We all know a one couple that seems to do everything together. You know the one. They share every leisure activity, and rarely if ever, does one partner make plans that don’t involve the other. Maybe you see this in your best friend’s relationship, maybe in a relative’s relationship, or maybe in your own!
Maintaining a sense of emotional closeness with your partner is important; it is one of the major pillars of a healthy intimate relationship. That said, you can have too much of a good thing.
Dr. David Olson’s Circumplex Model research demonstrates that a healthy relationship requires a balance of togetherness and separateness. Closeness is important, but so is maintaining your own sense of identity and independence.
Here are some tips for achieving an appropriate balance between “I” and “We”:
- Talk about it: In a previous blog post, we talked about the importance of assertive communication. If you or your partner are feeling unbalanced in terms of your time spent together and apart, talk to each other about how you feel and what kinds of adjustments you’d like to try to make.
Know that spending time apart does not mean you are decreasing the overall closeness in your relationship.
When a strong emotional connection already exists, you and your partner are able to pursue your own separate interests and endeavours to help each of you grow individually, while still feeling supported by your partner and confident in your relationship.
PREPARE/ENRICH is a customised online assessment tool that identifies each couples unique strength and growth areas. Based on their assessment results, a facilitator provides feedback sessions, helping couples to discuss and understand their results while teaching them proven relationship skills.