Wisdom//

The Real Reasons Why You Need Time Apart From Your Significant Other

It's all about balance.

YuriF/Getty Images
YuriF/Getty Images

How do you do it? Is a question that I have been asked more times than I can count. 

It’s a question that sometimes makes me chuckle in confusion. 
It’s a question that leaves me blurting out a response like a broken record.

I haven’t cured cancer or world hunger. I don’t (yet) juggle kids while excelling at work. I didn’t win a Grammy or land myself in a history book. Simply put, that question gives me more credit than I deserve. 

I am asked that question for the sole reason that I am married to a man with a very demanding and time consuming career.

 * Time out * 

If you’re new to my page first of all, HI ! I’m so happy you are here. My husband, Robby, is a relief pitcher in the MLB and currently with the Arizona Diamondbacks. From the months of February – October he is at the baseball field all hours of the day that roll into all hours of the night. The options of vacation days, sick days or taking a personal day do not exist. There isn’t the space to play hooky or have someone cover your shift. The only plausible option is to show up to the field, each and every day. Regardless of what’s going on at home. Regardless of it being your dads 50th birthday party. Regardless if you have the sniffles. Regardless if your best friend is getting married that day. Regardless if your body is begging for day of rest. Regardless of, everything – you show up. Point being, we spend a lot of time apart due to his game schedule, media obligations and travel. 

So, how do I do it?
Well, I don’t know any different and we, as a team, don’t know any different.

I admire a lot about my and Robby’s relationship but one of the components that sticks out is that we are our own before we became each other’s. We were and continue to be a whole person before committing ourselves to each other and that is a game changer. 

Whether you have a ring on your finger, are currently dating or have single stamped across your forehead I pray that you do not base your self-worth on the amount of time that you spend with your significant other. Regardless if you spend more time apart then together or visa versa, I truly believe that spending time apart from your S.O has irreplaceable value. Oh, you completely disagree? Perfect, I’ll make a believer out of you after you read through my reasoning below. 

6 Reasons Why You Need Time Apart From Your From Your Significant Other:

Pay attention to your other relationships  

You know that one girlfriend of yours that, like clockwork, goes MIA once she’s in a romantic relationship? Don’t be that girl. I’ve been on both sides of that coin. I’ve been the friend that was completely pushed aside because my friend was giving all of her energy and every second of her day to the guy she was dating. I’ve also been the girl who was so excited about a new relationship that I forgot my friends existed. Something that we should all remind ourselves of, regardless of our relationship status, is that the other relationships in life deserve your time as well. Tending to other relationships in our life should be another reason to spend time apart from your S.O. Whether it’s your family, best girlfriend or a co-worker – each of those relationships provide different value to your life and in return you should give them your undivided tender love and care. Making time for others in your life will give you a support system, outside of your relationship, that you will value more than you ever thought possible. If you’re having a hard time balancing both your friendships and romantic relationship give these articles a read: 
How To Be More Present In Your Friendships
How To Maintain A Long Distance Friendship

Conversation is important

I remember calling Robby and saying, I don’t think we should text during the day anymore.

All I heard on the other end of the line was ear piercing silence. 

I quickly jumped in to express my thoughts and by the end of the conversation we were both on the same page. 

At this point in our relationship, we were still navigating through long distance and viewed our phones (especially texting) as a lifeline. From the moment our eyes would open in the AM, we started to text with each other. We typed back and forth all day long until we were able to coordinate schedules to FaceTime at night. There were times when we would hop on Facetime and we sat in silence. If you’re thinking well that’s weird, the reason is because we just spent the last 8 hours of the day having conversation and we had run out of things to talk about. He already knew how my day was, I already knew about the funny thing that happened in the locker room, he already knew about the exciting email that I received and I already knew about the upcoming dates that would work to see each other next.

All of those things and none were actually discussed face to face or with our voices.

Conversation is a huge component of a relationship and I think that our society is in fact diminishing the value in that. With hundreds of other ways to “communicate” with someone, good old talking face to face is now on the back burner. Don’t get me wrong, I rely on text messages just as much as the next person does but being glued to your phone chatting all damn day with the person you’ll see later is not only taking your focus and attention away from whatever you should be concentrated on in that moment but it always takes away from face to face communication. 

Hit the reset

Sometimes, you need a personal timeout to hit the reset button and guess what … THAT’S OK. Actually, it’s more than ok – it’s necessary! There is absolutely nothing wrong with taking a breather to recharge and get yourself back to feeling 100%. Having an open conversation with your partner that you need a hot minute alone because you’re feeling drained should not turn into an argument. So, how does one “recharge”? Well my friend, that is completely up to you. What makes me feel recharged may not be your cup of tea but here are a few suggestions:

Go for a walk and deeply breathe in the fresh air
Call your best friend and talk about … anything 
According to Elle Woods, a manicure cures all
Paint on a face mask and take a bath 
Go sweaty and get a workout in
Jam out to your favorite song 
Curl up and read a book
Watch a sappy movie
… point being, find your reset button and use it when need be. 

I miss you

There was a point in our dating relationship where Robby and I lived across the country from one another. Did I miss him every single day? Yes. Some days more so than others and there were nights that I swear I would have done just about anything to feel his body next to mine.  

The thing is, missing each other is one of the best things that ever happened and continues to happen to our relationship. Spending time apart allows you to have the opportunity to build a relationship with yourself.  Alone time tends to have a negative connotation attached to it but for the love of God it’s one of most beneficial things you could grant yourself. In your moments alone reflect on who you are and where you’re going. Ask yourself to discover what you love, what makes you tick, what you’ve learned from past experiences and where your interests lie. No matter what life brings you, you will forever and always be in a relationship with yourself so make it the best one possible. 

Find your own voice

What do you believe?
What do you value?
What is your opinion? 
What do you stand for? 

Answer those questions as an individual. Not as a unit of two but as a team of one. Having your own voice is powerful and keeping your individuality shine within a romantic relationship should be non-negotiable.

Should you and your partner have the same core values? I believe so. But that doesn’t mean that I think your voices should be interchangeable. It’s important to find your ownvoice within your relationship and rekindle with it if you’re feeling lost or swayed one way or another. You are your own person before you are someone else’s and with that comes being able to bring your own ideas, opinions and values to the forefront of the table. 

Tap into your own goals

Here’s a wild idea, spend time apart from your other half to focus on your goals. Your partner can support your hustle without being tied to your hip. For instance, I’m not Robby’s shadow while he’s at the field and I sure as heck don’t expect him to tag along with me to a coffee shop so he can breathe down my neck while I’m writing all day. In all honesty, I look forward to my time away to crawl into my own creative bubble and bang out my work. Can you still share and discuss your dreams, ideas and visions with each other? OF COURSE YOU CAN. In fact, you should. Once you both have checked your to do list off for the day, meet in the kitchen to cook a yummy dinner and then curl up on the couch together. The key to all of this is balance so sit on the seesaw and figure out the balance in your relationship. 

Originally published on The Millennial Miss.

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