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The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Absence makes the heart grow fonder

Photo credit: Bobbie Rae Jones

Being in a new relationship is awesome, but I have a bad habit of wanting to spend too much time with my partner. As Debby Herbenick from Psychology Today says, “I like togetherness – most people do, especially in the beginning of a relationship because it gives you both a chance to get to know one another (and, let’s face it, to have sex).”

Too much togetherness can cause a relationship to fizzle out and dampen a person’s sex drive.

In a relationship it is great to have common interests but doing things apart can make for a stronger partnership.

Having a relationship where both partners push each other outside their comfort zone is fantastic even if it’s something they do apart from one another. This can build character in each individual and strengthen the bond between partners.

There are many ways a relationship can suffer from spending too much time together.

  • A lack of things to talk about. If a couple is always together then they will have less things to share with one another.
  • Lowered sex drive can be another side effect of a lack of time apart. This can be due to a loss of novelty of being with each other.
  • The desire to spend time together could also be one-sided and cause the person to appear needy and insecure in the eyes of their partner.
  • Losing sight of personal goals. I have lost sight of my goals before in a relationship, and this can cause me to resent time I spend with my partner.

There are some easy ways of stepping out of the togetherness slump.

  • Setting aside time to spend together. This is good to help ensure that both parties get other priorities taken care of such as homework, cleaning and so on.
  • Spending time with friends. Time with friends can help a person recharge. Many people, including myself, are guilty of slacking on my friendship duties when starting a new relationship. This is not good, because friendships feed a different part of the soul that a relationship can’t.
  • Separate interests or hobbies can build a person’s confidence and can help a person feel more self-assured in the relationship.
  • Time alone can be just as important as time with friends. This time can help a person discover what they want from their partner and from themselves. Alone time can also help to refocus on personal goals.

Enjoying the honeymoon period in a relationship is great, but it’s smart to set some boundaries to help guarantee being apart. “Absence makes the heart grow fonder” does have some truth to it and there’s a reason.

I like the honeymoon stage; the passion that builds can cause a couple to be unable to keep their hands off each other. Time apart is a way to keep that feeling and the relationship alive.

Joann Chevaillier can be reached at [email protected] or @jmc_8284 on Twitter.

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Joann Chevaillier, Staff Writer

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