Does Absence Make the Heart Grow Fonder or Wander?

Have you ever wondered how absence affects a relationship?

It’s believed that absence makes the heart grow fonder.

But how true is that really?

To a large extent, it’s true that absence makes the heart grow fonder, but there’s a thin line beyond which absence and distance can be disastrous for a relationship.

Why is absence good in love?

At the beginning of a new relationship, all both of you want to do is spend every waking minute with each other.

Both of you would want to know everything about each other and end up spending all the time texting or calling each other up even when both of you are away for a few hours.

But as the relationship starts to move away from the infatuation stage and into the deeper stage of love, you’d start to realize just how much of your own life as an individual you’ve missed out on.

[Read: The different relationship stages you’d experience as a couple]

When you start to feel this instinctively, you end up withdrawing from the relationship to spend a bit of me-time.

And once you replenish your alone time, you’d feel like spending more time with your lover because you’d start to miss them already.

How giving space creates a better relationship

You may want to spend a lot of time together with your lover, and there’s nothing bad in that. But as soon as your lover feels claustrophobic in love, which will eventually happen at some point of time, they may end up pushing you away for a while.

This could lead to emotional confusions, which can make one partner more clingy and needy while the other partner starts to get distant. And the more each partner tries to get what they want, space or intimacy, the more it frustrates the other partner.

To have a successful relationship, you need to remember that a relationship is only a part of your life. You need to grow as an individual and allow your partner to grow as an individual too. [Read: How to give space in a relationship and have a better romance]

By giving space to each other to pursue individual interests, neither of you would feel stagnated because of the relationship. In fact, giving space and creating the absence can actually make your partner miss you more which will keep the love alive for longer.

Absence gives both of you time to reflect on the relationship and realize just how much each of you mean to the other person. It can bring both of you closer, create better individuals and make conversations in love a lot more interesting. [Read: How to make your boyfriend want you more than ever]

The problems of too much absence

Is too much space in a relationship a bad thing? It most definitely is. A little absence makes the heart grow fonder. But too much absence though gives too much room to wander.

Think of it this way. If a new movie that you’ve always wanted to watch released today, wouldn’t you be excited to watch it? Let’s assume you couldn’t make it today because you didn’t get the tickets. The same thing happens tomorrow and the next, and the whole of next week.

As excited as you maybe, if you’re unable to get the tickets every single day for a week, don’t you think you’d eventually get frustrated and give up on ever watching the movie because it’s just not worth the effort?

At times, you may even start to dislike the movie before you even watch it, or wonder why you give it so much attention. What happens in love and absence works along the same lines. It’s just a lot more serious and life altering though.

Giving too much space to each other, either because both of you are busy working or have been forced to separate over a long distance relationship, will always cause a strain in the relationship unless you know to handle the space perfectly. [Read: What does it take for long distance relationships to survive the distance?]

What keeps two lovers together in a relationship?

There are two primary needs in a relationship, emotional intimacy and sexual intimacy. If there’s an imbalance in these needs or even if one of these needs aren’t met, a relationship will start to fail on a fragile scale. All it needs is a little distraction to topple over.

#1 Emotional intimacy. Emotional intimacy in a relationship is the kind of bond that two lovers share, emotionally. Do you communicate with your partner and talk about your feelings, dreams and aspirations regularly?

If there’s no emotional intimacy in a relationship, it leads to insecurities and jealously, which can further lead to clingy behavior or arguments. [Read: 13 signs of a clingy girlfriend and how you can avoid it]

#2 Sexual intimacy. Even if both of you are away from each other most of the time, try to meet each other as often as possible. Even spending one good day with each other in a week can keep the romance alive until the next week.

Too much absence and how cheating enters the picture

Even the best of lovers are susceptible to cheating if they’re away from each other for too long. If you want to better the relationship, spend a few hours away from each other now and then. But don’t ignore each other so much that both of you feel like two strangers living under one roof. [Read: Signs your partner is already cheating on you with another person]

If both of you are separated by distance because of work commitments, spend more time communicating with each other. At times, even a strong emotional connection can hold the relationship together and keep it strong.

And remember this, never take your partner for granted and ignore their needs, especially when both of you are away from each other. When one lover starts to stray or distance themselves, the other lover strays too, or tries to cling even further. Either ways, it won’t do any good for your relationship. [Read: 15 subtle signs of a controlling boyfriend]

Your partner may date another person in your absence

Love happens spontaneously. You experienced it with someone, and in all probability, you may experience it again if you’re not emotionally connected to your lover.

And just like you, your partner too may get attracted to someone else. This is one of the big insecurities you need to deal with when you’re away from your lover for long periods of time. Your partner may meet someone interesting at work, and one coffee may lead to conversations over the phone, and then some more.

But you know why that happened, right? It’s only because, as humans, we have needs that have to be satisfied. If you can’t connect with your partner emotionally because of the absence, your partner may find someone else to communicate with. It’s the way life works. [Read: Falling out of love and why it happens]

Why does absence make us wander?

Love is all about evolution. As much as humans say they believe in monogamy forever, it’s not always true. Yes, you can stop yourself from cheating, but can you stop the thought? If you can think it, it’s still cheating, isn’t it? Your mind wants to do it, but society around you tells you that you shouldn’t do it. And that’s why you aren’t doing it.

When you and your partner are away from each other and someone attractive shows an interest in you and spends a lot of time talking to you, you’d feel good about it. You may not tell your partner about it, but on the inside you feel good because your emotional needs are being satisfied. And the more you’re away from your partner, the higher your odds of cheating on your partner because your sexual needs need to be satiated too. [Read: What should you do when you start liking someone else?]

Space is good. Long absences are terrible.

So does absence make the heart grow fonder? It sure does. But if the emotional and sexual needs aren’t satiated, the fondness may soon turn to loneliness, which may lead to affairs or failed relationships. [Read: 25 rules of love to have a successful relationship]

To have a successful relationship, you must learn to give space and help each other grow as individuals. But at the same time, always remember to keep the emotional and sexual intimacy alive, and avoid long absences that could end a perfect relationship from the inside.

[Read: 7 secret signs of a relationships that’s about to go bad]

Does absence make the heart grow fonder or wander? Well, you know the answer, and that’s the easy part. But finding out the thin line between perfect space and long absences in your relationship, well, that’s the hard part.


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