Monthly Archives: October 2013
You go to your partner with a big smile, wanting to say Hi after a long day apart. But what does he do? Does he put down everything and turn his full attention to you and give you a huge hug and a smile? Noooo, he keeps his head in his *&%$*#@ phone and doesn’t even have time for you!
That’s when you want to say, “STOP IT! Can’t you just get it!”
We just went to this great mediation certification class with the CRC in Nevada City. As an example of … er … extremely simple conflict resolution, they showed us Bob Newhart’s therapist skit (go watch it, it’s hilarious).
As ridiculously funny and exaggerated as his therapist is, his “Stop it!” solution is basically what most of us try to do with our partner, friends, or ex’s. When we go to them expecting to be met a certain way, say with hugs and kisses, and they don’t do that, perhaps even repeatedly, we just want them to stop it. Of course, we say it less directly than that, maybe like, “Why can’t you just pay attention to me? You’re always on that stupid phone, like I’m air or something!”
If you didn’t yet, watch our video above for a different solution.
OK, now let’s hear from you. What are your examples? Leave a comment! Thanks.
Should we be together or take space?
“I want to be closer, have more quality time!”
“I need some space, take some time for myself”
Sound familiar from your relationship (current or past)? Sooner or later, we all run into this issue that one of us wants more closeness, and the other one more space on their own. Now what?
This issue actually ends up producing significant levels of tension and stress between you. Because if you’re the one who wants more closeness, it’s pretty scary that your partner is pulling away to take personal space. It’s right up there with him not wanting to be with you, and it’s pretty easy to feel abandoned, right?
And if you’re the one who wants more personal space and time to do your own stuff, it feels pretty stifling and suffocating when your partner is pulling for more time together, more closeness, more “couch time” together. Yes?
The fear and suffocation that comes from this “close-or-apart” issue is largely because we just don’t realize the true nature of relationship. Which is that your relationship has a breath! Just like the tide ebbs and flows, the moon wanes and waxes, the heart expands and contracts, so does your relationship.
The breath of your relationship is not in and out, its close, apart, close, apart, close, apart. If you freak out over the rhythm of close, apart, close, apart, you’ll likely try to hold on to the little bits of closeness or time apart that you can get (depending on your preference).
But in doing so, you strangle the relationship, so it can’t breathe. There’s always a way you can find a dynamic balance that satisfies both of you. But the first step is to realize that your relationship needs to breathe, and that the balance is not a fixed point you need to hang on to, but a moving target.
Tell us in the comments below how this shows up in your relationship!