Jeff noticed that his wife Cathy had been testy all week. Besides looking weary and overwhelmed, she had picked arguments with him over flimsy matters. Jeff smiled to himself because he knew how to relieve her misery. All she needed was some quality time away from him.
Jeff and Cathy both worked from home and spent hours on end holed up in the house. Jeff noticed that whenever Cathy went to the spa or linked up with her girlfriends, she came back home with a spring in her step and renewed zest. Couples often assume that they're supposed to spend every waking minute together, especially after marriage. Before long, they may start bumping heads with each other and ferreting around for some liberty and room for self-expression.
Whether you are married or dating, spending some alone time from your significant other should rank high in your priorities. Among other things, it helps foster your personal development as an individual, which is critical to the health of your relationship. Some other benefits might include the following.
Simply put, self-care is tending to yourself, ensuring that you remain in shipshape both physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Each of us has unique self-care practices that enable us to recharge, relax, recuperate, and feel restored. It could be reading a book, meditating, journaling, soaking in a bubble bath, taking a walk, going for a run, listening to music, taking a power nap, or many more activities.
It's important to crawl away from your partner every so often and indulge in activities that perk you up. Jesus often withdrew into solitary places to pray (Luke 5:16, Matthew 14:23). His solitary time with his father in prayer was critical to his effectiveness in ministry. We also see him urging his disciples to take time off and recuperate after spending themselves in ministry.
“The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” Mark 6:30-31, NIV).
Our bodies are the temples of the Holy Spirit and we should glorify God in them (1 Corinthians 6: 19-20). Whether dating or married, each of us needs some sacred time to recharge our batteries so that we can bring the best version of ourselves to those we love and ultimately glorify God in our relationships.
Perhaps you enjoy hiking in the mountains and surmounting rugged terrain. It perks up your mood, relieves your anxiety, and helps you clear your head. Perhaps your partner, on the other hand, loathes the physical exertion involved in your favorite sport. As such, they do not have to tag along in your hiking escapades. You can hurtle away without them and still have the time of your life.
Marriage or dating doesn't mean that couples should merge all their interests. God in his divine wisdom has bestowed on each of us different gifts, talents, and interests. He expects us to be good stewards of his grace and make full use of them (1 Peter 4:10). Although it's important to have and pursue some shared interests, each partner needs some sacred solitary time to revel in their interests. This helps them build a healthy sense of self.
No one should toss away their identity after entering into a relationship or getting hitched. Couples who spend every waking moment together run the risk of getting enmeshed. According to PsychCentral, enmeshment happens when one gets overly connected to their significant other and gets fully absorbed in meeting their needs. This makes them lose touch with their own needs, goals, passions, and feelings.
The scriptures teach us that in marriage, a man is joined to his wife and they become one flesh (Ephesians 5:31). This however does not imply that each partner should ditch their interests and pursue joint interests with their spouse. God uniquely created each of us and expects us to be the best version of ourselves. Partners should master the art of maintaining their individuality while growing together as a couple.
Besides, being the best version of yourself is one of the best gifts you can offer your spouse. After all, that's the person they fell in love with in the first place. Spending time away from your partner and indulging in activities that enliven you will not only gratify you but also help preserve your authenticity and autonomy.
Can you think of a time when your spouse was away for a week, a month, or much longer? How was your reunion when they got back home? We bet you felt like you were meeting them for the first time all over again. Perhaps your palms became a little sweaty and your cheeks flushed. Their absence made your heart grow a little fonder. Did you know that spending time away from your spouse or significant other is a brilliant way of sprinkling some sizzle into your relationship?
Counseling centers note that couples who spend every waking moment together eventually start resenting each other. The antidote to this is ensuring that each partner carves out some alone time. Besides, each of you needs time to nurture other friendships and relationships because your partner cannot meet all your emotional needs.
What's more, when you finally reconnect with your partner, you gain a whole new appreciation of them. You tend to see them with a fresh set of eyes and feel more enthralled by them.
We are constantly bombarded with information overload and we barely have time to listen to our thoughts without distraction. Enter alone time. When we step away from the noise and loosen up, we are able to separate the wheat from the chaff in all that comes at us. We gain clarity without having people chiming in with their opinions. We are also able to dream, make plans, and count our blessings.
Alone time is a critical aspect of a healthy relationship. Granted, some people need more alone time than others. Introverts will, for instance, need to retreat more than extroverts. It's important to communicate your solitary time needs respectfully to your partner so that they don't misinterpret your intentions.
Choose to bless your relationship by taking time away to refresh your body, mind, and spirit.