Valuable Time Apart

Dear Dr. Laurie:

My boyfriend needs to "take space" right after we have an extended period of closeness. After a great weekend he needs a day or two to go home and be separate. Do you think he has an intimacy issue? - Carolina in Petaluma

Dear Carolina: Take the focus off pathologizing your boyfriend and put it on taking care of yourself. People require time apart for many reasons. First of all, time apart is natural. A human who can spend time by himself/herself has a strength that is important for any relationship.

Each person develops his or her own relationship to self and spirit and a healthy relationship grows out of this. How can you utilize your time apart to nurture yourself? Learn to answer this question (through life not just through words) and you will feel better loved. We must learn to love ourselves to be happy. If you take this time to learn to love yourself and find that your needs for togetherness and his differ drastically than you aren't a suited match. If you find that the time you spend together is of a good quality, he is loyal to you, and your different time desires can lead to mutual compromise, there's no problem. If the latter is the case, view his style as the universe knocking on your door with an invitation for you to become more solid within yourself. The universe has sent you a personal messenger. Rejoice.

Take the challenge because it is a gift! Second of all, the way of life is to come together and move apart. The breath goes into the body and the breath goes out of the body. The waves touch the sand and the waves roll off the sand. We cannot be together nor can we be separate all of the time. This universe is the universe of duality in which oneness as well as separateness are experienced. Learn to celebrate both. Your security will grow out of such an ability. Last but not least, your time apart will give you time to fantasize, miss, imagine, remember, appreciate, desire and realize the value of your time together.

A healthy in- the- present-now relationship is fed by the fantasy and imagination we foster when apart. Utilize some of your separate time to appreciate your relationship and you will become more attuned to each other in the non verbal realms. I hope it works out for you.

- Sincerely,
Dr. Laurie Moore

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