites your heart and soul and doing MORE of that… together!

Here are three things you can do TODAY that will jump start your fight against roommate syndrome.

#1 With your partner, create a bucket list of your top 10 items that you want to accomplish. Just to get your juices flowing, here are a few questions: Where do you want to travel? What business would you start? Would you ever want to run a marathon? How about skydiving… or a missions or service trip to a developing country?

#2 Together, get out your daily schedule and find some time to do something new. Be intentional. Plan it. And it’s ok to start with the small things.

#3 Passion. Think back to a time in your life when you were ON FIRE about something, individually. It could be anything… restoring a classic car, eating vegan, learning to play the guitar, trying out for a sports team. Remember what that energy and dedication felt like? I want you to take those memories and find a new passion that you and your partner can pursue together.

My husband, Ryan, and I are currently in the process of exploring two new passions:

We will run our first Spartan race in August, and we begin scuba lessons in August to prepare us for an upcoming snorkeling trip in Hawaii!

We’re going to take these on in the spirit of adventure, fun, and partnership!

Remember, you have the ability to transform your marriage forBetter. Roommate Syndrome does not have to creep in and steal the passion from your marriage. You can always experience fun, excitement, and passion…. if you’re intentional, curious, and willing to risk for the sake of love!

As always, be kind to one another,

Laura