For the next 26 Mondays, I will be covering an A-Z guide on romance. Today is A and Absence
“Absence makes the heart grow fonder…”
It’s a phrase most of us have heard of, but how true is it? When I was younger I’d finish the sentence by saying: “For someone else”. But, as I get older and considering my own relationship with my husband, I’m pretty sure that there is no need to add anything. Absence makes the heart grow fonder – shouldn’t it be as simple as that? A short break can do wonders for any relationship can’t it? But what about long distance relationships? Does absence help or hinder love?
“Absence” by Marcus Stone
I’m not a psychologist or a relationship expert, so I can only speak from experience. My husband and I met online (I’m only admitting it once, do not expect a repeat!). He lived in Somerset and I lived in Lincoln – a good 200 mile distance. I realise that in countries like the USA, 200 miles is nothing, but here in the UK that’s the other side of the country. We were never meant to be serious – simply “friends with benefits”, but the moment we met I knew that he was the man I was going to marry and have kids with. And yes, I realise how bunny-boileresque that sounds! Still, it doesn’t change the fact that he was the one who made me believe in love at first sight. Although we have been talking through emails, MSN – yes that’s how long ago it was – text and, believe it or not, letters (Actual, physical, letters. The kind that require a pen and paper.) for over two years.
Absence certainly had a part to play in how our relationship grew. We could only see each other on occasional weekends since we both worked during the week, and as a vet nurse I had to work some weekends as well. That meant we saw each perhaps two to four days a month? Well… That’s what it was supposed to mean. But love has it’s ways, and I remember many a Monday morning, prodding Rich awake at 3 am so he could make the 4 hour drive from Lincoln down to Yeovil in order to get to work. I also remember Monday mornings where I’d roll into work straight from the train into the surgery and get the narrowed glares from my bosses as I was more than often late by over an hour.
We met in the April. By July (a whole 3 months later) we’d both decided to move in with each other. Absence had it’s downsides, and our jobs were suffering. It was me who gave up my job and made the move. 10 years later and we’re happily married with 2 children and several animals.
Long distance relationships require BIG phone bills!
It doesn’t stop there though. As I said, we’ve been together 10 years now, but we don’t live in each others pockets. We still need breaks away from each other. I know quite a few people who have said: “But if you love each other…” Yeah, yeah, yeah. We do love each other. That doesn’t mean we want to be with each other 24-7. He needs ‘Man Time’ and I need ‘Leave Me Alone Time’. And we get that. At least once a year I go for my weekend break with the girls – no men or children allowed. This gives me some adult girly time. And I take the kids away or he goes away to get his adult manly time. It does us good, it works for us. A long weekend of absence makes us appreciate each other a bit more.
So – Does absence make the heart grow fonder? In my opinion, yes. But not too much absence. A few days perhaps.
At the end of the day, if a relationship is going to work then a bit of time apart isn’t going to break you up, and if it does then… Well maybe you haven’t found your Prince Charming just yet.