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How Much Time Should a Couple Spend Together?

Oct 7, 2011 at 6:00 PM Chime in now

couple in bed

Masterfile

By ADRIANA ERMTER

One time in Las Vegas I encountered a young hipster couple wearing matching ‘I’m His’ and ‘I’m Hers’ t-shirts. There were no TV cameras following them, so they weren’t being Punk’d. Their fashion statement was voluntary and screamed: we love being together. And though matching t-shirts isn’t my idea of love, it did make me question the notion of ‘togetherness’ and whether my hubby and I had enough of it. When it comes to coupledom how much time (and effort) is the right amount?

It all depends on the kind of people you are, says Hina Khan, a Toronto-based psychotherapist. “Some couples enjoy spending much of their free time together, for others that would be the end of the relationship.” One thing is certain: you need to talk about and negotiate your time. And while Khan says that there are no hard and fast rules to be followed, here are four great ways to inspire togetherness (minus the matching outfits).   
 
Determine Your Priorities
“For many, family functions and work events are the times when you expect your partner to be at your side,” says Khan. Once you determine when you want to fly solo and when you need your wingman you’ll be able to better accommodate each other’s calendars.
 
Create a Shared Space
“Creating an atmosphere in your home, that reflects the both of you,” is key to wanting to spend time together, says Khan. If your home showcases your stuff and his stuff equally, chances are you’ll both want to hang out together more often.  
 
Carve Out Alone Time
Just because you’re in a relationship doesn’t mean that every waking moment must be spent as a unit. You’ll burn out. “You can still have a sense of being together without being on top of each other,” explains Khan. “While you are reading in bed maybe he’s watching a television show.” Being apart in your own home is healthy and helps you better appreciate and enjoy your couple time.
 
Plan a Date Night
Set aside “a night that’s just for the two of you,” recommends Khan. Try to schedule the same night each week for consistency and make sure to, “leave the Blackberry, iPhone or any other tech toy at home.”

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