Why spending more time with your partner isn’t enough, according to a psychologist

Many people come to therapy fearing that they will not be spending enough time with their partner. They ask questions like:

  • “My partner wants us to spend time together every day, but I can’t because of my busy work schedule. How can we overcome this? »
  • “My partner and I spend quite a bit of time together each week, but lately I’ve been feeling a little distant from them. Will spending more time with each other help you? »
  • “My partner loves to go fishing, but I don’t really like it. We don’t have much time for ourselves, so when he asked me to join him, I couldn’t say no. Is it healthy? »

We know how important it is to spend time with our partner. However, it is crucial to understand that there is a distinction between “quantity time” and “quality time”.

Quality time is all about giving your partner undivided attention, whether you’re out for a walk, watching a movie, or just sitting together. It’s an important part of any relationship and it’s necessary to maintain intimacy.

Here are three science-based tips to make the time you spend with your partner really count.

#1. Be present in your hellos and goodbyes

According The Gottman Institute, we should pay more attention to how we greet and part with our significant other. A simple gesture like saying a warm hello or goodbye to your partner allows you to pay attention to them and remind them how important they are in your life. It shows that you are interested in their day and care about them.

Psychologist John Gottman of The Gottman Institute suggests a six-second kiss. Mindful kissing, he says, has several benefits, including reducing stress levels, creating a ritual of connection, and boosting mutual admiration.

#2. Couples who play together stay together

A classic study published in the Journal of social and personal relationships found that the time a couple spends together does not by itself play a central role in sustaining the relationship. However, what you do when you spend time together as a couple reflects the level of satisfaction in a relationship.

Another one study published in the Marriage and Family Diary found that when wives engaged in a leisure activity that only their husbands enjoyed, they reported feeling less satisfied despite the time they spent together. Additionally, wives who were already dissatisfied with their relationship were more likely to agree to a shared leisure activity that they did not particularly enjoy in an attempt to deepen their bond with their husband.

Use your time with your partner wisely and ask yourself why you want to take up a new hobby. Are you both equally invested in pursuing this new interest? If the answer is no, go back to the drawing board and pick something you both will enjoy.

#3. Try to have sex at least once a week

Yes, sex is often a spontaneous activity and planning it can seem like a strange choice. But when the time you have to spend with your partner is limited, it can be a good idea to plan some time between the sheets.

Although not an absolute rule, a study Posted in Social psychology and personality sciences found that couples who had sex at least once a week were more satisfied with their relationship than couples who had less sex.

Physical intimacy is an important aspect of a relationship and has several benefits associated with it. Like kissing, sex lowers stress levels and boosts oxytocin, also known as the love hormone. It can enhance intimacy, maintain the spark, and improve mental and physical health.

Interestingly, the study also showed that couples who had more sex were no happier than couples who had sex once a week. So while sex can be fun and rewarding, you don’t have to lose sleep over it.


Time is a limited resource. So it makes sense to choose quality over quantity, especially when it comes to your intimate relationships. Whatever you do, be sure to make an effort to connect with your partner on a deeper level – it fosters intimacy, keeps the spark going, and helps couples grow together.

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