My partner travels a lot. Sometimes I join him, but many times he travels alone or with his wife and family. One thing I’ve noticed is that despite how much I try to remain connected to him while he’s away, I always end up feeling a little standoffish upon his return. I don’t know if it’s simply a case of the physical distance that existed between us for a period of time, or the subtle shift in focus from our relationship to others more present in our lives, but I find myself needing to transition back into our life together. It’s always with excitement that I go about this transition, though, because I know that sooner than later things will be back to normal. Here are some suggestions for how to hasten the process.
1. Schedule your reunion ahead of time. My partner and I are a lot alike in that we like to plan things out. Just the anticipation of knowing when we are going to see each other next, really adds excitement to our relationship and helps us to feel connected. Planning our reunion ahead of time also ensures that it will happen in a timely manner. Scheduling is really important in poly relationships, especially if everyone has demanding lives.
2. Spend time just talking and sharing. This can happen before and/or after the two of you fall into each other’s arms, but it’s my experience that it needs to happen at some point, and sooner is better than later. Filling each other in on all the new things that happened during your time of separation is important for remaining close and involved in each other’s lives. Poly relationships come with an inherently large amount of separation, but just like any monogamous relationship they require an intimate knowledge of one another as revealed through the many personal details of everyday life.
3. Plan an open-ended date. This can take some scheduling, but sharing time together without the stress of watching the clock is really helpful to the process of reconnecting. Don’t plan anything too formal, just see where your imaginations take you. Sometimes these dates turn into really memorable adventures, but the only thing that really matters is that you and your partner get to spend quality time together, doing whatever your mood dictates.
4. Do something significant to the two of you. Maybe you have a favorite restaurant or club that you like to go to as a couple? Maybe you like to get naked and recite Chaucer? Whatever your special thing happens to be, make an effort to do it soon after the two of you reunite. I personally find that honoring these traditions really helps with maintaining a sense of continuity in my relationships. It also facilitates bonding, which is obviously crucial to feeling close and connected.
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