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Five alarm bells that suggest you’re spending too much time with your partner

Are you spending too much time with your partner to the detriment of your relationship?

It’s incredibly easy for couples to end up spending too much time together. This usually happens gradually due to life events, such as moving to a new area where you don’t have a social support network, having a baby or a second child and needing to parent them together, or both of you working from home some or all of the week.

While some couples seem to thrive more the more time they spend together, most of us need some ‘time out’ from our relationships to preserve our wellbeing – and the magic in our relationships! If we don’t get it, it can poison our relationships, sometimes to the point of no recovery. 

In this article, we’ll look at five warning signs that indicate you and your partner are spending too much time together, and what you can do to improve things.

1. Running out of things to talk about 

While there’s nothing wrong with a comfortable silence, a dropoff in conversation between you and your partner can be a sign you’re in each other’s orbit too much. After all, if you’re spending all your time together doing the same things, you don’t have any stories to share. So, if you’re mainly communicating through grunts and monosyllables, it might be time for a weekend away.

2. Feelings of resentfulness or contempt 

If you find yourself resenting your partner, getting irritated by little things (yes, even things like how they chew their food) or even start feeling contemptuous of them, then you’re almost certainly spending too much time with them. Getting some distance should help reduce that resentful feeling.

3. ‘Roommate syndrome’

A common complaint from long-term cohabiting couples, too much time together can actually lead to reduced physical and emotional intimacy – leading to what we term ‘roommate syndrome’, when you feel more like people sharing a house for financial reasons. This is often exacerbated by the addition of children to a household. Taking a break is a good way to start restoring the magic to your relationship in this case, as is talking to a qualified relationship therapist.

4. Feeling suffocated by your relationship

If you’re craving alone time – perhaps daydreaming about what it would be like to have the house or TV all to yourself, even if for a few hours – then that’s probably a sign you need time apart in a relationship. Spending time alone was linked with increased feelings of reduced stress: if your partner is always with you, you don’t get the chance to recharge in this way – and this can manifest in relationship problems. 

5. Codependency 

If you’re feeling like you’re forgetting where you end and your partner begins, your relationship may have become codependent. According to Relationships NSW, a codependent relationship is one ‘in which one or both people are experiencing poor mental health, struggling with immaturity, irresponsibility, or under-achievement – and where the relationship dynamic is only making things worse’.

A common symptom of codependent relationships is partners spending too much time together (even if one or both doesn’t really want to): if you’re concerned your relationship is codependent, we strongly recommend seeking professional help from a qualified couples counsellor.

If you’re concerned that your relationship is suffering because you’re spending too much time together, it might be a good idea to talk about your relationship with a qualified couples counsellor like Ginny at From 2 to 3. 

Whether you attend alone or together, we provide a neutral place in which you can speak freely and move forward at your own pace – helping you to find the right balance between time together and time apart for your relationship in a non-judgemental environment.

At From 2 to 3, we help individuals and couples navigate life’s numerous relational challenges, irrespective of their relationship status or the nature of their dilemmas. We believe in nurturing relationships and cultivating healthy communication patterns. Ready to start your journey of understanding and growth? We’re just a call away.