When a partner utters the “potentially” devastating phrase, “I need space,” the sensation of a lost relationship instantaneously takes over. While the phrase should be taken seriously from the get-go, the underlying issue may not be as hurtful as it may seem. If you don’t believe me, believe Arthur Aron, Ph.D.m a professor in social and health psychology at Stony Brook University. He mentions that partners ask for “breathing room” for many reasons.
If anything “It’s probably good to have some strong connection and interaction with your partner but also some other space in your life. In fact, that’s good for the relationship because you then bring to the relationship the growth, change, and things you’ve learned and experience in other parts of your life” he explains.
“Normally, it’s a good thing to be connected, and the more connected the better, but there’s a certain extreme point where you feel like you’ve lost who you are. You’re completely absorbed in your partner, and at that point, it becomes uncomfortable and you may want to have some room to be an individual.” Arthur, in essence, recommends exploring and participating in activities, goals, and interests that bring personal joy. Space and time should be given to partners who want to explore other facets of their personality – ultimately leading to greater short and long-term health and happiness.
Several unique positions in psychology allude to partners being unable to connect with a partner on a personal level. This unfortunate phenomenon may have taken root from childhood experiences in which parents were abusive, avoidant, or overall, unavailable. This does not mean that a partner is incapable of building a close relationship, it infers that they may be uncomfortable with excess closeness.
“Our theory and one of the main theories in the field is that one of our main goals in life is to explore and expand oneself, and it’s really good to do that with your partner, but not all the opportunities are with your partner. You want opportunities to do it on your own” states the professor.
As expected, certain partners naturally require more or less alone time. Arthur says that “some highly sensitive people need downtime. They need breaks from everything, including from interaction with their partner, just because they get so easily overwhelmed.” This refers to the fact that introverts may need more time alone while extroverts may desire larger groups to experience life on their own.
Again, “I need space” may spell concern for even the most comfortable in a relationship but it doesn’t always mean damage is going to be done. Sometimes, it’s the most straightforward way for a partner to explain to their significant other that they would like some more time to recharge and explore new interests.
4 Things That People with Multiple Partners Want You to Know
Polyamorous relationships are not everyone’s cup of tea. However, there are some couples who find it better to have a so-called third wheel. Others discover that having multiple partners work best for them.
Polyamory is not a popular lifestyle choice. Most people opt to enter monogamous relationships, preferring to have one partner at a time. In fact, individuals who opt to have multiple partners are usually frowned upon. To better understand why some people adopt—and perpetuate—polyamory, we collated several reasons:
They’re not the jealous type.
Dr Elisabeth Sheff, author of the book entitled “Polyamorists Next Door” asserts that people with multiple partners do not easily get jealous. Additionally, polyamorists assert that opting to be in a polyamorous relationship even helps overcome that natural predilection. They mention that being in a relationship with multiple partners allows you to ease too much focus on a single partner and distribute your affection to accommodate all the other partners you have.
The relationship isn’t purely about sex.
Sheff claims that people with multiple partners do not merely opt for the said lifestyle due to their need for physical intimacy. However, it is still one of the major reasons. Sheff shares that polyamory also works for her and her wife, especially since she travels a lot and they rarely have time for their relationship.
“We have a lot of flexibility, but we don’t tend to act on it very much. Me because I don’t have a very high sex drive, and her because she’s been working like a fiend. She’s very serious about her career, and spends zero time trying to date. It’s only happened the once, where she met someone she really connected with,” she explains.
For some, having multiple partners helps provide the intimacy that may sometimes be lacking in a purely monogamous arrangement, as well.
People fall into this lifestyle.
Sometimes, couples choose to try the lifestyle and find out that it makes their relationship better. “We learned a lot about how poly worked…and soon it was quite a normal thing in our social circle,” mentions Alex who also practices polyamory together with his wife. He narrates that, at first, he and his wife were reluctant to adopt the lifestyle. “It did make us more relaxed about other things, we became more comfortable telling each other when we found someone else attractive or had fun flirting with someone or whatever,” he explains.
It requires constant and open communication.
To maintain the beneficial effects of having multiple partners, Alex and his wife adopted the necessity of having constant and open communication. He says that they make it a point to prioritize their relationship even as they practice polyamory. He shares that it isn’t always easy. “…we found we were able to work things out for ourselves through lots of honesty and conversation and being loving and considerate in a way that has also made our relationship much deeper and stronger,” Alex explains.
Study Says Lockdown Helped Make More People Happy
According to the Bennet Institute for Public Policy in Cambridge University, about half of the people who previously reported feelings of happiness decreased in the 3 weeks right after the lockdown. Data from various platforms mention that only about 51% of Britons declared feelings of joy before the report of the first COVID-19 death in the UK and only 25% were feeling happy after the declaration of lockdown on 23 March.
