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How Much Time Should Couples Spend Together?

In honor of February 14, which I have heard has some sort of holiday attached to it, I have a question for those of you who are married, are in long-term relationships, or have been in them. Actually, ignore that: the question is for anyone who reads it–how much time should couples spend together?

A great deal of our free time is spent dealing with a crazed three year old, who is also getting very serious about stone lifting.

stone lifting

A lazy Sunday with some heavy rocks

I never gave the idea of how much time we were together or apart much thought until there was another person in the house to focus on.

My own answer is…as much as possible as long as we don’t start to annoy each other. Enough so that the feelings are there and we don’t become strangers or roommates. Enough so that I’m always aware of how lucky and grateful I am.

Enough to know I have everything I need. And still I can remain content but not satisfied because every day we are together we recreate our lives and can usually make them better.

There is nobody I’d rather spend my time with, which is why we’ve been married for almost 10 years and are still going strong. There are also times when we each have to be alone or we’d go crazy.

So for you, reader–what has worked for you and yours? What hasn’t?


PS: Tara wrote a guest post on this blog about Happy Couples Spending Time Apart which you might enjoy.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Gustavo February 14, 2011, 12:45 pm

    Funny how it’s always about spending too much time with your wife and not the opposite.

    My wife and I were buddies long before we got married fifteen years ago, and we still have great laughs when we find time to met apart from the rest. We are always saying that we need more time alone –we have children that still need to be taking care of, our youngest is two-, so we’re never worried about being too much time together. That sounds to far away from the now to us.

  • Michelle February 14, 2011, 1:18 pm

    I’ve always said it’s the time you spend apart that’s more important than the time you spend together. My husband and I are both very independent. We’re also puzzle pieces, meaning our similar interests intersect on one side, but not all 4. So if there’s something that one of us wants to do that the other doesn’t, we go by ourselves. It’s not the time we spend together that’s important, but how we spend it together.

    • Josh Hanagarne February 14, 2011, 3:28 pm

      Michelle, how long have you guys been married?

  • John Sifferman February 14, 2011, 1:48 pm

    Right there with you, Josh – as much time as we can spend together without annoying each other. We also make it a point to get out or at least have one night a week to ourselves (a little more challenging with a kiddo).

  • Warren Talbot February 15, 2011, 8:08 am

    Josh, excellent question and one that we have debated for the last 10 years. In October we left for 5 year trip around the world and for 4.5 months we have spent 24 hours a day together. In our previous lives we traveled separately for work, spent a lot of with our own friends, and were only together a couple hours a day. Now, I am the first to admit that I had little hope that we could do this without driving each other to the point of insanity.

    But, surprisingly this has been the best thing we have ever done for ourselves and for us as a couple. We are actually closer than ever and enjoying each moment we have together.

    Go figure…

  • Boris February 15, 2011, 9:17 am

    Nice looking stone Josh!

    • Josh Hanagarne February 15, 2011, 12:01 pm

      Thanks Boris. Our house came with a big garden, and the garden’s full of giant rocks. That one I’m carrying weighs:

      According to one scale – 240
      According to another scale – error

      It’s a good one though. I almost got it overhead this day!

  • Beet February 15, 2011, 10:05 am

    hubs was an interstate truck driver for 10 years of our marriage. We always found that it wasn’t about the time we did or didn’t spend together, but about how well we communicated. Time alone together and time apart to do your own thing is great and all, but being able to communicate so that your partner feels appreciated, heard, supported and cared for no matter if you have time or not is key. Or at least that’s what I think. 🙂

  • Annette September 13, 2011, 6:45 am

    It doesn’t matter how much time you spend together as a couple if you…

    Find time with each other,
    Find time with your friends together,
    And finding time with your own friends alone.

    Both of you must have an understanding to the above for it work.