By Mindie Barnett

Author and motivational speaker Mindie Barnett answers your questions about life, navigating these stressful and uncertain times, while steering you down a more straightforward path.
We welcome your questions and invite you to reach out to Mindie at mindiesmusings1@gmail.com

 My name is Jessica S. and I have been talking to this guy for some time now. We enjoy being with each other, but it feels repetitive at the same time. What would you say the best nontraditional dates are? Other than dinner/bowling/movie, what can we think of doing? I am wondering if you also have specific recommendations in NYC. Also, when do you know when a guy likes you and isn’t using you or just bored? I don’t want to be catching feelings right now if he is just bored and hanging out/using me.
Thanks so much,

Hi Jessica,
It sounds like you may be in a rut with your romantic relationship. It happens to the best of us. The question to ask yourself is whether you’re experiencing a lull or are you simply bored with your partner. If the answer is the latter, then no amount of excitement—whether it be a date or a trip to the moon—will suffice. It may mask the problem initially but inevitably the boredom will sink back in.

So, my first piece of advice is to write down all the attributes your partner possesses. What is it about him that makes you feel good and special? What is it about him that you admire most and what is it about him that sparks some excitement doing the most mundane, everyday tasks? Afterall, as a relationship progresses, there will be many more days of dull than days of dazzling excitement. That is life and if you seek the other, then you should look inside and see if there is more to you that may need nourishing. No one can ever be the glue that holds us together, even if the best romantic novels say otherwise. The truth is, we need to be content and provide our own excitement and adventure and whomever we choose to share that light with is just a bonus.

If you’re convinced, he’s worth the effort, then my advice is to be honest with your man. Take a walk (in Central Park, by the Hudson River, or High Line) and share that you’re seeking some adventure this summer and maybe plan a little getaway to restart the fire. It doesn’t have to be anywhere extravagant. Perhaps be a tourist for the day or take a ride out to Long Island and hit the beach. Wherever it is, just make it new and different and see where that leads you both.

In terms of “fun dates,” I am a huge fan of karaoke, live sports, and anything in the arts. Luckily, we live in a great city, which offers the best of all three! Look up some fun summertime events taking place all over the city this time of year: festivals are every weekend, there’s a plethora of fun evening events in Bryant Park and so many concerts to enjoy!

But whatever you decide, make sure you’re focused on him and not the event itself. Because if he’s not enough to make you smile without the glam and glitz, he’s just not the one.
Good luck, Jessica!