Does Your Relationship Need a Day Off?
When you’re in a long-term relationship it can feel like the world doesn’t exist without your partner. You are joined at the hip, walking lock-armed through life. You get so used to being with them all the time and talking to them about everything that is going on in your life.
This type of time investment is common and often desirable for many couples. But there might be times when it becomes too much. Sometimes you need to take some time for yourself and take a “day off” for yourself.
How to tell if you need a “day off”
Is your partner annoying the crap out of you? Do you snap at them over little things? Do you feel rushed, out of place, or tired for no good reason? These are all signs that you are not paying attention to yourself.
Have you been noticing that you’re crabby, short-tempered, or just plain worn out? It might be time to take some time for yourself. It might not even be about your partner – just that you need some “you” time. (And, in turn, your partner might need some time.) In addition, if you let your frustration build over time too long, it will likely come out in some behavior towards your partner that isn’t helpful for your relationship. If you find yourself not asking for what you need and want and your partner indicates that you haven’t been communicating directly but acting out in passive aggressive fashion, then it might be time to take a break.
This is not about your partner’s attention to you: it is about you checking in and paying attention to your needs and wants. In order to have a strong relationship, you need to have a strong relationship with yourself.
Ask yourself, “Do I need to take a ‘personal day’ and reconnect with myself? If you ask yourself this question and come up with the answer “hell yes!” then read on to learn how you can maximize this time off to regroup, strengthen your relationship with yourself, and ultimately (although not the goal) will strengthen your relationship.
Take yourself on a date
“Me” time is all about quality, not necessarily quantity. You might be wondering if a day is enough to recharge and regroup. It certainly can be if you put your attention on yourself and things you enjoy.
How you treat yourself is an indication of your self-worth, so on this “me” date –really indulge. For example, think about something you really love to do (especially if it is something that your significant other doesn’t necessarily love as much as you), and plan to do that on your date. If you get any push back from your mind like “I don’t really need to do this” or “I don’t have time for this,” remind yourself that this is a priority.
It is important to express your creativity on this date. Don’t be too “logical” about planning it. Ask yourself what would be a date that would really make you feel good or knock your socks off. It doesn’t have to be expensive or jam-packed, it could be as simple as going to a movie in the middle of the day followed up by the spa or a massage.
The important thing is that you show yourself that you are willing to put yourself first.
How to encourage a day off for both of you
How you broach the subject of “taking a day off” with your partner is almost as important as planning it. A good way to bring it up is to keep it simple and non-accusatory. For example, instead of saying “you are driving me nuts- I need a day off!” (which can put them on the defensive), try saying something like “I would like to ask you something. I would really like to take a day to myself. Would Saturday the 15th be a good day for that?”
Keeping the discussion about schedule and strengthening the relationship is a great way to get your partner’s “buy in” to the idea. In addition, you can ask your partner if they would like a day off and if they would like to do the same day.
Consider a de-brief on the experience
If you have the buy-in of your partner, you can also offer up the idea that after the “me” dates, that you both come back together and schedule a date to discuss what you learned or how you enjoyed the experience. In this way, you can bond over the experience and even increase intimacy by truly listening to your partner. You may learn something you never knew about yourself and your significant other.
If this article has appealed to you, take a breath the next time you get frustrated with your partner, remember these ideas, and commit to taking that meaningful, self-loving “day off.”