It’s important to learn to enjoy silence with the people you care about, especially with your partner. You need to be able to sit and enjoy the same space, but not necessarily be chatting up a storm. There’s a level of peace and contentment that comes with being able to just be with someone.
I’m not good at being quiet around friends… or people generally. Alone, I love to read and do lots of yoga, prance around listening to music, lots of things that don’t require talking. But with people, I feel the need to talk and make sure there aren’t any awkward silences. It’s not great. Firstly, it can be super annoying. I get that.
It can take some practice. Doing things together that don’t involve speaking— like watching a concert or a film— are a good way to start if you’re as bad at it as I am. Then you can build on doing it more and more with other activities. It’ll be worth it. Partly because it can be a practical necessity, if you’re going to spend a lot of time together then you can’t be talking for every moment of it. But more because it’s an important part of the relationship’s stability.
Here are five reasons it’s important to be able to be quiet with you partner:
1. It’s A Must If You’re Going To Live Together
I mean, it’s a non-negotiable. If you are planning on getting to co-habitation point, you’re going to need to be able to just chill out with one another, or else neither of you will ever get any rest.
2. It Makes Travel Way Easier
Going on vacation together can be a big test for couples— it’s really been a “make or break” situation for a lot of my friend’s relationships. A good way to keep it from breaking you? Not needing to talk the whole time. Travel is so stressful and you both need some time to decompress and recover, so let that be quiet time.
3. It Shows A Comfort Level
A lot of incessant chatting comes from an insecurity in the situation— you’re not quite comfortable and trying to cover it up with talk. When you’ve really becomerelaxed with your significant other, when you’re actually being yourself, you’ll be able to be quiet.
4. It Allows You To Do Different Things In The Same Space
There are different ways to spend time together. Obviously you need quality time when you’re really doing something as a pair. But not all shared time needs to be that intense. As you date longer or want to spend more time together, being able to occupy the same space while doing separate things is important. You can read while your partner gets some work done, or one of you can be futzing on the computer while the other douses laundry. You shouldn’t spend all of your time together zoned out that way (put down the damn phone, OK?), but you should be able to do it comfortably.
5. It Saves You From Empty Talking
A lot of the things we say when we’re talking out of nerves or awkwardness is utter bull. I say that, as the queen of talking utter bull sometimes out of nerves and awkwardness. It can feel compulsive, impossible to control. But you say a lot of stuff you don’t have to, sometimes even things you don’t mean. The less you do that, the more nonsense you’ll cut out and the more authentic your relationship will be.
Originally posted on Bustle