A big part of my work is helping couples become closer again; to help them find the intimacy and passion they used to have, but lost somewhere along the line.
The problem isn’t a lack of love, they still love each other… they just don’t feel ‘in love’ anymore.
It seems strange then that one of the first things I get them to do is spend time apart.
Here’s why spending time apart is actually vital to keeping your relationship strong:
Familiarity is bad for passion
You live together, you know everything about each other. You’ve seen each other at your best. And your worst. Closeness isn’t the problem here. Distance is.
There’s evidence to suggest that human beings are not naturally monogamous. We’ve actually evolved to have multiple mates. Being with the same partner is something that we’ve been conditioned for – and generally, as a species, we’re still not that good at it.
I’m not suggesting you go out and find other partners (though I know that will work for some relationships). What I am suggesting is that spending time apart will bring some of the mystery and passion back. You’ll evoke some of the ‘chase’, the game again. And that’s a turn-on.
Inter-dependance over co-dependance
Strong, healthy relationships require two strong inter-dependent people.
Similarity is to be expected in a relationship. You probably fell in love because of your commonalities, and it’s only natural spending time together that your similarities will grow. But if you find yourselves dressing the same, unable to go out without each other and find yourself always talking in ‘we’ rather than ‘I’, chances are you bordering on co-dependence. And that’s not healthy.
Cultivate a relationship with yourself
Do you remember what you loved to do before you were in a relationship?
Are there things that you gave up because you’re partner wasn’t that into them?
Can you enjoy time on your own?
We have this ‘thing’ in our culture that we shouldn’t do things alone, or that it’s a poor substitute for doing things with other people. You deserve to take care of yourself. You deserve to do something nice for yourself. Just because. Not because you’ve got someone there to share it with.
Spending time on your own helps you remember who you are. And that’s who your partner fell in love with. Spending time on your own also helps fill and nourish you. You’ll have more to give to your partner when you come back together.
So, if you’re in a relationship or not, take some time to yourself this week. Do something you love, cultivate a beautiful relationship with yourself and remember who you are aside from being ‘one half’ of something.
Time apart will actually bring you closer together.