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June 17, 2019

How to Balance Spending Time Together in Your Relationship

Do you and your partner have different expectations for how much time you spend together? Does one of you think you should spend more time together while the other wants more alone time?

There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to how much time you should spend with your significant other because every couple is different. What works for one couple might not work for another.

When spending time together, it’s important to find a perfect time balance that is going to benefit your specific relationship.

While our online couple’s therapy is scientifically proven to benefit relationships, these tips can first provide you with a solid foundation for time spent together in your relationship.

For the Partner Who Wants More “Us” Time

Do you resent the time your partner wants to spend by themselves because you think it shows that your relationship is not important to them?

This is a valid feeling, and you’re not the only person who feels like this. The more your partner wants alone time, the more you feel uncared for.

You may push for more time together, which may make your partner pull away. Or, you may withdraw from the relationship to protect yourself.

Sometimes it can feel like no matter what you do, you can’t win. However, there are some ways that you can fix this problem in your relationship.

1. Reveal Your Hidden Emotions

You may feel hurt that your partner wants to spend time alone, and it is important to express how you feel. When you communicate this, try not to demand that your partner changes. Instead, try to be vulnerable and share with your partner exactly why it is important to you that you share more time together.

Maybe hidden emotions are playing a role or maybe natural differences are intensifying the problem. Whatever it may be, it is important to discuss what you are feeling.

2. Seek Out Your Partner’s Hidden Emotions

There’s a big difference between your partner not wanting to be with you and your partner wanting to do an activity that doesn’t involve both of you. It is easy to assume that time apart is evidence that your partner doesn’t care about you.

However, that might not be the problem at all, and you won’t know until you communicate. So, talk about it with your partner!

3. Grow Your Social Group

No one can be everything to anyone. In other words, it’s healthy to have more than one person you can open up to, depend on, and have fun with. So, if your partner is the only person who fills those needs for you, we’d recommend you try to expand your social group.

That way, if your partner needs to enjoy their alone time, you can also go enjoy your time apart with a new social group. This will create a balance between your social life and your relationship, which is necessary for romantic relationships.

4. Respect Your Partner’s Differences

People often differ on how much time they want to spend alone or with other people. If your partner needs time alone, the most likely explanation is that it helps your partner recharge their batteries.

By giving your partner their alone time, they will be more refreshed and more likely to be present the next time you spend time together. For your partner, there may be a lot of truth in the saying “absence makes the heart grow fonder”.

While you may not feel the same, it is important to recognize that no two people are exactly the same. It is also important to realize that alone time does not mean your partner doesn’t want to be around you, but that they just don’t want to be around anyone.

5. Make the Most of Time Spent Together

When you’re together, try not to worry about when it will end. Be present in the moment and recognize enjoying time spent with your partner. Your partner will appreciate how relaxing your time spent together is, which might increase the likelihood of it happening more often!

For the Partner Who Wants More “Me” Time

Do you feel that you need to take time for yourself or else you may begin to resent your partner? Do you feel that the more your partner pushes you to spend time together, the more resentful you feel?

These are emotions are not unheard of in relationships. A common reaction to these emotions may be to just simply withdraw yourself from the situation to avoid conflict.

However, that might not be the best way to handle this problem in your relationship. Instead, try implementing some of these tips to help you handle how much time you spend with your partner.

1. A Deep Understanding

Remember your deep understanding, natural differences, emotions, external stress, and communication patterns play a role in your relationship. For example, if your partner is wanting more time together, their hidden emotions may pop up when you don’t make that time.

Try to put yourself in your partner’s shoes and recognize where their hurt feelings are coming from. Validate your partner by communicating that you appreciate how much the relationship means to them.

2. Compromise

You may need time for yourself to recharge your batteries, but you should also prioritize time together with your partner. Identify instances during the week when you and your partner can spend uninterrupted time together.

It isn’t always about what you do when you spend time with your partner. The important part is that you are making an effort to spend time with your partner. You could even consider involving your partner in some of the activities you currently do by yourself or with your friends. Just taking that initiative to include them in your life can make all of the difference.

3. Be Specific About Your Needs

It is completely understandable if you want to take time to yourself. However, when you do take time for yourself, make sure to communicate why you need time so your partner understands it is not because of relationship problems.

You may say something such as, “I am feeling stressed or overwhelmed and a few hours by myself will make me feel better so that I can be better when we spend time together next.”

Again, taking that initiative to show that you are putting in effort can make all of the difference.

4. Be Specific About Your Time Together

It’s important not only to spend more time with your partner, but also to be on the same page about how you spend your time. If one of you thinks an activity counts as time spent together while the other one does not, then the lack of communication could be damaging to your time together.

You and your partner don’t have to have the same exact interests as each other. In fact, differences in opinion and free time choices are often encouraged in order to diversify your relationship. Instead of trying to find something that both of you want to do, take turns letting each other choose the date, movie, or restaurant.

Without the added fighting, you’ll each be able to better enjoy your time together.

Balancing Spending Time Together

Remember that it’s important to consider your partner’s view and why they feel strongly about the issue. Also, start by making your own changes first as this will increase the likelihood that your partner will also make changes.

When spending time together, make sure it is quality time. The more you increase the quality of the time spent together, the more your relationship will grow, even if the amount of time spent together is not as frequent as one of you may like. Let your partner know how much you appreciate the time spent together.

If you feel that your relationship might need more work, contact us today so we can help your relationship be the best that it can be.

Grant Funding

Funding for these programs was provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Grant Number 90FM0063

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