‘…the best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other’ ― Dalai Lama XIV
Relationships grow more loving and deepen when the individuals within the relationship are supported and encouraged to grow as individuals – to pursue some interests or passions outside of the relationship…
It’s been shown that relationships grow when the individuals within the relationship are supported and encouraged to grow…to become autonomous. So taking time out from the relationship… to grow and develop on a personal or individual level…is a very proactive and enlightening way to deepen and enrich your relationship.
Why is this so you may ask?
It’s been shown that couples who spend time apart pursuing new interests or a hobby that they’re passionate about have more connection and their relationship grows and develops as a result. The opportunity to pursue new interests or catch up with friends alone brings a sizzle to the relationship. A newness or freshness that’s enticing to one another.
And please don’t dismiss this idea saying there’s no time. Rather think of this time as being an investment in your relationship together – to deepen and strengthen it.
We all have 24 hours in the day – it’s how you use that time that’s important.
So MAKE time – just a few hours of ‘me time’ at least every week or so. Make a date to have a date with yourself.
‘Me Time’ Deepens ‘We Time’
And learn to feel comfortable with that…comfortable knowing that the ‘me time’ improves the ‘we time’.
All too often I see families commit to making time for their children’s activities – sports, music, dance, craft – while the precious ‘me’ and ‘we time’ falls through the rafters!
Remember… Your relationship is strengthened and deepened by the very fact that you’re supporting each other to discover yourselves as individuals – and to grow.
Being inseparable or not allowing your partner to pursue activities or individual interests on their own is NOT healthy for your relationship. In fact the opposite is true.
Knowing that you’re supported to pursue an interest or activity on your own elicits feelings of love. Knowing that you are being supported and encouraged to find and explore yourself and your interests.
You feel appreciated for who you are… And for whom you are becoming! Fully supported and appreciated.
So What Does ‘Me Time’ Look Like?
Opportunities for individual growth can take several forms. It may be time alone to take on a particular pursuit outside the home or it may be by taking some time in the home to follow something on your own.
This may be done alone or with a group of friends.
Perhaps you’ve always wanted to learn a new skill, pursue a particular interest or catch up with old friends- but this has slipped by in the busyness of life.
An Example from My Own Life
One of my early partners loved to go to the horse races – It was a trend for a while – my dating men who loved the races! Something I never did learn to appreciate.
In his university days, Colin discovered that he had a gift with numbers. He could mentally calculate complex numerical algorithms quickly and easily. This skill enabled him to become a well-regarded book maker’s clerk at the local weekend races. A talent which was well paid,in fact it enabled him to fund his university studies and living expenses.
He loved the mental challenge of working out the algorithms and complex maths that set the odds on bets as much as he appreciated the athleticism of the sport.
Having finished his university studies and gained a respectable career in finance his love for the sport did not diminish. The races were now as much about business as pleasure.
He had several clients who also enjoyed race days. So he liked to go off once a month for the whole day, catch up with his mates and compare notes on both the horses and current business affairs. He and his friends would lunch together, chat about the state of the economy and compete on their ability to pick the winners of the day. Some wives joined their husbands, most did not.
He knew that I supported his going…but that I was not in love with the idea of spending a whole day at the races – despite the wonderful food on offer…
I would attend if he really wanted me to or if it were appropriate for me to show for business reasons … but if not… I was happy for him to play on his own. And so was he.
The agreement was that I was advised ahead of time of the dates, so that no conflicting commitments were made. Cognizant of how important these days were to him I made sure that that time was kept free for him.
And I can tell you that in my commitment to support him and to give him time to pursue his love of racing I was well rewarded!
Each race day he would arrive home around 4pm – full of bounce. Beaming about the day! Full of stories and catch ups! He was as excited as any 8 year old!
And the following day he just wanted to please and pamper me!
What a win/win!
Freedom Reaps Rewards
The benefits…? By you giving your partner the freedom to pursue an interest on their own you are unconsciously giving them permission to get in touch with themselves… And when they do the same for you, you are both rewarded. You give one another a sense of freedom and support that very clearly echoes love and trust and care.
And isn’t that what we all want?
So if you don’t already do it – consider some activities or new interests that you can take up and pursue individually.
And if the idea of this is completely new to you – consider the rewards. You get time to do something of your own and to feel supported doing so…And your partner has the opportunity of seeing your delight – watching you blossom in a new area of your life together. That novelty alone brings new connections and interest!
And your partner has the same opportunity for individual growth and renewal and to feel your love and support…
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