It is said that attention is the currency of relationships, but we have to spend it wisely.
While clearly a relationship cannot work if we never spend time with that person, it’s similarly true that a relationship cannot work if we always need to spend time with that person.
Too much of any one person can make us possessive and clingy. We become co-dependent on that person to make us feel happy and whole.
When we don’t get to be around that person 24/7 – or when we don’t get our necessary “fix” of someone – we become easily depressed, frustrated, bored, or angry.
We become addicted toward these people whom we spend all of our time with. We crave them like a drug. And like a drug addict we begin to need higher and higher doses to keep ourselves happy and satisfied. But this cannot last.
Instead, there is a balance that we need to maintain in every relationship, even if it’s just to keep things fresh and interesting in our lives.
We can’t physically be with someone at all times. And even if we could, that wouldn’t necessarily be a good thing.
People need their space.
Everyone is an individual with his or her own values, interests, hobbies, and goals. When our relationships don’t respect this independence they become destructive and harmful.
Giving people space allows us to find ourselves without having our lives revolve around a single person.
Most people don’t want to be in a relationship where they are around the other person all of the time. And when they do, it’s usually a sign that they have low self-esteem or they don’t trust the other person to be doing things on their own.
They begin to feel that if the person isn’t spending enough time with them, then they must not be “good enough.” And their clinginess and possessiveness creates jealousy and insecurity.
Here are some warning signs that you are in a clingy relationship:
1. You think about the person a lot when you’re not with them.
2. You’re constantly calling/texting/instant-messaging the person throughout your day.
3. You spend almost all of your free time with them.
4. You become easily depressed or agitated when you aren’t with them.
5. You become jealous and insecure when they spend time with other people.
6. You can’t imagine yourself spending a day or week without them.
The truth is it’s healthy for both our own self and our relationships to spend time doing other things, seeing other people, or even just spending time alone.
We need this time away from people to remind ourselves the bigger picture in our lives, that there is more to us than just the people we hang out with.
And at the end of the day, giving people space actually makes us more connected to them. It gives us time to reflect and appreciate the people in our lives, so that we don’t just take them for granted.
There are a million and one ways we can spend our time differently and allow more space in our relationships. Some of these things include:
- Catching up with other friends and family.
- Reading a book, watching a movie, or listening to music.
- Starting a creative hobby like playing music, or painting, or writing.
- Going to the gym, exercising, or playing sports.
- Volunteering in your local community.
- Going on a week long vacation.
- Joining a club centered around an activity you enjoy doing.
- Taking time to meditate or pray.
How you spend your time is up to you. The point is you should choose activities that align with your interests and goals in life, especially activities that you wouldn’t be able to do with the people you normally hang out with.
Balance is a key component in all of life and it’s equally important in our relationships. Learning how to spend quality time away from people is just as important as learning how to spend quality time with people.
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