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‘I want to miss you more!’ Is too much time together killing the romance in your relationship?

‘I want to miss you more!’

This phrase was uttered in a recent couples counselling session. This client’s complaint was that they and their partner were spending too much time together and it was causing their relationship to suffer.

This really struck a chord: after all, aren’t we supposed to spend time with our partners? After all, a study by the Pew Research Center revealed that 64% of married people believe that having shared interests is very important for a successful marriage. 

Conventional wisdom suggests that spending more time with our partners leads to stronger relationships, but what if taking a break is necessary too? 

Why we need time out from our partners

The reality is that most of us need periods away from our partners to maintain our sense of self and help our wellbeing – and the amount of ‘alone time’ we need will vary from person to person.

Recent research from the University of Reading found that spending time alone was linked with increased feelings of reduced stress. A day with more time in solitude is also related to feeling freedom to choose and be oneself. If your partner is always with you, you don’t get the chance to recalibrate and recharge in this way. 

It’s not always intentional that partners end up spending too much time together. Perhaps one partner has a lower threshold of ‘alone time’ than the other, and simply doesn’t realise that their loved one needs more time out than they’re currently getting. Perhaps childcare or other responsibilities mean you have to spend more time together than you would otherwise choose.

Even so, understanding how much time away you need from your partner (and maybe your kids too) to ‘recalibrate’ your sense of self is essential – and ensuring you get this will not only help your personal wellbeing, but your relationship too.

Quality over quantity

The other side of the equation is making sure that the time you do spend together is ‘quality time’. What does this mean? Well, quality time is all about giving attention to and interacting with your partner, whether you are on a walk, watching a movie, or simply sitting together. This is an important part of any relationship and it is necessary for maintaining intimacy. 

Sitting down in the evening watching TV while you’re both browsing social media on your phones generally isn’t quality time. However, playing a board game or computer game together could be.

When you spend quality time together, the magic returns to your relationship. You’ll actually want to be together and to interact with each other. It’s likely that you’ll have more to talk about, leading to more and better intimacy, and a stronger relationship.

If in doubt – talk to a couples counsellor

If your relationship is struggling due to you and your partner spending too much time together, you can also 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.