Lesson 25: Respect the 3 times in a relationship

Life is all about balance.  Balance in as many aspects of life as possible.  Work, school, dieting, exercise, relationships (platonic, business, romantic, etc.), and so much more.  Life isn’t always fair.  It never has been, probably isn’t now, and most likely never will be.  Striving for balance is about as close as you will ever get to fairness.  Balancing out the three times in a relationship is so often the difference between happily ever after, and watching the love of your life pack their things and walk out the door without saying goodbye.  

What do I mean?  Three times?  It is simple enough to understand but can be more difficult to implement than you might think.  It is something that you need to communicate with the people in your life.  Expecting anyone to just know or understand is foolish and can often lead to misunderstandings or trouble.  There is your time, which is the time you spend doing things on your own.  There is their time, where they are doing the things they want to do on their own.  Finally, there is the time that you spend together.  Simple enough right?  Perhaps, but how often and how easy is it to overlook one every now and then because of some kind of special circumstance or emergency?  

Spending time together is fantastic.  It is nice to share the things you love with the ones you love.  This is where most of your time should reside if you are in a loving and meaningful relationship.  This is where the bonding takes place.  Getting to know each other is a long process and it never really ends.  No matter how much you think you know about someone, there always seems to be more to learn.  That is OK.  It keeps the relationship interesting and from going stale.  Stories are great and the more that is shared, the more you learn, and the closer you get.  It is a wonderful feeling and can be quite the adventure.    

It is also important to understand that relationships, like work, can be very difficult, even stressful.  Much like work, it is important to take breaks that allow you time to rest, recoup, and gain some much needed and uninterrupted perspective.  That is what your time and their time is for.  It is the time for you to do something that you enjoy but maybe they don’t.  Something that allows you to participate in an activity or pastime that will help you take your mind off things and do what I like to call, “reset.”  Like work, these two times allow you to come back together with a more fresh perspective on the relationship.

The time you spend away from each other is also a time where you are reminded about how important the other person is to you.  Just because it is your time doesn’t mean you can’t think about them or plan things to do with them.  It is meant to do the opposite.  It shows you how important that person is to your life.  When your and their time is taken care of, you come back together and it is easier to see how much that person means to you.  You gain a much clearer perspective and you start to appreciate what you have with each other.    

Burnout is as real for relationships as it is for work.  Have you ever spent too much time doing something?  I mean the same thing.  Playing the same video or board game?  Watching the same television show or a bunch of movies?  Watching the same type of sports games all day?  Didn’t there come a point where you needed to step away?  Maybe it was only to go to the restroom, get a refill, or get some fresh air.  It is the same principle.  Sometimes, you need to do something different for a few to take a break.  Don’t ignore the 3 times.  Together, they create a much needed balance in any relationship.


  1. Relationships are all about balance.
  2. Life isn’t always fair and is definitely not easy.
  3. It is important to get a fresh perspective every now and then.
  4. Taking breaks is necessary in all aspects of life.
  5. Burnout is just as threatening to a relationship as it is to work.

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