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Warning: How Boredom and Neglect could kill your relationship

Updated on June 13, 2018

Relationships end for various reasons.

Some of these reasons may be obvious or major such as

- cheating or infidelity

- one of the participants moving away and neither being able to manage or maintain a long distance relationship, or

- abuse from either party

There are also the less obvious or hard to explain reasons.These often range from drifting apart to falling out of love. Commonly the biggest course of these less obvious reasons can be attributed towards lack of (or dying of) spark and boredom or neglect.

Boredom and neglect have the potential to ruin any relationship and yet more and more couples are oblivious to this fact.

Research on the matter

Research conducted by Good in bed shows that 25% of couples (researched in a survey) feel bored in their relationship with an additional 25% being on the brink of boredom. In other words 50% of all couples are researched to either be on the border of boredom or already bored. What’s more is the fact that the impacts of boredom or neglect can be rather disastrous for any relationship. It’s no secret that boredom has quite often been described as the reason for (or a big contribution towards) infidelity as well as the feeling of drifting apart.

The same survey showed that already 25% of the sample reported having engaged in infidelity due to boredom in their relationship. Looking at this commonly it doesn't take rocket science to figure out that if you’re partner isn't at least making an effort to make you feel special once in a while and someone else is; you’re going to start developing the feeling of “maybe he/she cares more about me”. That just goes to show how a lack of care in a relationship can lead to feelings of neglect which ultimately lead to bigger problems.

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Boredom and Neglect: The connection

Boredom and neglect are quite often linked. Put simply if you feel like you may not be getting enough love, affection or attention from your partner you're bound to feel neglected resulting in boredom in the relationship. There’s a good saying to describe this: Absence makes the heart grow fonder – of someone else.

It’s in no way suggested that while being a relationship one needs to constantly be thinking of ways to entertain the other but there should at least be that aspect of a “dating feeling” being experienced.

Research conducted on 12,000 women from 22 countries in a 2009 survey by the Boston Consulting Group, showed that women would like for their partner to organise more dates. Dates don't necessarily need to be to expensive places where loads of cash is spent but for woman it's more a case of the thought behind it all, the romance in the idea and the quality 'couple time' spent together. Dates can be anything from a stroll or picnic in a park or on the beach to a day out to a theme park or nature reserve. All which are highly cost effecient.

For many who become too comfortable in their relationship, dates and all other “dating couple” things take a back seat to lazing around and doing nothing all day. For many guys this is somewhat acceptable as they feel comfortable enough in the relationship to feel that they no longer need to impress their girlfriends by taking them out or doing nice things for them as much anymore.

Just because you’ve been together for a few years doesn’t mean that the romantic dates or fun dates, romantic gestures, romantic getaways or love notes should suddenly stop or disappear. On the contrary, if you’d like to keep your relationship going for many more years it is actually imperative that these things increase or at least stay evident in your relationship.

One may argue that if you’re able to drift apart or have serious relationship problems due to boredom that you may not have been in love to begin with. This is highly debatable.

Love is something that needs nurturing and care. If either or both parties feel like they’re not loved by the other that love will gradually begin to fade until there is nothing left; resulting in the feeling of “falling out of love”.

Boredom and neglect: Dating Relationships

Although commonly experienced in marriages of many years this is not at all aimed at them. It is somehow understandable that after being married for many years one or both partners may become comfortable in the relationship to such an extent that ‘whoo'ing’ the other person does not feel that important anymore. Although this could still be a problem for many, it is in fact not as major due to the depth of the relationship. One is thus less likely to be affected by boredom or look towards ending a 20 odd year relationship or marriage due to it.

On the contrary though, and what a lot of this article focuses on, is dating relationships. If for example you’re in a dating relationship (presumably with the thought of marriage somewhere in the future) and are already being paid less attention to or bored then there are some serious problems. If this is the case at present what will everything be like by the time you get married? Boredom should at lease be reserved for when you’re married for 20 plus years.

Only you have the power to get your relationship back to where it was in the beginning. Think about what made it exciting, fun and special and go back to that. Keep the spark ignited and the fire will burn forever.


