Now just to be clear, I’m not talking about a Ross and Rachel break where you and your partner split up and see other people – no no no! I’m talking about giving each other space, both physical and emotional.
If you live together, or if you stay at each other’s places so much that you may as well live together, you may once in a while find yourself being annoyed at your partner for no apparent reason.
Here are a few reasons why a short time apart could improve your relationship and your general wellbeing:
1. You are bored (in general and of your partner)
Simply put, when you spend all of your time together, it is inevitable that eventually you will get bored. Not because your significant other is boring, but because if you’re both exposed to the same things together, you will have less to talk about.
The solution: spend a day or two apart doing your own thing, see some friends, go explore the city or just read a book. When you come back together, you will have done something that the other one hasn’t and you can share your experiences.
2. You lose your individuality, you don’t feel like yourself
Have you ever had a moment when you thought of something and wondered why that thought has come to you, and that it doesn’t seem like you. Or perhaps you find yourself one day only doing things that your partner likes and you forget what it feels like to be you. Or maybe you just really feel like having a day sitting in front of the TV in your underwear watching cartoons but you feel like you can’t because you’re too embarrassed or feel like you “should” be doing something else. You may get angry or agitated and you just can’t seem to get back to your usual happy self.
The solution: what you need is some physical space to be able to dwell in your own energies for a while. Try sleeping in separate beds or even a different house for some time. This may seem like a bizarre idea in the modern world, but it is actually a common tantric practice where the lovers separate after lovemaking to regenerate their life force and be in their own field. Don’t worry though, usually a day or a weekend apart should do the trick, you could even agree to spend one night a month apart so you don’t reach the tipping point.
3. Your sex life isn’t what it used to be
You used to be inseparable, constantly in the mood and ready to go at it like bunnies every chance you get. Now it’s just hit you that you haven’t slept together in 2 days and you don’t even feel like it. There’s nothing wrong with you as a couple, you’ve probably just fallen victim to boredom and routine.
The solution: you know how when you see your significant other as they arrive at the airport, all you want to do is be with them, kiss them and do naughty things all night long? The trick here is you need to miss each other. Go away for a weekend, or even a week, and come back with a sexy surprise. Missing each other will make you forget all of the unattractive bathroom noises you usually hear every morning or how they do that thing that turns you off, you will just want them right there and now! As an extra, being away will give you lots of new things to talk about, so you will once again have new conversation topics.
4. Your creativity is dulling down
You find that when you are with your partner, you spend less time than you used to playing your guitar, painting, singing, writing, ice skating or whatever it is that you are passionate about. Perhaps it is because they are not into the same hobbies, or because you think that there are other things you should be doing instead, but it is vital for you to do what you love!
The solution: set time aside for your hobbies, whether it’s an evening of playing the piano or a day of hiking, doing what you love will make you happy and will spark your creativity so that you can avoid issues like writing blocks or not being able to finish a painting. Don’t feel like just because you’re in a relationship that you have to do everything together now. You don’t have to like the same stuff, and you shouldn’t feel guilty about wanting to go rock climbing without your partner, instead of sitting on Instagram, “spending time together”.
5. Spiritual growth
We are all here on this planet to learn and to grow. If we don’t continue our spiritual practices, whether it’s meditation, yoga, active meditations, imagery or sound work, it is of most importance that we don’t stop just because we are in a relationship. It’s not uncommon to feel “strange” doing your practice around your significant other as it is something we usually do in private, and we can fall into the trap of putting it off endlessly.
The solution: make an agreement with your partner that you need time for your practice, make sure they understand that it is important to you and that you’re not just trying to get out of cuddling with them in bed in the morning (some can take it personally). You may need to adjust your usual routine and it may be difficult at first, but don’t feel obliged to do anything else, this is one of the most important things you can do for yourself so your partner should understand that if they truly love you.
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Yes yes and 50x yes! Its a shame people don’t talk about this more, there’s nothing unnatural about needing your own space, it’s a basic human right!
~ Bernard Sleijster