When the lockdown eased a bit, however, numbers started improving as around 47% started saying that they were happy by the end of May.
The same research also mentions that there is a relative difference between the rich and the poor in terms of happiness levels in relation to the lockdown. Those who were well-off in life mention the dwindling levels of joy while the poorest sector asserts a rise in hopefulness and satisfaction.
Dr Robert Foa of YouGov-Cambridge Centre for Public Opinion Research and Cambridge’s Department of Politics and International Studies mentions, “It was the pandemic, not the lockdown, that depressed people’s wellbeing. Mental health concerns are often cited as a reason to avoid lockdown.”
“In fact, when combined with employment and income support, lockdown may be the single most effective action a government can take during a pandemic to maintain psychological welfare,” Foa adds.
In many parts of the world, there is a huge outcry for aid especially because the widespread declaration of lockdowns caused many people to lose their jobs. Many people were also cut off from their loved ones due to the social distancing requirement that is still in effect today. People who were used to freely mingling and going out daily were suddenly left with nothing to do and no one to be with. The sudden need to stay indoors greatly affected the different aspects of living, causing huge impacts on both physical and mental well-being.
With the news of various attempts to discover an effective vaccine for the coronavirus and the increasing improvement in contract tracing and testing, many people are feeling hopeful once again. The need to go back to various jobs and reconnect with loved ones allow more people to regain the positivity that was lost during the height of the pandemic.
The sudden onset of the unprecedented COVID-19 crisis heavily affected the whole world. Various countries around the world were forced to enact hard lockdowns and require social distancing protocols to stop the rapid spread of the deadly virus. The general feelings of happiness decreased during the onset of the pandemic as the report of the first UK death made people realize the seriousness of the issue at hand. With the attempts to discover a vaccine for the disease, however, and the gradual easing of lockdown in the country, more and more Britons are now claiming feelings of hopefulness and joy. Around the world, the clamor for a definite covid-19 cure is heard.
Love in the Time of Coronavirus: Dating During Covid
The coronavirus heavily impacted so many areas in our lives. Finding love, a common preoccupation especially among singles all around the world became even more impossible as lockdowns were established to halt the rapid spread of the COVID-19 infection. A multitude of dating apps suddenly sprung up to cater to the loveless, allowing more people to mingle online instead of offline.
When quarantine measures first occurred in the early part of 2020, Alan McMahon, a 29-year-old freelance production manager, subscribed to the $30 monthly subscription on one of the dating apps, Hinge. There, he met Brooke, his current girlfriend.
The two eventually decided to hike across the Runyon Canyon, Los Angeles’ popular and scenic trail. During the said hike, they became increasingly at ease with each other until they decided to remove their masks. That was the time when Alan knew this date was different. “All caution was thrown to the wind,” asserts Alan, referring to the famous coronavirus protocol of wearing masks while in the presence of other people.
That was a few months ago. Now, the couple are still together, splitting their time together between her Long Beach apartment and his West Hollywood one. Both have accomplished the impossible and found love during COVID-19.
Alan believes that he has “found his soul mate during the most unlikely of times”. They are hoping to get married in Vegas as soon as the chapels open there.
While this sounds like a perfect, if not improbable, reality for all, dating sites have become even more popular as more and more single people hope to find someone to be with online. Experts assert that the current pandemic has actually made it even more convenient for singles to find possible matches.
“Because we have this dedicated time to find love, there are no distractions — you’re not a bar looking at people around you or looking at your drink. Everyone’s more present and they are more conscious about the way they are showing up to these virtual or real-life dates,” shares Yue Xu, co-host of the ‘Dateable’ podcast.
Indeed, more individuals find it easier to focus their attention to finding more serious, exclusive relationships as they are able to pick their matches using these dating apps. They get to pinpoint possible prospects using these apps’ feature of entering specific traits they may prefer and go on from there.
Love and Companionship
One of the greatest challenges pre-COVID-19 was that there were too many candidates out there. Everyone was preoccupied with work, studies, and other things. Now, however, people get the much-needed time-off from their regular, busy lives. Singles are provided the chance to look into their individual, isolated lives and realize the importance of companionship—and, ultimately, love.
Perhaps, one of the major lessons from this pandemic, then, is that we are all social beings—we all long to be with someone other than ourselves. Like Alan and his girlfriend, Brooke, love during Covid can still become a reality for single adults who continue to long for a partner to share their lives with. The internet is filled with many dating apps to help make that pervasive dream a reality.
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