I travel a lot. So does my husband. That means we often spend extended periods of time away from each other. Not every couple likes this and yet I have heard some couples say that regular time away is part of what keeps their relationship happy. I say that either can work as long as you know one thing: What are you missing?
What You Are Missing
Now, I don’t mean that we should be spending our relationship pondering time thinking about all the things we don’t have or wishing for something else; quite the opposite. What helps many couples who are faced with enduring a long period of time away from each other is centered more along the lines of understanding the value of their relationship and each other so they know what they are missing when they are apart, without having the time and space tear them apart.
I have found both from personal experience and from countless conversations with other couples, that the couples who focus more on what they have, love and appreciate about their partner fare better during an extended absence than those couples who take the attitude of “needing a break” from each other in order to make the separation easier.
How to Cope
So, if you are facing times apart that you are dreading, or if you are looking forward to times apart (I won’t judge you, it’s okay to admit this to yourself if it is happening), then perhaps you may want to get started today in shifting your perspective a bit, figuring out what you are missing when you’re apart. Here’s how:
- Write down 10 things that you like about your partner (could be anything).
- Write down 5 things that your partner does that makes your life easier (actions).
- Write down 5 ways that your partner makes you feel special (actions or words).
- Write down your favorite 5 ways to spend time with your partner.
- Write down your favorite 3 most recent memories you have with your partner.
- Write down what attracted you to your partner in the beginning.
- Now, share these things with your partner (invite them to play along and write theirs down too).
Here are a few other ideas too:
- Go through your phone and find your favorite pictures of you and your partner together. Don’t have any pictures like this? TAKE ONE…or two…or just go crazy and see how many you can get today.
- Go through your favorite things and note which ones your partner gave you or how your partner is shared in the memory or experience of this “thing”
- Hug your partner. Longer. No, don’t let go yet. 3 seconds doesn’t count. Make sure you are hugging your partner for at least 20 full seconds every day (in one hug please). Science has shown that it takes a 20 second hug and the love endorphins start to kick in. Don’t just put your arms around them – feel them. Feel their energy, their life force, feel their arms around you too. Smell them. Breathe them in. Lock this into your memory. Every day.
There. Do you see how much you have to appreciate and love about this amazing person who is your partner? Oh my gosh, there is so much to miss when we are apart; and what a gift it is to have someone worth missing! Knowing what you are missing brings a kind of appreciation and positive focus that helps to put your time apart into a space of appreciating each other instead of needing a break from the more negative thoughts you may have been harboring.
Last piece of advice before you have to part…now that you are full of love for your partner, nurture that love while you are apart by giving it to yourself. Expressing love grows more love…so give that love back to yourself – isn’t that what your partner would want you to do?