- in Intimacy
“Better to put your heart on the line, risk everything, and walk away with nothing than play it safe. Love is a lot of things, but “safe” isn’t one of them.”
~ Mandy Hale
Space. What does that mean?
Do men want more alone time? More time to pursue one of their passions that is theirs alone, or do they desire their own man cave or space for working in their shop to leave as they’d like with messy, in progress projects awaiting their return?
You will only lose him if he loses himself. And the same goes for you, too.
It’s easy to focus time and attention on the relationship especially when it’s new and unique. But as time moves on, it’s important to retain your sense of self. That doesn’t mean you have to spend less time together, but it does mean you have to spent more time with yourself, pursuing your own passions, so that you may come back together and celebrate each other’s wonder and creativity.
Tap into your own creative spaces and desires to fall in love with life again and again. And he will continue to fall in love with you.
And make the time you do share together special. Not every time but with a little intention, you can periodically plan an experience of something new to both of you together, whether it’s a new hiking trail, a new hobby, or a new country to explore. By peppering in new and exciting experiences into your relationship and regular daily life, you will inspire close bonding.
Can you imagine the triumphant feeling you’d have together if after both being lost, working to navigate the rural roads of Thailand together, you reached your thatched hut three hours later than planned but just in time for a beautiful sunset together?
Everyday life often offers up opportunities to create closer connection.
Imagine how you both handled getting a blow out along a rural country highway only to inspire an intimate camp out until sunrise and help arrived? That’s bonding material right there.
Space offers each of you a sense of grounding in who you are as an individual, and it’s often the juice of what led you to fall in love with the person next to you.
With space each of you can grow into the best version of yourself so far. As a partner, what a wonderful thing that is to get to witness.
Kate Houston, Love Coach - www.fabulousandfearlessover40.com
Being constantly together is a sure-fire way to get annoyed, irritable, and ungrateful towards your partner.
The primary reasons that a couple feels a constant need to be ceaselessly together are:
- The relationship is very new
- Fear the partner wants to leave
- Insecurity about whether you are loved
- Intuitive warnings that your partner is likely to stray
- Extreme emotional neediness
- Having a borderline or narcissistic partner
When you have the sense that you and your partner are securely together, then it becomes easy, enjoyable, and even beneficial to the relationship to spend time apart with individual friends, following personal hobbies or activities, or just having alone time.
No two people are exactly alike. And doing everything together ends up eliminating and ignoring unique interests that could actually contribute to making the relationship more stimulating. When couples believe they have to do everything together, the result is that both parties give up other enjoyable activities and interests. This inevitably leads to a narrowing of the relationship, resentment, hostility, and a battle for control of what events, friends, and activities the couple pursues.
When you can give each other space, it can actually strengthen the relationship as well as make it more interesting.
If your relationship is new, you’ll probably want to share a lot of activities that you used to do alone. You’re getting to know each other’s friends and getting a chance to try new pursuits, which may even open up new interests. As the relationship matures, you’ll have decided which activities and friends your partner enjoys and you don’t. Demanding that he stop any and all activities or friendships that you don’t enjoy is a sure way to convey that you don’t care about him.
It works the best that when your partner is off on his own activities, that you spend time with your personal friends, hobbies, etc. When you come back together, you can share your experiences and energy with each other. This expands your relationship, while allowing each person to be an individual.
If you’re uncomfortable being apart because of any of the other reasons listed above, then the real issues need to be addressed through conversations and even therapy if necessary. Keeping him on a tight rein will never solve the problems that are brewing underneath the surface.
A good relationship is one that is built on both people knowing they are loved, accepted, and important to the other partner.
If you don’t have that level of trust, then look into why that is. Do you have trouble trusting in a relationship? Is the relationship unstable enough that you aren’t able to trust it? Do you not see enough evidence that he is at the same level of commitment as you are?
Explore the real reason that you feel uncomfortable when he is away from you.
You can’t force a relationship to be in the exact place you want it to be. That is a process of mutual construction.
Margalis Fjelstad, Ph.D., LMFT – www.margalistherapy.com
We all need space to be ourselves, to explore new things, to learn and to dream.
When you are in a relationship, it doesn’t mean all this should end. In fact, in healthy relationships you should encourage and support each other to be all you can be.
With that being said, how can you give your partner space, but not enough so he drifts away from you?
Healthy relationships allow both parties to grow. You can explore your own interests, spend time with your friends, nurture your personal growth and still maintain a healthy relationship with your committed partner. While you are both different in so many ways, you share a common thread that keeps you together, both physically and emotionally.
So, the key is to be sure you enjoy doing things together. Laughing, playing, sharing common activities, all the things that nurture a good relationship, keep you thriving.
How can you balance this togetherness with the space you need to be yourself?
The answer is simply - communicate. Let him know your interest in taking guitar, cooking or tennis lessons. Let him know that he can join you, but if not, these are things you've always wanted to do. These activities are what make you unique and special and you are entitled to enhance your life any way you see fit. He, in turn, can do the same.
A relationship that is based on boosting each other, rather than depending on each other is the best kind of relationship.
When your interests are diverse, you become a more interesting person and someone who becomes more attractive and desirable to your special love.
Amy Sherman, M.A., LMHC – www.yourbabyboomersnetwork.com
You may not, except with express written permission, distribute or commercially exploit the content. Nor may you transmit it or store it in any other website or other form of electronic retrieval system.