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    • Jade89 profile imageAUTHOR

      Jade Monique Taylor Hiralal 

      5 years ago from Johannesburg - South Africa

      Lol Good call John

      Thanks for the comment :)

    • Jade89 profile imageAUTHOR

      Jade Monique Taylor Hiralal 

      5 years ago from Johannesburg - South Africa

      Hey Bryan!

      Thanks for the comment.

      That really does happen in relationships. People get way to comfortable and forget about the one person that should matter the most to them.

      With regards to her turning you away when you needed her most, that was a really horrible thing to do. I am sure you will end up with someone who actually deserves you and treats you better (if you aren't already with her).

      I find it interesting how you end your message saying: "I wish her the best of luck with her next boyfriend. I truly do." You should actually have said: "I wish her next boyfriend the best of luck with her."...

      Everything of the best Bryan!

    • profile image

      Bryan Clements 

      5 years ago

      I started dating my ex girlfriend last summer. We spent countless weekends on the beach, going out to restaurants and riding our bicycles all over town.

      In time, and as the weather turned, she told me she didn't want to shave her legs during the winter. She told me that she didn't want to put on make-up on the weekends because she had to do it for work 5 days a week. She also stopped getting dressed up for our dates. And the last 2 weekends we were together she didn't even shower before we went out.

      I withdrew from her sexually due to all of this.

      The final straw came one night, after calling her in tears asking if I could come over her apartment (I received upsetting news about a deceased family member), she denied me and told me she was busy doing her laundry!

      When I stood my ground and and refused to accompany her to her office X-Mas party she broke up with me, telling me that I wasn't smart enough for her, didn't act my age, and had a victim mentality.

      I wish her the best of luck with her next boyfriend. I truly do.

    • profile image

      John S 

      5 years ago

      Great article. Thank you! My ex-girlfriend, after a few months of dating told me that she didn't want to wear make-up on the weekends for our dates because she wore it all week for work. Then she told me she didn't want to shave her legs much during the winter. The final straw was when she no longer wanted to shower during the weekend for me. And she wondered why I retreated from her sexually!

    • Jade89 profile imageAUTHOR

      Jade Monique Taylor Hiralal 

      6 years ago from Johannesburg - South Africa

      Thanks for the extremely informative comment. I agree with you fully. No one should just stay in a relationship where it's clear that you're partner is not putting as much of an effort into the relationship working as you are (especially with regards to long distance relationships which take so much more work in order to succeed).

      I'm really sorry about the situation between you and your partner. That's really not something anyone wants to experience. It's really great though that you know your worth and that you deserve better. If you're partner won't make you a priority in his/her life there is someone out there who will!

    • profile image

      Neglect indeed! 

      6 years ago

      Try two months, somewhat distance, we try to see each other two weeks, and in person all seems dandy, and the communications when we were apart, were, to being with, good. Then he began neglecting my texts for 4+hrs a day when I knew he had his phone on his belt at all times. I would be courteous and let him know when I'd be away from the phone for several hours, say at the gym or driving, so he wouldn't wonder why I wasn't replying. A common courtesy, and truly not much to ask when you're apparently "In love" with that person. Also, replying to good morning or goodnight texts because we couldn't wake up beside one another. Or professing to be so very interested in me and my life but never asking what I'm up to. Yeah, neglect equals death, and it does make the heart grow fonder of those who actually do give a damn and show it. Actions speak louder than words. And hittin reply isn't too hard when that's your main means of connection across a small span of ocean. A pathetic reason for something to die.

      TO all of you whose partners say they love you, they would show it if they did and show interest and curiosity into your life if what they said were true; don't put up for neglectful treatment, you deserve way better than that!

    • Jade89 profile imageAUTHOR

      Jade Monique Taylor Hiralal 

      7 years ago from Johannesburg - South Africa

      Dashingscorpio, thanks for the informative input and comment.

      I love your ideology of ‘One would think it should be just the opposite (spoil the person committed to you) as oppose to spoiling the individual who barely knows you!’ That would make perfect sense. But alas we neglect the ones who supposedly mean the most to us and only realize it, at times, when it is too late. Like the saying goes, ‘we love the ones who ignore us and ignore the ones who adore us’. Sad but true and quite so often similar to the case of neglecting relationships once we feel deeply connected to the other person.

