“When you coming home, Dad? I don’t know when. But we’ll get together then, Dad. I know we’ll have a good time then.” – Cat’s in the Cradle, Song by Harry Chapin
Time – our most precious commodity. Brene Brown goes so far as to say that love is spelled t-i-m-e. How we spend our time is what we love.
“How much time do you spend together?” I ask my couples during the assessment phase. I’m fishing for that common theme of relational neglect. The one where we take our partnership for granted rather than invest with conscious intention. As if the most important relationship of our life can sustain and grow on auto-pilot.
When it comes to time with our partner, there are four categories:
First, family time. You, me and the kids. Doing an activity. Sharing life events whether it be dinner time or bath time. Kicking a ball, going to the park, baking a cake or swimming in the lake. Think group. Embracing the masses.
Second, parallel play. You and me sharing the same physical space but focusing our attention on different things. I’m watching basketball, you are playing Candy Crush on your phone. You’re reading recipes, I’m paying bills. Our energy is mixing in the same space. We might look up and share a story or a laugh. But our focus is not on one another.
Third, a focused activity. We are engaging in the same activity together. We are taking a walk, watching a movie, going fishing, riding bicycles, cooking a meal or attending a concert. Again, our energy is co-mingling. We are sharing an adventure and making memories.
And lastly, face to face time. Eye to eye. Seeing, touching, talking. Sharing thoughts and feelings, wants and wishes, joys and pains. My full attention is on you and us. Our energy is flowing in our relational space, rather than being distracted by a third object or activity.
Ideally, your relationship will have a nice mix of all four of these types of time. And, you gotta fight for the face-to-face. It is the key to intimacy, the bonding and attaching of you to your beloved.
Beware that the world is full of thieves – those shiny objects that are seducing you for attention. Water, ritualize, shine on your own garden. Abundance of riches awaits.
Giving you one more chance,