“If only we could get away from this rat-race for a while, our relationship would be better.”
If you have ever thought that would help your relationship, then you are quite right. Spending quality time alone with your partner can be one of the biggest gifts you can give each other and your relationship. It doesn’t matter whether it is a weekend getaway at a nearby Bed & Breakfast, or an adventure to somewhere you have never been. What does matter is doing something with the goal of enjoying each other and reconnecting.
One of the greatest needs of all couples is to have focused time together. Yet, so many of us go for years without ever getting away for a day or weekend together—away from the children and from our normal worries and responsibilities.
With all of the daily deadlines and demands on our time, it is hard to make room in our schedules for meaningful communication with our partner. Fitting in conversations about anything other than the kids or tomorrow’s schedule just does not happen often enough. Slowly we lose touch with what is really going on with each other, and it’s easy to lose focus on what we need from each other. That’s how couples drift apart.
No matter how busy we are, we need some alone time—no friends and no kids. We just have to make it a priority.
The only way to truly relax, rejuvenate and focus on each other is to completely unplug from work—your phone, computer, all of it. If you are half in and half out, you cut into your time together and lose the benefit of the time away. One of the benefits of a weekend getaway over a longer vacation is that you won’t go back to a huge pile of stuff that accumulated while you were away.
The hubbub of our homes and our lives, and even the noise of our minds and hearts, makes having important conversations difficult. There just isn’t time or even energy to do it. When is the last time you had a conversation about anything other than the details of the day or logistics of tomorrow?
Quiet meals and relaxing days on a weekend getaway open opportunities to talk about the bigger picture of your life and the deeper things that are going for each of you as individuals. All of us change every day as a result of the things we experience. These away-times give you the opportunity to catch up with who your mate is today. When couples don’t do that, they often wake up one day and realize that they don’t even know each other anymore.
Reconnecting with someone you love is stimulating. Even making the effort to plan a weekend is a way of expressing love for each other. Uninterrupted time together is a great way to refocus on each other relationally, emotionally, and physically.
Check in on the little things you do, or could do, for each other that show you really care. Periodically, every couple should reexamine questions like:
• What things do I do for you that show that you really matter to me?
• In what ways do you feel taken for granted?
• What could I do differently that would show you that I love you?
And after you ask questions like this—listen.
This is not the time to get defensive or to explain why you do or don't do something. This is the time to hear your lover and to give him or her permission to share openly in a safe environment. There will always be things you can do differently. If you look at them as opportunities to continuously improve your relationship, you’ll be surprised at how much closer you will feel.
We all have irritations and problems and stress. We deal with meeting tight deadlines, making important decisions, or managing the complexities of household demands—and it all takes its toll on our health and our relationships. Even short getaways can break the stress cycle. Just escaping our normal routines can help you gain perspective on your problems.
Actually, you probably can’t afford not to do it. It doesn’t have to be an expensive escape. Even when money is tight, there is a way to do it if you really want to. If you don’t think your relationship is worth investing in, you should be asking yourself why you are in it at all.
The truth is if you make the time to get away from it all, you will likely end up with better results at work and at home when you get back.
Unwinding and de-stressing is key to combating burnout in your work and at home. It frees you to step back, clear your mind, take a deep breath, and look at things from a renewed perspective. You’ll come back energized and refreshed.
The kids will survive without you for a few days, and it may give your parents or their favorite aunt some precious time alone with them. If you’re telling yourself that you really shouldn’t be spending the money, shuffle your priorities to pay for it. Is there really anything that is more important than renewing and energizing your relationship?
A change in scenery and pace creates the opportunity to change your perspective. Getting out of your routine shakes things up and helps you rediscover and rejuvenate yourself and your relationship. This state of mind refuels your creative juices, your devotion to each other, and those romantic feelings.
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