Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder: Healthy Distance in Relationships

by Megan Stubbs

We all know that too much of a good thing is usually bad. But does the same apply for relationships? It sure does. Your relationship runs the risk of burnout if you spend every single moment with your partner. Give them — and yourself — some space! Here are three tips for creating healthy distance in your relationship.

Space is Good

Remember when you were single and liked to do things with your friends? Chances are your partner did too! Let them have the freedom to maintain those separate activities they enjoyed before you met. When you allow your partner the space to pursue interests on their own, they will often look forward to coming back to you and sharing their experiences.

Do You

Do something for yourself. Go to yoga, read or go on a walk! Do whatever makes you happy. Trust in the security of your relationship and use this time to pursue something just for you. People who have a solid sense of self often report higher happiness than those who don’t. And this isn’t to say that you can’t be with your own friends! Be kind to yourself and have a ladies’ night—or better yet, a ladies’ weekend—every now and then.

Set a Time Frame

When discussing how much space your partner needs, lay it out in a designated time period. Whether it’s a few days, a weekend or a few hours, give your partner a time frame so everyone has the same expectations. And if things change, be sure to communicate that, too. It’s important to both respect the parameters set and to be courteous to your partner’s feelings.

Communicate

I know that the dreaded ‘we need some space’ phrase can strike fear into the hearts of even the most resilient woman, but realize that space is totally healthy. If your partner is asking for space, they are communicating something to you; listen to them. Unless its becoming extreme and you’re getting the feeling that this is more than just wanting some time to themselves, relax and trust your partner. If too much time apart is impacting your relationship, address the issue. Communication is key!

Chances are, if your partner spends time apart from you, they will start to miss you. They can only miss you if you aren’t around, hence the need for space. Think about how great it will be to reconnect! You will both be recharged from doing your own separate things, but eager to get back to the routine of each other.


“Love in such a way that the person you love feels free.” 

-Thich Nhat Hanh


Megan Stubbs

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Dr. Megan Stubbs is a Sexologist, the job you never saw on career day. For insightful tips or a good laugh, find her on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and SexologistMegan.com.


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