3 takes on relationships

 Three experts tell us whether long-term relationships are boring or beautiful. You can read an excerpt of the article below.

Carolien Roodvoets (relationship therapist) You can renew your relationship again and again. By doing new things together, for example, and meeting new people. It allows you to see new sides of your partner. Especially in a stable relationship that is growing a bit stale, there are lots of things you can do.

Els Kloek (historian) In the old days, say in the 17th Century, marriage was more of an economic arrangement than anything else, and romance was not prized very highly. All that changed in the 20th Century. A housewife suddenly had to meet much higher standards. She not only had to take care of everybody’s food and clothes, but also their emotional wellbeing. And in the ’60s, feminism surged, and women started working outside of the home. They placed different demands on relationships too. Stability was no longer enough, a relationship had to be a romantic affair. That’s when boredom started getting a bad rap.

Dagmar van der Neut (journalist, psychologist and author) Boredom is the key to a long and successful partnership, particularly for animals. If the partnership is satisfactory, swans mate again the following year. A long-term relationship that isn’t so exciting has all kinds of advantages. It takes a lot of energy to conquer a new mate again and again, and it involves risks. Boredom and stability have a biological value. When an animal enters into a long-term partnership with another animal, it reduces stress levels.

Read more about these experts in our issue 12

20160217_Annelinde_Flow_Happy hearts aan zee

Interviews Renate van der Zee Illustration Annelinde Tempelman