How do you think about time spent with your partner, and time spent apart?
Do you have activities that you plan specifically with the goal of spending time apart from your partner?
For most couples, some time spent apart is necessary and good for their long term relationship. Most of us work away from our partners, and have to do that. We may have activities with children that mean we need to be apart. It's also important to maintain our own friendships and interests: by enriching ourselves with different experiences, we can bring more back to the relationship.
On the other hand, if we actively seek to be apart because we don't enjoy spending time with one another, then that is usually a sign of deeper issues with the relationship.
It's even possible to be apart when we're both in the same house, if we're in different rooms doing different things, or even in the same room on different devices or using earphones. Being together but not being present is a huge problem for modern couples with the proliferation of cheap and accessible entertainment.
It's not about the activity - shopping with friends, going fishing or motorbike riding, attending clubs for our hobbies, or just hanging out at the pub - it's about our motivation for the choices we make.
It's possible to do any or all of the things above with our partners, but we might do them separately because we enjoy them and because, perhaps, our partner doesn't. For example, dragging your partner along on a fishing trip if they think it is boring or cruel isn't likely to strengthen the relationship.
Finding ways to spend more time together, and enjoy the things we do together, while maintaining our own lives and interests, can strengthen and develop our relationships. But it may be a warning sign if we're choosing to be apart because we don't want to be together, or if we don't have any common ground that allows us to enjoy spending time together.
Take some time to reflect on:
(a) how much time you're spending with your partner;
(b) the quality of the time you're spending together and how present you and your partner are; and
(c) the motivation behind the activities you choose to do as a couple.
If you feel like you and your partner aren't on the same page and have stopped enjoying each others presence, call Sue on 0439 294 532 to talk about how you can get back on track and find joy in your relationship.
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