In the most successful relationships, couples spend quality time together…but they also enjoy spending time apart. It’s important to get that balance right and not try to be everything for each other. There is a case of too much togetherness, as well as too much time spent away from each other.
Though achieving a balance is everything, the right balance will vary for different couples. Individuals enjoy time alone, for example, to varying degrees, and some like a measure of independence that others are not looking for. It’s likely that you and your partner have different needs for togetherness.
Communication and compromise, as usual, are key. Don’t see it as an insult if your guy wants space and you’d rather spend every waking moment with him. It’s a personality thing as a rule, not a problem with you! He would be the same with anyone. The needs you have as individuals have to fit together in some way to make a successful relationship.
Here are some things to think about when considering the right balance for your particular circumstances.
TOO MUCH TIME TOGETHER
If you think about it, it’s a huge responsibility to try and provide your partner’s every need in every area. And that will be the case if you spend all your free time together. If you try and be everything for him, and he for you, you’ll both end up exhausted trying. There are some things that you want to get from the relationship, of course. Just not everything.
Companionship – This is essential for a good relationship, but does it have to apply to everything you do, every hobby you have? Must he be interested in everything that interests you, and can you honestly say that all his interests are yours? All of them? No, I thought not.
Conversation – You have to be able to talk to your guy all night long when the two of you are together. Too many couples run out of things to say and resort to watching non-stop TV to cover the silence. But surely there are girly things that he wouldn’t want to talk about, and guy things that you don’t?
Emotional Support And Understanding – You support each other in a good relationship. Of course you do. But it takes another female to understand some things and you may need a friend to put another perspective on something, especially if you are going through a rough patch in your relationship.
Love – You love him and he loves you, but there is no limit to how much you can love. No doubt you love your family, your friends, even your dog and they don’t make your love for each other any less. It just means that you don’t devote all your time to him. Spare some for others you love.
Sexual Satisfaction/Physical Intimacy – This is probably the one area where you want to be exclusive for the strength of your relationship! I’d say spend as much time as you like on that, but then again it’s not healthy to spend all your time after your honeymoon in bed to the exclusion of all else either 🙂
If you try and get everything from your partner, as you will probably do, if you spend all your time together, you become over-reliant and dependent on him. If the relationship ever waivers (and it will, in even the strongest relationship you will have your moments of doubt), you will tend to become needy and cling on (out of fear of losing “everything”) rather than working through the situation like an adult. The less needy you are and the less reliant you are on him, the more attractive you become.
Similarly, if he starts clinging to you like a limpet on a rock, and becoming jealous of anyone you spend time with away from him, you can feel constricted and lose respect for him, and that’s not great for the health of your relationship.
If you have too much togetherness, the relationship can become stale and boring. If you live a full life, you’ll find an evening or even a few days away from each other can provide new input, and you will have more to talk about and feed into the relationship when you are together again. Too much time together and all the mystery goes – the romance loses a bit of spark. Surprise each other with new insights and ideas you get from elsewhere.
Lack Of Space
If you have been used to having your own space and need that time alone to think or work or dream in peace, it can be disconcerting to have to share it. That might happen when you first move in together, when one stops working at a job out of the home or as a result of illness. To avoid this lack of space becoming an issue, you might find your own corner of your home that is your space or even get up early to enjoy some uninterrupted “me time.” But, if you each have engaging hobbies and separate groups of friends you see on a regular basis, this is rarely an issue, because you’ll get your space when he is otherwise occupied and vice versa!
TOO MUCH TIME APART
Separate Lives Together
If two people lead almost completely separate lives, sleeping in the same house, but not really gelling in any way – he has his friends and interests and she has hers, the relationship is in trouble. To maintain a sense of connection, you need to find things you enjoy doing together and mutually shared interests beyond the house and kids. You’re not supposed to be nothing more than flat mates or parents who have sex (if you even still have sex) so this state of affairs needs some work, if the relationship is going to flourish. Try doing a new activity together or commit to doing something together that you used to enjoy at the start of your relationship.
If you spend too much time living apart, you can easily grow apart over time. Shared experiences build a level of intimacy that you can’t get, if you spend all your time in different places. Separate experiences are good only in so far as you have something new to share with your partner. The sharing counts! If you have a long-distance relationship, you can maintain and even build intimacy, to some degree, through regular communication, but it’s still not the same as spending time together. This means you have to do as much as you can to actually get together, when it’s possible, if the long distance relationship is to thrive.
If one partner is left home alone too much (sometimes literally) holding the baby, because of work or outside interests, resentment can arise. The one “left behind” ends up overloaded with domestic responsibilities, while the other gets away with less than a fair share. Sometimes, time apart like this can’t be helped, if it’s essential for work, study or family emergencies. To prevent problems, it’s important for the partner who is away all the time to take on the load when he or she is home, so that the other one has some space and free time.
With a strong relationship, full of trust and intimacy, the possibility of infidelity when you’re apart is not such an issue, but if a relationship is going badly for any reason, then time apart provides the opportunity for a love affair to kindle and ignite. This is not so much a reason to spend all your time together, as a reason to make the time you do have together count. That way you can maintain a high level of trust and intimacy!