Absence really does make the heart grow fonder. Which may explain some of the domestic tension that’s coming from being with our spouses 24/7. We used to have to plan date nights to reconnect- should we now schedule time apart? Guest: Damona Hoffman.
Uh, we did not sign up for this. Did we? Yes, in sickness and in health, yada yada yada, but nowhere in our long-term commitment plans with our spouses was there any indication that we would spend months on end working from home and together 24/7.
Studies prove that absence really does make the heart grow fonder. The time apart makes us biologically motivated to mend that separation. Plus, a partner who's been traveling for a week might come back with some interesting stories. When you're already sharing every moment of every day, the sparkle in your relationship might be a little harder to come by.
Remember when we had to plan date nights? The best tip we've heard for getting through these times may be to flip that on its head: put a YOYO dinner on the calendar. You're On Your Own. Frozen lasagna or cereal or nothing. Doesn't that sound heavenly? It's okay to schedule a little separation right now, whenever and wherever that can happen.
We talk other quarantine love lessons with our guest Damona Hoffman, host of the podcast Dates and Mates. Damona suggests getting through this time by structuring self-care– the kind that helps us bring our best selves to these challenging times, more than the kind that's the chardonnay that makes us cranky and tired by 8:15. (Hmm, maybe she's on to something.) Start listening here: https://damonahoffman.com/dates-mates-podcast/
Here are links to other research and writing on the topic that we discuss in this episode:
Jessica Grose for NYT: Missing the Partner You See 24/7
MIT Technology Review: Data Mining Reveals First Evidence That Absence Really Does Make the Heart Grow Fonder
Jennifer A Theiss, Ph.D for Psychology Today: Factors That Prompt Turbulence in Romantic Relationships
Heidi Stevens for Chicago Tribune: Dealing with conflicts and teen angst
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