Comfort zones are tricky things. On the one hand, they’re comfortable – obviously. That’s why they’re called comfort zones. And who doesn’t want to be comfortable?
But on the other hand, staying in them for too long generally tends to have negative consequences. Self-help authors and therapists are constantly talking about pushing the boundaries of our comfort zones; only by making ourselves uncomfortable, they maintain, are we able to achieve personal growth.
So are comfort zones good, or bad?
In a relationship, comfort zones are even murkier. Those first stages of falling in love, when you’re careful about making the best possible impression on your sweetheart and would never think of showing up for a date without multiple mirror-checks beforehand, can be magical and stomach-flutteringly fun. But it’s nice to settle into a relaxed groove, too – to wake up together and walk the dog in yoga pants, complete with bedhead and a makeup-free face.
Researchers say that the average relationship hits the ‘comfort zone’ phase after 11 months and 24 days. But does falling into the comfort zone mean the spark has died, or simply that you can finally be your true selves around each other without fear of driving each other away? New York City marriage and family therapist Jane Greer says there’s a limit to how comfortable you should be with your partner.
“Ideally, you want to be able to push the margins and be completely comfortable and open with your partner so that you could potentially keep the bathroom door open, go without makeup, belch, etc., but if that’s the rule of thumb all the time, it can become a turnoff,” Greer told the Chicago Tribune.
Here are 11 subtle signs you may be a little too comfortable with your current squeeze…
1. You don’t spend time fussing in front of the mirror before heading out the door to meet them anymore.
2. You talk to each other about your bathroom habits – while you’re actually using the bathroom.
3. You’re not worried about letting them see you when you’re sick as a dog.
4. Your leg hair is reaching record lengths and you don’t even care.
5. You wear your grotty old sweatpants around each other without a second thought.
6. You pluck each other’s stray hairs.
7. You’ve ditched dressing up to go out for dinner together in place of eating take out on the couch with your hair in rollers.
8. You rarely have romantic conversations anymore.
9. You don’t check with your SO before making plans to hang out with your friends on a weekend night.
10. Your life together is essentially Netflix, minus the chill. Every. Single. Night.
11. And you can’t remember the last time you had sex.
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Comment: What’s the difference between giving up on a relationship and being comfortable with each other, from your perspective?