Tip #2: Absence makes the heart grow fonder

Secrets to a Long Love Story

I bet you’re thinking cliché right? I know, I know, but the saying must have come from somewhere. Hubby and I have been together for 15 (plus) years and I sometimes wonder whether we’d still be together if we didn’t manage a few breaks from each other. I’m not necessarily talking months and months apart across continents (although we did that too), but more so short stints – a long weekend here, a couple of weeks there.

Fortunately or unfortunately my hubby is a hobby fiend – fishing, hunting, dirt bikes – you name it and he’s probably been into it at some point. And again fortunately or unfortunately, all of these hobbies seemed to be best executed on boys’ trips away (and require he spend a bomb on accessories). Sometimes I’d be the one to go away – girls’ trip, family trip back to Thailand, work trip.

Time-Alone-QuoteThese breaks were great, as I love a bit of ‘me’ time – a little space every so often to re-evaluate, relax and reorganise my home and my mind. Self-examination is much easier to do without someone else there, and generally you need more than one or two days to do it. I’d also put in some extra family time, to be a good sister to my brother and a good daughter to my mother. Or sometimes I’d use the time to catch up with friends – I’d go out for a large one, come home completely drunk, take ages to get in the front door making as much noise as possible, then cook myself some 2 minute noodles and pass out on the couch (noodles uneaten), all without getting into any trouble for waking hubby up!

Whatever happened during our time apart, the little break would allow us time to miss the other and all those lovely things that come with them -the skin contact, the conversation, that other person to share some laughs with. It helps you forget (just a little) about those annoying habits your partner has too, so serves to extend those gaps between one tiff and the next. It gives you an opportunity to experience things without them, build some stories to tell, and best of all it allows you to reunite with them and have all those great emotions flood back.

But there is an unexpected bonus of a mini-break: it helps you remember how to be you, an individual, rather than one half of a couple. And that the world doesn’t fall apart if you’re by yourself.

I think the great poet Kahlil Gibran sums it all up beautifully in his passages from “The Prophet

But let there be space in your togetherness,
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.
Love one another, but make not a bond of love:
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Fill each other’s cup but drink not from the same cup.
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf.
Sing and dance together and be Joyous, but let each one of you be alone.
Even as the strings of the lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.
Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together, yet not too near together
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.

5 thoughts on “Tip #2: Absence makes the heart grow fonder

  1. Completely agree..The most important factor for eternal success of relationships

    • Thanks for reading and glad you agree. I think it’s important to note that longevity in relationships require lots of work that goes beyond romance. And that the individual is as important, if not more so, as the couple.

  2. It’s an interesting issue. I come up for 40 years of marraige next March. It seems amazing and almost impossible. Cerrtainly there are periods of surviving rather than thriving. Hey, we’re only human. But the notion of personal space is SO important, yet you can get into serious trouble just talking about it! But I think you touch onn one of the great truths – we ALL need some personal space, however we may find it, even if that’s just retreating into our own heads. The equally big issue is that we all need time for reflection but that is becoming ever rarer in this Age of Distraction.

    • Wow! 40 years is fantastic. I’ll try and remember to congratulate you next March 🙂

      I’m finding this blogging business really helps with the reflection – writing helps me structure my thoughts in a more logical and rational way.

      Thanks for commenting!

  3. It’s working! You write well. Enjoy your day, mate. D.

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