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Relationships are comprised of individuals – forging a perpetual tension between me and us. And while some easily gravitate toward times of togetherness, others are more comfortable with times of solitude. But, either way, we must learn this dance between me and us for our relationships to thrive.

Of course, relationships require us to place a high priority on spending time together and cultivating a meaningful and deep sense of our oneness. But this is not to the exclusion of our need for personal space or our otherwise “me-time.”

To be sure, many are selfish and neglect relational responsibilities in the name of self-care. At the same time, this abuse doesn’t negate the need to still have time apart.

Healthy relationships learn how to engage in this ongoing dance between me and us. And often we will take the lead in initiating one side of the dance more than the other.

For instance, we might always want to spend time with our wife, while she prefers to spend more time by herself. While our gift to the marriage is the steady pursuit of quality time together, her gift helps to provide enough breathing room in our dance and ensures we’re not making idols of each other or our marriage.

The wise approach is respecting these different gifts – neither demanding our way is the only way, nor giving up the things important to us and that ultimately bless our relationship. Instead, we learn how to humbly be influenced by each other.

At times, we lovingly give up our personal space to spend time with each other. While on the other hand, we intentionally create space for regular times of solitude without guilt as well.

Whatever it looks like, we’re prone to many misunderstandings and deep resentment when this dance is not honored.

Fight for your time together and your time apart. Relationships thrive when there’s a healthy respect for the dance between me and us.

Photo by Stavrialena Gontzou on Unsplash

Dr. Corey Carlisle

Licensed marriage and family therapist and certified sex therapist - providing Christian counseling and soul care to individuals and couples, with a special emphasis on developing the masculine soul. Suwanee, GA 30024

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