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Coming up for air in a suffocating relationship

Coming up for air in a suffocating relationship

Obviously, when you begin a new relationship with someone, you want – and need – to spend time with them. Bonding is essential. But we’ve all seen that “new couple zeal” that borders on obsession with the other person.

Studies have shown spending being attached at the hip can drive a wedge between couples. In some cases a clingy partner can cause the other partner to stray.

Couples who spend an abundance of time together settle into the dreaded routine quickly. Can it be that the exact process that brought two people together can ultimately be the demise of the relationship? It begs the question: How much time together, keeps us together?


A healthy relationship allows two people to co-exist independently. If your cell phone is functioning like a  girlfriend walkie-talkie then it’s probably a good idea to start reinstating some time spent apart.

Heads up fellas: when women sense a change in the relationship we get curious. If you have a sensitive lady, she might interpret this change as a indication of a relationship problem. Before I offer some tips for getting some time apart without sounding a false relationship alarm let me offer a brief disclaimer.

Do not ask for time apart if:

1. If you have been caught cheating
2. If you have a tendency to lie and your significant other doubles as a detective
3. If you have a significant other has specifically asked to spend MORE time together

If none of these have happened, then you can freely try any of the following tactics:

1. Have a cool girl who has a life of her own : An aquaintence of mine once said his idea of the ultimate woman was someone who he could go to a party with, separate upon arrival, make their respective ways through the guests on their own, high five when they pass each other and then leave together at the end of the night. A girl that is comfortable on her own wants a man who can do the same. Bravo.

2. Have Integrity : Do what you say you are going to do, call when you say you are going to call, and go where you say you are going. Don’t accidentally end up at a strip club. That’s beyond shady.

3. Ask in advance: Giving your girl a heads up to your plans allows her to schedule something for herself while you are at your poker game. Scheduling time apart at the same time is a great way to maintain your own lives outside of a relationship.

4. Flip it: If your lady is clingy, encourage her to do the things she loves to do on her own. “Just because I hate Opera doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get to enjoy it. Why don’t you go with your friends?”

5. Chose your time away and your activity wisely: If you know she wants to see a specific movie or go to certain restaurant, don’t go without her. If you have been away on business all week, don’t schedule a boys’ night for the minute you return. Doing so looks like blatant exclusion.

6. Check in: Even if she hasn’t asked you to do so, a simple test or call builds trust and lets her know you are thinking of her.

7.  Make the time you spend together better: make plans, do interesting activities together,  turn off your phone cell phone and be present.

If in doing so, any of these has sparked that look of suspicious in her eye (you know that look), maybe it is best to discuss why time apart seems threatening or dangerous to her.

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