Posted on October 31st, 2019
Couples live busy lives today. They are caught up with careers and children and parents and pets. Houses and cars and bills and repairs. Friends and social life and emails and texts. Exercise and biking and massages and trips to the ER. Yoga and meditation and retreats. And vacations—planning and scheduling and packing, and re-entry afterward. Each of these may be a passing demand on our time, but together they are the way a 21st Century family lives.
This way of living limits the opportunity for emotional connection between partners, even the ones with solid relationships. They aren’t breaking up, no one is having an affair (another time demand), they may not even be unhappy. But this is a strenuous way to live, and emotional connections are too easily lost.
A few couples opt out, buy a farm or sail off to Sri Lanka. The rest of us are busy handling the demands of our lives. When the day begins at 6am and ends at 10pm, and the time between is taken up with juggling schedules and it’s soccer season, there is no way to linger over a meal or to lie around watching Catastrophe together. Couples talk, they generally have to, in order to communicate all the logistical arrangements necessary for getting through the day. Which is what tends to happen to relationships—they become planning partnerships.
This isn’t because you don’t care anymore. Give yourselves a quiet beach vacation, and your relationship can snap back to its original shape in a couple of days. But the closeness you gain through vacation magic is sure to dissolve like an outgoing tide once you go home and the demands return.
What’s needed is something more immediate, something you can bring into your lives every day: the 5-minute connection.
This is not the quick kiss and “Have a good day” we fly out the door with. It doesn’t have to be 5 minutes. It could be 3, it could be 10. But however long it is, the brief connection is a few minutes for the two of you to step out of your endless doing and be together. This is not time to problem solve or replay disagreements. It’s time for hugs or holding hands or just being close. It’s time to find out not what your partner is doing but how they are doing. It’s time for a few intimate moments, to enjoy each other or even to commiserate with each other.
Sure, it would be lovely to take an hour or two to hang out together, but when you don’t have that time, a 5-minute connection can help you feel more in touch with each other. If you build this into your daily lives, it can become a bright part of your day, a way to stay connected between those less frequent times when you can slow everything down and linger with the person with whom you have chosen to share your life.
Posted in Individual Counseling