      Love your closing line. As mentioned in the article, a major contributor towards infidelity is boredom and neglect. This can actually be perfectly described in your line ‘It doesn't take much for a stranger to put a smile on the face or in the heart of a neglected person’.

    • dashingscorpio profile image


      7 years ago

      Excellent Hub!

      Your statement: "For many who become too comfortable in their relationship, dates and all other “dating couple” things take a back seat to lazing around and doing nothing all day." Unfortunately this is all too often true.

      Awhile back I wrote a hub on this very subject. It seems both sexes are guilty of (bending over backwards) to, "impress" someone they are "newly attracted" to, only gradually stop doing those things once there is an "emotional investment".

      One would think it should be just the opposite (spoil the person committed to you) as oppose to spoiling the individual who barely knows you! My take on it is (one person) makes themself less available to another, becomes less enthusiastic,or rejects the other enough times until their mate backs down. I have never heard of a couple waking up one morning and say together, "Let's stop being romantic or stop having passionate sex!"

      The person who wants to continue on with the way things were from the start becomes depressed, feels neglected as you mentioned,taken for granted, and probably worst of all feels "undesirable" after several failed attempts to keep the fire burning. She/he learns to "go along" to "get along".

      The biggest difference between marital/relationship love, and paternal love, sibiling love, or friendship love is our (romantic/sexual desire) for our mate! "Mogogamy becomes boring when couples become lazy". People need to realize no one is "stuck" with anyone. Your mate does and always will have "other options". It doesn't take much for a stranger to put a smile on the face or in the heart of a neglected person.

      You wrote a very insightful hub. I voted it up!

    • Jade89 profile imageAUTHOR

      Jade Monique Taylor Hiralal 

      7 years ago from Johannesburg - South Africa

      Thanks for the comment Paul.

      I'm really sorry that you had to go through that.

      I hope that things have turned out for the better for you.

      Neglect is usually the core of the problem. Sometimes we need to be willing to make sacrifices in order to show how much we're dedicated to the other person and our relationship. Our relationships need to take number one spot over everything and everyone and if that can't happen things are bound to fall apart.

    • Jade89 profile imageAUTHOR

      Jade Monique Taylor Hiralal 

      7 years ago from Johannesburg - South Africa

      Spot on Ardie.

      It's a pleasure.

    • Paul Kuehn profile image

      Paul Richard Kuehn 

      7 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

      You have hit the nail on the head. So many marriages, mine included, ended because of boredom and neglect. For me, neglect was the main reason. My ex-wife couldn't live with me overseas, because our house and her job in the States mattered more to her than my happiness.

    • Ardie profile image


      7 years ago from Neverland

      Very good points!! Thank you for responding to my questions. I think your answers are exactly right. A marriage has more history to it usually and the couple may be more willing to accept boredom and neglect.

    • Jade89 profile imageAUTHOR

      Jade Monique Taylor Hiralal 

      7 years ago from Johannesburg - South Africa

      Thanks for the comment Ardie!

      That is an extremely good question. I think they lead to each other more than they go hand in hand. For example if you're bored in a relationship you're going to start neglecting it, and if you're neglecting your relationship your partners going to start getting bored. Hope that makes sense.

      With regards to marriages experiencing neglect and surviving, I guess that goes with the point I made in the article that states that marriages are more likely to survive both neglect and boredom due to the depth of the relationship already. I don't know how long the people you may be referring to have been married but taking into consideration costs, effort, consideration of children or finances; sometimes staying married (despite neglect or boredom) is likely to be a whole lot easier than getting a divorce and ending the relationship. This is in contrast to dating relationships which are a whole lot easier to end.

      Also to be taken into consideration is the fact that dating relationships usually have less history then marriage relationships as MOST dating couples haven't been together as long as married ones.

    • Ardie profile image


      7 years ago from Neverland

      This was a very interesting read - are you saying boredom and neglect have to go hand in hand? I've seen plenty of marriages that are not boring but have been neglected and still survive - why do you think this is?


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