Everyone seeks a different balance between distance and closeness. I know there are people who feel more comfortable with social distancing during this pandemic period, because it’s what they have been doing all along and so it makes them feel normal.
When you are in a relationship, it doesn’t matter what others consider normal. All that matters is what works as a couple.
In general, couples do better when they communicate their needs for distance instead of just acting distant. Communication can save a lot of hurt feelings. It can also save a lot of wasted time and energy in an attempt to do mind reading. It can be even harder now to be a good mind reader since there are so many additional variables than can affect our moods. I know my mood can be affected by all the troubling events in our world and in this country.
Fortunately, I don’t seem to be someone who feels too bad for too long. I have developed the ability to mourn quickly and let go of heartache. Maybe I inherited a survivor gene from my mother.
The flip side for many survivors is that they also have trouble feeling too good for too long. I don’t think this is the case with my mother, but there are times when it might be the case for me, times when I keep looking Uncertainty in the eye and can’t bring myself to fully trust it. In general, I enjoy being with people when I’m emotionally coasting and prefer to be by myself when I’m facing more uphill terrain—but I also accept that not everything is based on my preferences. There are people who need me and I consider it an honor to be there for them. I understand there might come a time when I’m not needed as much as I am now. I try never to take people for granted. I try never to blame anyone for my need for solitude, since I know that I wouldn’t enjoy my solitude so much if I didn’t have such a precious foundation of love and support.
In other words, it’s fun to be alone when you don’t have to be alone. It’s fun to sit with a laptop and your thoughts in one room with your soul mate at her computer in the next. As I’ve gotten older, I tend to think of love more as something you generate in your own heart and share than something you get from another person. I also have become a little bit like a camel in that I can store my love for people during the times when we don’t get to see each other as much. Of course, I don’t want to just be a camel that creates deserts just so he can prove how well he can store love. I want to be a camel who knows how to enjoy an oasis, too.