When you meet someone and fall head over heels in love, it’s natural that you want to be together every second of the day. However, the longer your relationship lasts, the more you begin to realize that’s unsustainable. So, how much time apart is healthy in a relationship? As it turns out, the 70/30 rule in relationships seems to be the answer.
What is the 70/30 rule in relationships?
The 70/30 rule is pretty simple: It states that people in relationships should spend 70% of their time together and 30% apart. According to psychologists, this is the perfect ratio to assure a healthy, happy relationship. The idea is that you spend a good portion of quality time together as well as time doing more mundane things like going grocery shopping and cooking together. However, you still get a nice chunk of time to yourself to hang with your own friends, pursue your passions, or even just practice self-care.
Your partner gets 70% of your free time, of course, since you need substantial time together to nurture your connection. If you’ve ever been with someone but felt like you were living entirely separate lives, you know all too well what a recipe for disaster that can be. However, it’s just as unhealthy to be together 24/7 to the point that you basically meld into the same person. A healthy balance is key.
How can following this rule keep your relationship strong?
- It helps you grow as a person. You can’t evolve as a person if your head’s so far up your partner’s ass that you can’t see the light of day. Spending time apart can give both of you vital space to pursue your individual interests, hobbies, and goals. As a result, you’ll actually grow and become a better version of yourself, which in turn benefits your relationship. It’s basically science. (It totally is!)
- Your communication will be so much better. It might seem charming that you spend so much time with your partner that you can basically finish each other’s sentences. The ability to “get” each other without having to say a word is cool and all, but your actual communication can suffer if you become too reliant on that. When you’re around other people, you realize the importance of using your damn words sometimes. As a result, you might be more inclined to have proper conversations with your S.O.
- You appreciate your partner so much more. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, as they say. Following the 70/30 relationship rule actually gives you a chance to miss them sometimes. When you never leave each other’s presence, it’s easy to start taking it for granted. At least when you do other things sometimes, you’re actually excited to spend time with them.
- You have time to get your head screwed on. Taking a break can provide time for partners to reflect on their relationship and what they want from it. This isn’t just useful when you’re in a fight. And no, reassessing from time to time doesn’t mean you love your partner any less. We all need time to reflect and gather our thoughts. You can’t do that if you never leave your partner’s side.
- There’s a lot less tension and conflict. Sometimes spending too much time together can be a bad thing. You start getting annoyed at every little thing they do and end up bickering because you’re just not getting any time away from them. It’s natural! Taking a break can give you both time to decompress and reset, meaning you’ll be way less touchy when you’re back together again.
- You trust each other more. This is one of the biggest benefits of following the 70/30 rule. It’s easy to say you trust your partner if you’re watching what they do every second of the day. Spending time doing other things or hanging out with other people tests and builds trust. You come to see that they still have your best interests at heart even when you’re not together physically.
- It can seriously rekindle the passion. Look, you’re not wrong for feeling less than enthused about having sex with your partner when you’re kinda sick of the sight of them. Yes, you’re still attracted to them and they give you great orgasms. However, the passion just isn’t there. Thankfully, there’s often an easy way to bring it back: Leave each other the hell alone for a little while!
- It brings much more balance to the relationship. You were a complete human being before you met your partner and you should still be one now. If you’re not, that’s a problem. By continuing to do the things you loved doing when you were single even while coupled up, you ensure the equilibrium of your relationship. That will make your connection way more stable.
- You’ll have more empathy for your partner. This is probably a bit of an unexpected side effect of the 70/30 relationship rule. However, it still stands. Spending time apart can help you understand each other’s perspectives and feelings better. When you’re together again, you suddenly realize you feel more empathetic and understanding towards them. This can only help your relationship.
- You get way better at problem-solving. Sometimes the solution to an issue is staring at you right in the face. You just can’t see it because your partner is also staring at you. Time apart can give both of you space to reflect on your relationship and work through any issues going on. Then, you can talk about it and share what you’ve come up with. You never know, you might suddenly have the key to solving the problem!