The other side of enjoying time with your significant other is missing them when they are not around. Understandably, we get wrapped up in making the time we spend together meaningful and memorable. But, time spent apart is just as important. There's a fine line, however, between missing someone and loving them more for it, and missing someone to the point of stress on the relationship.
Time apart can actually strengthen a relationship: that time and energy you spend missing someone can make just as much of an impact as the time/energy spent on one amazing date. But time apart strains a relationship too; "out of sight, out of mind" plays a role in cheating. But, then again, if you're missing someone so much that you're consumed with thoughts of them, the temptation to cheat melts away.
Is there a way to ensure that "missing" is strengthening your relationship, and not straining it? Probably not-- it's all about strength, mutual feelings, circumstance, and other intangibles.
But here are some cute tactics that might foster "good" missing, or at least make "missing" fun:
Own a signature scent - A little olfactory reminder can go a long way. I'm not talking about the psycho stalker in the Lifetime movie sneaking into a woman's room and inhaling the contents of her underwear drawer. But one thing that gets me is when a girl leaves my apartment after staying over and the scent of her shampoo or perfume remains on my pillows. Every time I lay my head on my pillows in her aftermath, it's a subtle reminder of her.
Leave a little something behind -
"That forgotten earring laying on the floor
Facing coldly towards the door
And I continue to burn the midnight lamp, all alone "
- Jimi Hendrix
A strategic leave-behind is a common tactic to occupy your lover's thoughts. A ring is a symbolic leave-behind, and so is a single earring. As part of a pair, an earring is represents temporary separation, and hints at re-uniting down the road. Anything can be left behind; just don't make it awkward like when I left my keys behind after a one-night stand: no avoiding going back to get those. I've left little notes for girlfriends under pillows or other spots to be found later, and they've done the same to me. Ah...the good old days when I wasn't jaded...
Make your stamp on something -If I find something adjusted by a girl, like contents on my desk or night table, I envision that moment the girl was manipulating whatever object, and I miss her. My niece recently visited and she was obsessed with my little sister's bobby pins. The next few days I found bobby pins in the most random places around my apartment, and each bobby pin reminded me of how much fun I had hosting my sister and nieces.
Make a memorable observation or comment -
"Yesterday the sky was you..."
- Smashing Pumpkins
If a girl tells me something I didn't know about something I see often like the Empire State Building, the sky, a store, men in Capri pants, or a certain kind of car for example, I'll most likely think of her every time I see those things. I had a crush on a friend who had this giant Great Dane puppy (he knew how to open doors) named Murphy; she told me everything I know about Great Danes-and also helped me get over my initial fear of them. Every time I see a Great Dane I think of her...though she probably wouldn't be very flattered if I told her that.
Rely on a monument - Memorable dates/moments in parks, cafes, restaurants, or any venue brand themselves on your lover's mind and they'll think of you even when they return to those venues without you.
Do these tactics ever work on you, or have you tried them? Do you think missing someone strengthens the relationship, or does it strain the relationship? What strategies do you have for dealing with extended time apart?