Couples Counseling Articles

How Masterful Couples Use Time

When you think about the relationship you truly desire, you might think…We don’t have time for that.

I read a blog recently that reminded me of the way I think about time. Then, as I listened to clients, I realized the issue is too important to keep to myself. I was going to have to write about it.

Here are just a few of the things we all say and do around time:

The kids take up all our time.
Who has the time?
Maybe we’ll do it next time.
Time passed us by.
We run out of time.
We don’t take the time.
Relationships take too much time.
We race against time.
We borrow time,
save time
use time,
spend time
waste time.

Time is variable: One minute with your hand on a hot stove seems like an hour. And an hour with a pretty girl seems like a minute, explained Albert Einstein.

Yet in everyday life, time is finite. Everyone gets 24 hours. No more. No less.

Time is precious but you can’t buy it at any price.

And don’t get me started on how much time – and energy – is expended when people feel disconnected.

On the positive side, John Gottman, one of the world’s most respected relationship researchers accurately predicts which marriages will improve over time. He found that couples grow closer, when they devote only a few hours a week to their marriage.

Here’s what these masterful couples do:

  • Partings – Before saying goodbye every morning, they find out one thing their partner is going to do that day. (2 minutes x 5 days = 10 minutes)
  • Reunions – At the end of each workday, they have a low-stress reunion conversation. (20 minutes x 5 days = 1 hour 40 minutes.)
  • Affection – Touching, grabbing, holding and kissing – all laced with tenderness and forgiveness. (5 minutes x 7 days = 35 minutes)
  • One weekly date – Just the two people in a relaxed atmosphere updating their love. (2 hours a week)
  • Eye Contact, Admiration and Appreciation (10 seconds. Everyday)

Funny thing is – scientists tell us time doesn’t even exist — at least not the way you and I think about it.

That’s why the NOW is so significant.

So, if you think you don’t have time to connect … you might want to do it anyhow.