Today I am out of town, and I am missing my “better half.” So I started to ponder what is it that makes us ache and long for our romantic partner, when we go out of town? I have always loved to travel, but never give too much thought to my interpersonal relationships that are plutonic (the exception would be my child). I may perhaps think about the people I care about, but what makes our romantic partner different? Sometimes I think that my single “unattached” days were easier. I didn’t have to deal with the aches of being away from the one I love.
What is it in us that makes us long for that person to be with us? Is it the fear of loss? Is it the fear we may never see each other again, or clutch a warm embrace from our beloved? The most primitive story that I can think about relating to separation is the story of the garden of eden. If we pull out the morals and read between the lines of this story, it was during the separation that the “fall” occurred.
What exactly was the fall? Only God really knows, but whatever happened it was a turning point in how they related to each other. Turning points can be positive or negative. We frequently hear of the spouse who had a job that required travel, and while gone they led a secret life. They had their families at home, but their “extra curricular” activities on the road. This is incredibly painful for the faithful partner, when they learn of these ordeals. Frequently marriages break up after this. However, some couples choose to work through it. Never the less, the relationship will never be the same. It has to evolve or regress, but it cannot stay in the same place.
So what about the positive turning point? As related to my personal story, it was after I took a trip out of town that my partner realized what his feelings were for me (we were friends prior to this). When I came back from the trip, he decided to pursue me romantically. I’m glad he did; it’s been great.
When we enter into a romantic relationship and maintain a romantic relationship, we are always balancing our need for independence and commitment. I know for myself that this has been a struggle of mine. It has nothing to do with my partner, it has everything to do with me and my free spirit. Though not all would admit it, everyone struggles with balancing these needs from time to time.
So separation…where am I going? Being separated on this trip has reinforced to me how special my relationship is, and how sad I would be if he was not in my life. The separation has refreshed and deepened my appreciation, for the one I spend the most time with. It has also reinforced that I do have independence too. The best of both worlds…having a partner that respects my individuality and a partner that loves me and is committed to me. This is another “mini” turning point.
So in conclusion, separation from our romantic partner can serve as a measure for where your relationship is. It is also a great way to reflect on what you have, and decide whether you want to continue to invest or move on. For me? I think I will invest!