There is a simple thing in relationships that keeps them strong. This thing can slip away almost unnoticed, and takes conscious effort to get back.
That thing is slow time. Slow time is time when you have nothing pressing, when everything else fades away into nothingness. It is when you let go of all the distractions that of the rest of the world, and nothing else exists but the two of you.
In today’s world, there is always something going on, always something else you could be doing. It’s easy to get caught up in the rush, only slowing down long enough to sleep, if that.
When you do that, though, you’re giving up something important, maybe even vital. You’re giving up the enjoyment of the moment, the ability to let nothing matter but what you are doing right now.
With all those distractions and thoughts of what you could be doing, or need to do, or should do tomorrow going through your mind, you have no chance to rest, mentally. The stresses, injuries, and emotional toxins just keep building up, with no end in sight.
Ask any body builder, and they will tell you that you cannot grow stronger without rest. It’s true for your body, and it’s also true for your mind. You work your mind, as a body builder works their body, but if you don’t give it time to rest, it has no chance to recover.
It also works that way with relationships… going and doing things together is important, but so is rest. If you don’t have the slow time, where your mind, your emotions, your relationship, and even your souls can rest, the relationship will be slowly torn apart, unable to grow.
Slow time isn’t time when you actually do nothing, it’s just time when the rest of the world, and all your other things you are involved in, get left behind.
Here are some suggestions for things to do to enjoy your slow time:
Holding hands is something that a lot of couples forget to do regularly, once they’ve been together for a while. Holding hands, away from the rest of the world, is a great way to really show how much you love each other.
Just lightly touch your partner… trace their jaw line, run your fingers lightly over their back, kiss them very softly. Like holding hands, this is a great way to tell someone that you love them without saying a word.
Look Into Each Other’s Eyes
The eyes are the window to the soul… any time you are feeling uncomfortable, you have a hard time looking directly into someone’s eyes. When nothing else matters, though, you can look into each other’s eyes, past all the walls that are usually up, and see into the depths of your significant other’s soul.
Talking is also good… but only if you stay away from heavy topics. Ask each other questions where the answer isn’t really that important, questions that let you get to know each other better. If you need suggestions, you can look at my list of creative questions from yesterday.
Listen To Music
It can be good to listen to music during slow time, too, especially if it’s slower music that means something to the two of you. Even if you both love heavy metal, though, I suggest staying away from it… something that fast, that driving, makes it very hard to take it slow and just be there.
Go For A Walk
Going for a walk together is good, too. It gets you out a bit, away from the four walls that usually surround you. It should be a slow, leisurely stroll, though, not a power walk. This is time for your relationship, not your exercise.
Watching the sun set can be good quality slow time, too. It is, by definition, a slow, leisurely activity, which is exactly what you want. The quality of light at sunset is usually good for getting your subconscious to relax, too, telling it that the day is over.
Have A Quiet Dinner
You can really get great slow time together over dinner, too, if you eat somewhere with at least a reasonable amount of privacy. That could be a booth at a restaurant, or a picnic in a park… whatever suits the two of you.
Go To The Beach
The beach is great for letting go of stress, especially around sunset. The light and the sound of the waves can just soothe away your troubles, letting you get into the good slow time quicker. Being there at sunset also means it’s a lot less likely to be crowded (crowds are generally not helpful to forgetting the rest of the world).
The last, but maybe the best, suggestion on this list is to remember. You can talk about memories from things you’ve done together, or from your childhoods. You can talk about what you remember from when you first met, or the best memory you have of them.
Most importantly, though, remember the time you’re having right then… store it up inside of you, to pull out when you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed, depressed or sad. Remember it so that you remember to do it again.
So, if you’re feeling stressed, or you’re feeling that your relationship is stalled, not going anywhere, do something about it… slow down.
Or, to paraphrase something I remember from my army days: Hurry up and slow down!
PS – Wow, this hit my top ten most popular articles list in under 24 hours… Thank you!