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There’s no definitive answer to how much time couples should spend together.
Whether you’ve just become exclusive or you’ve been together for several months, it can be tricky to know where to strike the balance between seeing them and doing your own thing.
That’s why we’ve broken it down for you and done the hard work.
We’ll run through how often you should see your new boyfriend/girlfriend, how to make the relationship work, and how to talk about it if you feel like you see each other too much.
In the early days of a relationship.
It can be really tricky when you first meet someone to know what you ‘should’ be doing.
A lot of us worry about double-texting, let alone working out how often we ‘can’ see our partners.
Whilst there’s no conclusive answer on this one, a couple of times a week is a pretty good guide to start off with.
This isn’t because you shouldn’t see each other more, but setting a limit helps you to pace yourselves.
It can be easy when you first meet someone to rush into it. It feels nice to be around them, and it’s exciting and new.
You want to spend all your time with this new person who makes you feel great, which is lovely, but you don’t want to risk rushing it.
There’s a danger that you may ruin the relationship before it can really get going…
It’s great that you’ve found someone you want to spend a lot of time with, but it’s also a good idea to be slightly cautious about seeing each other too much.
If you see each other all the time, you miss out on the fun honeymoon phase of early dating and the excitement of slowly getting to know someone.
Seeing someone a lot in the first stages of a relationship can be really tempting, but you want to enjoy that fun, light aspect of being together before becoming a ‘real’ couple.
This is the stage where you get to know each other and learn about how well you fit together. You can figure out if it might become something more serious, or if it’s just fun while it lasts.
If you become a couple too soon, you risk ending up in a relationship with someone you don’t really know that well.
We all act slightly different when we first start dating someone to when we’re in a relationship…
Most people tend to be on best behavior when they first start seeing someone, so you don’t always get an accurate, honest picture of the person you’re spending time with.
That’s perfectly normal, but it means you need to give each other time to get comfortable and be more authentically yourselves around each other.
That’s where the time issue comes in.
Pace yourselves – a couple of times a week is a great way to ease yourselves into spending time together and becoming relaxed enough to let your guards down.
It also gives you a chance to miss each other in between times. This can make the days you do spend together even more special.
The longer you can see each other at this pace, the more likely you are to really get to know each other on a deeper, more realistic level…
…and the more informed a choice you’ll be making if you do decide to launch into a committed relationship.
After several months of a relationship.
If you’ve been with your partner for several months already (but you’re not yet living together), you’re probably very in-tune with each other and how you both work.
So the question of how much time you spend together becomes a case of evaluating your existing habits and seeing if they still fit in with what you both want and need.
When you’ve been with someone for a while, you get into the habit of seeing each other at certain times and in a certain way, and this habit can be hard to change.
You might not have even considered how often you see each other because you’re just so used to it being how it is.
This is why it’s great to have a think about what your relationship means and how you feel about it.
Maybe you got into the habit of seeing each other every day because you work together or live close to each other…
…but think about whether you like that aspect of your relationship or whether you sometimes resent not having some time to yourself?
Equally, maybe you only see each other on set days of the week because you used to have other plans on certain days.
If those plans are no longer present in your life, do you want to spend more time with your partner or do you enjoy your ‘days off,’ as it were?
Remember that there is no wrong answer!
Whatever feels right for you both is the best place to start.
Considering what may be a habit and what may be an active choice is a good way to make sure you’re both on the same page.
You might open up and realize you want slightly different things (which is fine and something to work through, not against!).
You might realize you love the idea of an extra day to yourself and your hobbies, or you might decide to sacrifice another commitment in order to be with your boyfriend or girlfriend more.
Either way, go with what feels good and see how it shifts things.
If you’re in a long-distance relationship.
Long-distance relationships can be tricky, it goes without saying.
However, what’s not always said is how great they can be!
If you’re in one, you’ll have your own opinion of it, but if you’ve just gotten into one, don’t be put off by what people may tell you…
If you’re dating long-distance, there can be a bit more pressure while you’re getting to know each other.
You might have to organize travel, it may be more expensive than dating someone in your city, and you might feel like you’re committing to something pretty early on.
None of this is a bad thing, however!
Sure, there’s an extra layer to dating, but it can still be really fun and relaxed.
You can both make an effort to keep things quite low-key in the early stages.
Rather than making huge plans for each date, just do nice, ‘normal’ things and keep the pressure off both of you.
There are ways to make sure you’re both comfortable with long-distance dating, and communication is one of the most important ones.
It can be really hard to plan a date and go to the extra effort it takes to date someone in another city compared to someone who you can just grab a drink with at short notice.
That’s why honesty is key – if you’re not feeling it on the day, it’s important to feel comfortable saying this.
There’s no point forcing yourself on any date, even if you’ve paid for a train ticket or booked out a weekend to see your partner!
You need to find ways to treat it just like normal dating – bail if you’re not in the mood, take a breather if it feels like too much, and just be honest with how you feel.
Dating can be tricky, as can the next step. Sometimes, your feelings can get a bit confused when you don’t see someone regularly, so you can feel a bit unsure and nervous about it all.
A date every couple of weeks can feel a bit out of reality, and it’s natural to want to make the most of it.
There’s a lot of pressure to make it ‘perfect’ because it’s rare to spend time together, and because you’ve both invested more time, energy, and money on the date than you might have otherwise.
