I wanted to start this blog at least before I finish up my blogging for the day.
I’ve definitely been feeling emotional distance from my partner for several weeks now and thought it would be a good opportunity to analyse it with you.
One of the challenges of the kind of person I am and the kind of partner my person is – is ultimately our differences.
I’m an obsessive person when it comes to work – it is simply my nature.
When we first met almost a decade ago now – I was in the middle of trying to launch a startup…and 9.5 years later not a huge amount has changed in terms of my focus.
If anything it perhaps has become even more intense.
But it’s difficult to remember the rhythms of my days back then.
I document and journal my feelings now so much more through the vehicle of this blog, and the place I’m at is trying to build a fortune and a foundation for….us.
Or not us. Maybe my family in general.
I’m not really sure I guess. Once you can support your own lifestyle, the accumulation of money matters less than the pursuit of excellence.
Equally, it’s difficult to separate the idea of me from the idea of her, and yet the work I do is extremely solitary.
Anyway, it’s a strange feeling when you have pangs of desire for intimacy but then you realise that well…when you’re stressed with work, and it occupies so much of your mind…
That over time some of the fundamentals of your relationship change.
Strawberry adjusted to this a fair few years back – I know this because she has mentioned this several times.
It’s the natural outpouring I imagine of being around someone whose so focused upon work – that you learn to take care of your own needs and manage to lock away your feelings that much more.
The same reason for which why I guess I find it easier to write about this on my blog than I do to have a repeated discussion with Strawberry about this.
Equally, as she has finally found a path that could become her career for the rest of her life, and we, in our mid to late 30s are focussed on building things for ourselves…
It naturally means we are less focussed on enjoying life as we did in our 20s as we are focussed on securing our futures now.
Apologies for this being garbled.
I’m trying to make sense of the emotional distance between us, and I see at the core of this is the intensity with which she needs to pursue a medical degree in her 2nd language here alone in the UK….
And being around someone in me, who is obsessed with work.
It creates emotional distance between you both because it becomes a practical part of survival.
When I’m focussed on dealing with the pressure of Pearl Lemon, Plantsumo, and now Serpwizz, notwithstanding the other side projects – it’s difficult to retain focus on the rhythms of our relationship.
I don’t mean this to cast blame upon myself.
We are happy, and we are stable, but I’m doing my best to understand this feeling of emotional distance I feel.
Of course – it could be just that we argued two nights ago, and it came after an extremely stressful week.
Also, preceding this Strawberry was absent for two weeks emotionally as she poured all of her efforts into her exams (which still continue – next one’s tomorrow!)
But as I think about it, distance has become part of our relationship.
Or is it just the natural progress of a relationship?
It’s difficult to say.
At 34, I’m also different from the man I was at 25.
I definitely am more focused now, over the last few years I was in the years before this and that means I’m focussed on work most of the time.
So – as you can see, I’m trying to analyse why this emotional distance is a factor in our lives.
With this in mind let’s consider as many reasons as possible, so together we can start working towards some practical changes we can make to close this emotionally distant gap.
There is the reality that work is simply stressful for us both. In my case I have (of late) had shouting matches with my clients, had other clients upset with me, and had one who doesn’t appreciate our work.
Then in parallel, I have apps that are launching as well as my Vegan food business. And they all stress me out for different reasons.
Unfortunately, I don’t separate these from my personal life as much as I should so it definitely bleeds into our lives as a couple
Mixed Up Work Environments
We both work from home at the moment, Strawberry is in one room working, and I am in the living room working.
This is less than ideal because the living room which would normally be a place of rest for both of us is used as a workspace for me every day.
I believe that this affects the energy in the room, as it doesn’t feel solely the place of relaxation as it ideally should be.
Strawberry has this same issue with her studio which doubles as a workspace, a place of rest, and a pilates studio for when she works with clients.
She too was saying the same thing about the issues she was now having with her studio.
When she wants to relax during the daytime – she can’t just come into the living room as I’ll be working from here.
This means when it comes to emotionally connecting and being relaxed well…you have all of the ‘residue’ of the workday still extremely present.
Different Sleep Schedules
I wake up between 430-7 am (e.g now it’s the day after I started this blog and the time is 5.05 am – and I was up at 430am)
This also means that I had to be around 930-10 pm.
The evenings we used to have watching television, playing games, or just generally relaxing have gone.
Strawberry will spend her evenings alone or will soon after follow me to bed.
Enforced Social Isolation
We have been living in the world of Covid-19 now.
So that means not seeing friends, not heading to restaurants, not going out. No real variety. This winter when the weather has been poor – this has been particularly challenging for everyone.
And actually, part of being able to connect as a couple is seeing other people together or separately and having shared experiences as well as something to talk about.
My Lack Of Romance
I’m terrible at this and know it.
Spontaneity and surprise are ways to make your partner feel loved and I do barely of either.
I’ve definitely improved when it comes to my contribution to the household. Although even that at times is arguably questionable.
Nonetheless, I write these words and realise my effort is not sustained, and that I need to get better at applying this and building it into our lives.
We’ll only do better as a couple as a consequence of this.
How Do You Fix Emotional Distance
In some respects – working through each of the challenges above is a sound way to start fixing things.
Reducing work-related stress, being more romantic, separating work environments, the opening up society will add help significantly.
Notwithstanding Strawberry’s examination period.
I think one of the key tenets when it comes to judging emotional distance in a relationship – is before raising it ‘as an issue…
Doing some self-reflection is important to the success of a relationship in general anyway.
As I’ve written out all of these factors, it’s clarified in my own mind some of the things I could do to improve things without even raising it as an issue.
Because the truth is – improving all of the above will only help our relationship anyway – so why not start there first?
And this is what I intend to do.
To begin trying to resolve all of these challenges one by one in the hope that it will lead to us forming stronger emotional connections.
I finished writing this on March 15th.
I intend to look back at this on May 15th to see what progress I’ve made 🙂