The LoveLife Blog: guidance on mindful, bodyful, soulful loving!

#94: Time Apart Can Be Erotic

Jacqueline Hellyer - Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Absence makes the heart grow fonder. It’s true. Think about how much more attractive your partner is when they’ve been away for a while. Maybe they’ve been to the gym and they come back alert and refreshed and with a healthy glow about them; or maybe they’ve been out catching up with friends and have come back glowing and full of tales to tell; maybe they’re studying at night school and come home elated and wanting to share their new knowledge.

When your partner has been apart from you, doing interesting things, they come back fresher, more vibrant and with a desirable energy. You can look at them and think to yourself: “Mmm, I like you”

So beforeplay is not just about being together. It’s also about building the “Mmm” factor through time apart.

So many women in particular tell me they wish their husband would get a life of his own, rather than depending on her for stimulation and entertainment, which is tiring and unarousing. If he gave her some space and went and did something that he enjoyed for his own sake, then she would find him appealing.

How much time apart you need will depend on you as individuals and as a couple. Some people thrive on large amounts of time apart, others prefer to spend as much time as possible together.

Of course it has to be two-way, you both need the freedom to be away doing things on your own. It’s not fair if one’s allowed to and the other isn’t, or alternatively, if one lets themselves have the space and the other doesn’t! Having said that, each of you might have different needs for space, so there will be negotiation.

Be careful about what you consider to be “space” though. If one of you works in a demanding job with long hours, they might well need space on top of that, whereas if you’re the one at home waiting for them, you might think they’ve had enough time without you and now it’s couple time - which just adds to the stress and pressure of the other.

You need to be in a good relationship to have quality time apart. You can’t be too “fused” as a couple, where you’ve lost the ability to self-validate. If having your partner away makes you feel jealous, and leads to stress and tension when they get home, that’s not going to lead to heightened desire. Or if you get resentful that they’re away having fun while you’re stuck at home or in a job you hate, then that won’t work either.

There could be good reason for feeling jealous or resentful if your partner has abused time apart in the past, in which case you need to work on trust. But often those negative feelings associated with your partner being away from you are due to low self-esteem and a fused relationship, a feeling that you can’t function on your own.

Like so many aspects of having a good relationship, it takes skill to balance the amount of time together and the time apart that you have. Like everything else, you can’t make assumptions, you have to actually speak with each other, then try it and see, and constantly review and discuss. It’s an ongoing process. When you do get the balance right, so that you have quality Beforeplay together, augmented by quality Beforeplay by being apart, then life will be good and the loving plentiful!


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