If you’re not sure how you feel about someone, try to seem them a little bit more often. This can act as a reminder of how you truly feel about them.
If you only see someone once a month, you might fabricate a version of them based on your memories and may be disappointed when they’re not the ‘ideal’ boyfriend/girlfriend you’ve created in your head.
If you can, once a week or every two weeks is a good base level to work from in a long-distance relationship.
Remember that some distance isn’t always a bad thing…
The importance of time and space.
Speaking of distance, let’s talk about space.
Not seeing your partner all the time is actually very healthy!
It might feel amazing to spend all your time with them and get totally caught up in your feelings for each other, but it’s important to make some space for yourself every so often.
The reason we’ve suggested dropping back and seeing your partner a couple of times a week to begin with is to help you pace yourself, as discussed, but also to make sure you have something of your own!
It’s very easy and tempting (and, sometimes, really lovely) to lose yourself to another person, but it can also be a huge risk.
You need to make sure you have your own life in order to avoid becoming co-dependent. This is what happens when you become very reliant on another person.
For example, you may see your boyfriend every day, but if he decides to see his friends one night instead, you might suddenly feel abandoned and lonely.
While this is quite a normal reaction, it’s not a very healthy one.
Attachments can become almost toxic if they’re left to get out of control. By taking some time and space to yourself more often, you can ensure you have things you enjoy and things you can do separately.
Make a commitment to yourself and stick to it – book a yoga class every Tuesday and keep that day free for yourself.
Organize weekend events that don’t involve your partner and don’t bail on them.
Make sure you create your own life, as well as the one with your loved one, and you’ll feel so much more at ease in the relationship. It might sound a bit backwards, but trust me, it works.
The more of your life you spend with yourself, the happier you’ll be overall.
We’re not suggesting you become incredibly busy and never have time for your partner, of course, but scheduling in time apart can be a really healthy way of looking after your relationship.
You’ll feel less upset if plans with your boyfriend/girlfriend change, because you know you can be on your own and that your life doesn’t revolve around them.
Seeing your partner a couple of days a week frees up loads of time for you to enjoy your own life – and what a great way to spend your time!
Plus, it’ll give you even more things to share with your partner when you do see them.
Always aim for clear, honest communication.
So, what if you’re reading this and realizing that you may need to step back a little bit?
Firstly, think about why you may want to see your boyfriend/girlfriend less often.
Is it because of how they make you feel, or because you’re a bit scared you’re too reliant on them?
Is it because someone’s commented on it before, or because you’ve just realized that you’d love the time to commit to a sport or hobby?
Be honest with yourself about why you’re feeling this way and remember that this isn’t a bad thing!
A lot of us feel guilty for wanting some space to ourselves, but this is actually an amazing thing – it’s so important to be self-aware and in-tune with what you need.
If something is telling you that you need some more time to yourself, listen to it.
It may be that your mental health is being affected, or that you feel a bit more stressed when there’s pressure to spend all your time with your partner.
It may be that you’ve neglected your friends a bit and have just gotten too caught up in being in love.
These are totally normal, rational feelings, but they do need to be acknowledged.
Consider why you’re feeling how you feel. And then be honest about it.
If you’re with the right partner, they’ll respect this and be grateful for your honesty.
They might not feel the same way, and they may struggle to understand why you feel this way, but they should listen to you.
Remember that this could feel offensive to your partner, so be considerate of how you discuss this topic.
You don’t want them to feel neglected or abandoned, or offended and upset that you no longer like them!
We all know the dreaded ‘we were on a break’ scenario, so avoid this by making it clear that you still love them, still want to see them, but just want a bit more time to yourself.
This can be a really hard conversation to broach, so take your time, speak calmly and be prepared for some awkward silences.
Again, the right person for you will accept that you want a bit more space to yourself – they may even have been thinking the same as you!
Sell this to them by highlighting that you’ll both have time to focus on the things you really like.
Maybe they love playing Fantasy Football, but never really do it because you hate it! This extra space will give them time to do that – to just do what they want without having to worry about you.
It gives you both time to explore hobbies you might have held back from for whatever reason, too.
You’ll have more to share and catch up on when you see each other, rather than having no news because you’re both always together doing the same thing.
Absence makes the heart grow fonder, after all, so don’t be afraid to suggest seeing your boyfriend/girlfriend less and just enjoying some more time to yourself.
Life is all about balance, so embrace this and do what feels best.
If it means being a bit selfish, go for it – don’t intentionally hurt your partner, but feel comfortable voicing any wants, needs, or issues you may have within the relationship.
Seeing someone less doesn’t diminish how much you love or care about them, it just means that you’re also making yourself a priority, which is the absolute healthiest thing you can do.
Find what feels good.
As we mentioned earlier, there’s no definitive answer to the question, and you might take a while to figure out what’s best for you.
In the right kind of relationship, there’s some space for change – without fear.
Experiment a bit and remember that nothing is absolute here – if you start seeing each more and you feel overwhelmed, you’re allowed to go back to what you had before.
If you drop down to a few times a month and it feels horrible, see each more again!
The whole point of a relationship is to feel comfortable with someone who makes your life better – even if that means seeing them less than you see yourself.
Still not sure how often you should be seeing your girlfriend or boyfriend? Chat online to a relationship expert from Relationship Hero who can help you figure things out. Simply click here to chat.
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