At the beginning of a relationship, it seems that you want to spend every waking moment together with your new love.
It’s fresh and exciting and a time of discovery about each other. No one seems more fascinating than your new significant other. Conversations can last for hours without either of you growing bored or uninterested. However, that newness can, and usually does, wear off. No longer are his jokes funny. In fact, they are irritating and annoying.
While you once listened and responded to her, you now tune out because you feel that you have heard all of this before. You love this person, but you’re just not “in love” with them, as the saying goes.
Those initial feelings of ecstasy and walking on air have disappeared and left in their place feelings of monotony and boredom. While it is impossible to maintain the rush and infatuation that new love brings, it is possible for you and your mate to continue to grow deeper in your love and appreciation for each other. Togetherness can come from spending short periods apart. Yes, you can grow closer to each other by taking time away from each other.
Consider this quote from “The Prophet” by Kahlil Gibran:
“And stand together yet not too near together: For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.”
10 Benefits of Time Apart from Your Mate
- A deeper connection. When you are together, you will appreciate and value each other more. You will have more to contribute to the relationship because you will be more evolved as a person and, as a result, more interesting.
- More to talk about. You will have new and current things to talk about. The experiences that you had while apart will provide much to talk, laugh, or even cry together about. Your mate will feel as if they had participated in the experience, and you will feel the same about their adventures/misadventures.
- Self-care. You may not always be in this relationship with your mate, but you will still be in a relationship with yourself! It is essential that you take time to do what “feeds” you – whether it be hiking and camping in the outdoors or enjoying the theatre and fine dining. There may also be times that you need to heal from trauma, loss, or other pain. Taking care of yourself gives your mate a healthier partner and benefits you both!
- Appreciation of mate. You and your mate will appreciate each other more. You become aware of all of those things that you take for granted about your spouse now. Appreciate means “to increase in value.” Your mate will become even more valuable to you after a short absence.
- Stress management. Spending prolonged periods together can increase stress. Your relationship, even when it is going well, can create stress because you interact with and respond to someone else. Solitude can quiet your mind and heart and de-stress you.
- Problem Solving. It is often difficult to find a solution to a problem when you are in the middle of it. Getting away and putting yourself in a different environment will often help you to see a solution. It may even come to you while you are not even thinking about it!
- More Balanced Perspective. When you are away from your familiar surroundings and routine, you will often see things from a different and more balanced perspective. You may actually begin to see things from your mate’s perspective and gain understanding and insight.
- Guard against co-dependency. It’s not healthy for either of you for one of you to be co-dependent. Co-dependency is an excessive emotional or psychological reliance on a partner. The keyword in that definition is “excessive.” Of course, we all rely on our partner for emotional and psychological support. However, that can become unhealthy over time. Spending periodic time apart can help you know if you or your mate is becoming co-dependent.
- Recharge and revitalize. You may need a mind and body break. It could be that rest is what you need to be the loving, caring mate that you want to be. It is recommended that you get between 7 and 9 hours of sleep each night to perform at your optimum. If you are “burning the midnight oil,” you may need to go to a hotel and rest. Then have your mate join you for the last night of your stay!
- Planning and Visioning. You need time for personal planning and visioning. You will feel a greater sense of purpose and have clarity about what you want to accomplish. If your mate does the same, then you can share what you have developed with each other and even create a plan and vision for your relationship.
Remember, time apart should be brief and for the purpose of improving or nurturing yourself and your relationship. If you want time apart because you are looking for a way out of the relationship, it is time to have honest conversations with your partner. If you want to save your relationship, seek marriage help from a relationship coach or counselor, or attend a marriage seminar. With the proper attitudes and motives, being separate can draw you closer to each other, maintain your individuality, and keep your relationship exciting and fulfilling.