Plus: why time spent apart is just as important as time spent together.
Is alternating time together and time apart good for couples? How about emotional highs and lows? Successful couples, with or without marriage, allow their relationship to breathe in and out. They separate and then come close again, and sometimes play loudly and sometimes softly, like an accordion. 5 Marriage Secrets From Happily Married (A Long Time!) Couples
While they are always attached emotionally, that is, caring about each other, sometimes these healthy-attachment couples will be physically in the same place, eating meals, raising children, and doing shared activities. Shared time refreshes their connection. At other times, however, they will be physically apart, each at separate work sites, enjoying separate friends or doing independent activities.
Alternation of separate and together time keeps relationships continually revitalized, much like breathing in and breathing out facilitates a steady flow of fresh air to your lungs.
Still, it's important to note that there are risks to in and out movement. Too much time apart can be like too much time holding your breath in between intakes of air; your relationship may suffer a collapse from insufficient togetherness. Too much together time also can overload the relationship. Finding a good balance of "I" and "We" time is essential. 6 Ways To Feel Secure As A Couple
How about ups and downs with emotional roller coasters of depression and/or explosions of anger? While some variability of emotions, like variations in the volume and mood of music, is normal, intense highs and lows pose serious risks to relationships. When one partner is depressed for a long period of time, the relationship is likely to become strained. If one or both is often angry, the anger can corrode their love.
Some couples say that they like the excitement of fighting, especially if it's followed by intense reconnection and love-making. For most though, fighting gradually builds walls between them, brick by brick, battle by battle, making them enemies instead of lovers. All couples have periodic upsets, and that's normal. The key is to handle disagreements with calm talking that results in mutual understanding of how to avoid similar problems in the future.
Escalation into high-pitched battles seldom resolves differences. It only causes war injuries. Better to get skills for communication in relationships when the issues are sensitive, and learn to exit the situation if there's too much heat.
The poet Robert Frost once wrote, "Some say the world will end in fire, some say ice." I say both have their dangers. Aim for a balance of togetherness with time apart so that too much distance doesn't cause your relationship to grow cold. Learn skills for interacting with consistently calm goodwill, lest your partnership becomes consumed by fire. 3 Reasons Why Every Couple Needs A Vacation
To keep your relationship safe from fire and from ice, do check out my relationships skills website. The first three days are free!
More couples advice from YourTango:
- 9 Things Super Happy Couples Talk About
- 8 Clever Relationship Hacks Happy Couples Use (And You Should Too)
- 6 Amazing Sex Toys Every Couple MUST Try