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My Partner's Away and I Don't Miss Him


Published June 17, 2015 at 10:00 a.m.

Dear Athena,

I have been apart from my partner for several weeks, and I don't miss him at all. Is there something wrong with the relationship?


Feeling Suspicious

Dear Feeling Suspicious,

What kind of not missing him are we talking about here? Do thoughts of him pop up now and then and make you smile before you move on? Or is it more, Phew, he's gone, and you're trolling old boyfriends on Facebook or flirting with the cute bank teller? Because there certainly is a difference.

If you're queasy thinking about his return, or busy making eyes at other hotties, perhaps you've been stifling some feelings about your relationship. Otherwise, I think it's healthy that you aren't desperate for his return.

Maybe the reason you don't miss him the way you thought you would is that you're enjoying the free time — which is great! You should! Relationships, even good ones, can be all-consuming, making us neglect much-needed time to ourselves. Some people are really good at balancing relationships with the rest of their lives. Others have a hard time not making their partner their everything.

Several weeks is a long time to be apart when you're in a serious relationship, but this doesn't mean you're in trouble. I wouldn't worry about how you should or shouldn't feel in your partner's absence. Just let yourself feel whatever you feel.

You'll learn a lot more about what it's like to be away from each other when he returns. Will you resent his homecoming? Will it be a challenge to balance couple time with you time? Or will you be pleasantly surprised by feelings of longing that suddenly bubble up? Whatever the scenario, it will help you understand where this relationship is headed.

Assuming his return is a happy reunion, make sure to stay in touch with yourself going forward. Set aside alone time, or time with friends, to do those activities that can easily be neglected when you're with a partner. If you aren't connected to yourself, you certainly can't be connected to anyone else in a healthy and positive way.