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Time is an incredibly valuable commodity in our world! Nobody’s got time. We have a mountain of appointments:

School, college, work, hobbies, friends, family.


This makes “giving time”, i.e. “spending time with someone” the greatest proof of love.

In San Francisco there is a park, there are people sitting everywhere with a sign on a beautiful Sunday. It says: Free listening today. I.e. these people offer to simply listen to you, to have time for you. And there’s always a long line for each of these people.

Sure, we’re not talking about anyone here, we’re talking about a partnership, the relationship between man and woman, the subject of time shouldn’t be a problem.

But unfortunately, that’s not true. Even couples hardly find time for two.


Challenge: Time for two

And that can be a big challenge, especially if the two partners have different views about the time spent together. Injury and disappointment are inevitable. Of course, the partner who prefers to spend time with the other will feel rejected in some way. And the other one has no idea what he’s really doing wrong.


Different personality = different idea of time

The core problem is that two people are different:

They have different ideas about how to spend their leisure time.
They have different full diaries, different hobbies.
And: They have different personalities.


If you are a relationship-oriented person, i.e. like to have other people around you, then it is probably very important for you to spend a lot of time with your partner.

Or, if you want to spend time as a relationship-oriented person with many people, e.g. with friends and family, then your partner might feel neglected.


But maybe you are a very introverted person, maybe you don’t like it at all when there are people around you, then you might also withdraw frequently in your partnership, need time for yourself alone.

Or: You are an introverted person and don’t like to be with other people, but you could spend 24 hours with your partner. In that case, you might have a lot of time for your partner.

You do realize, so it doesn’t have anything to do with your love, why there are some conflicts between you because of your timing.


The influence of the ex-partner

It also depends, of course, on what experiences you have had so far. Good and bad.

So what does it look like when you’ve had bad experiences? Maybe your last partner blamed you for always wanting to spend too much time with him. Or the other way around: You had too little time for him, maybe that’s why you were abandoned. Then you bring a legacy with you that your current partner can’t help. Here you need patience and many conversations. Clarify such experiences with each other.


Your attitude

And then time is also a question of attitude:

There are people who are either completely or not at all.
They love spending time with their partner. The partner automatically slides to number 1 in the schedule list.
Others say to themselves: Always take everything slowly!
For these people it’s not a big change when they get into a relationship, their schedule hardly changes and the new partner has to fit in somehow.
As you can see: The subject of time is quite comprehensive!


The Time Management Matrix

Not to forget, of course, the external conditions: Work, college, school, family etc. In the chaos of everyday life there is often so much to do that there is sometimes little time left for the partnership.

There is the so-called time management matrix. Sounds more complicated than it is:

There are things in our lives that are extremely important, and there are things that are quite unimportant.

Very important things are of course food, sleeping, school, work. These things really shout at us, they are very loud in our lives, we can hardly ignore them.
Then there are also important things, they are very quiet. It’s easy to miss them. Things like health and prevention, and also relationship work, conversations.

So we have important things that are loud and obvious. The others are quiet and usually fall down in the back.

But there are also unimportant things. Television, mobile phone, computer games, Youtube, some phone calls or conversations.

Unfortunately, some of these unimportant things are also loud and yell at us:

The computer game is yelling at us: Play me, or you’ll lose your points.

Youtube calls: You have to watch these movies, otherwise you are not up to date.

The cell phone screams: “Come on, take me in your hand, there’s another message coming, you’re missing everything.

Some people tell us the latest gossip, you can spend a lot of time with them. And apparently that’s vital too!


We don’t really care about the unimportant things that don’t scream loudly: it could be chilling on the sofa or something else that’s neither necessary nor loud. (Or maybe your sofa is screaming at you!)


The problem with this matrix is that all the things that scream loudly, important or unimportant, pose a danger to those things that are incredibly important but quiet.


As a couple it is often easier to turn on the TV than to make tea and talk about important questions.

Nothing against TV. But especially when you don’t have so much time for each other anyway, a good conversation could be very important.

Or if your partner’s friends or family are always at the centre of your relationship, then it would also be important to listen to the soft voice, to do something alone.

The same goes for work. Especially in the construction of your life and your career it seems to be absolutely necessary to always be reachable for the employer. But the partner is at least as important.

So you see, there are a lot of things fighting for your attention every day. Try to sit down together and fill in this matrix for yourself. And think about how you want to proceed concretely. Make a plan!


Read more in part 2