Is there such a thing as too much togetherness?

You have probably heard the old saying, “Absence makes the heart grow fonder,” as well as its corollary, “Familiarity breeds contempt.” Science does support these sayings, demonstrating repeatedly that the happiest couples are those who spend some time apart.

Spending time apart lets you develop some independence, gain a healthy perspective on your relationship, and maintain a bit of mystery. It also prevents you from relying on your partner to fill all of your social, emotional, and psychological needs.

All couples are different, and like everything else in your relationship, the balance of separateness and togetherness must be negotiated. In general, however, spending some time apart will help you appreciate the time that you spend together.

Looking for verifiable information on the science of attraction and relationships? We’re a neuroscientist and a biological anthropologist eager to help you put the Anatomy of Love to work in your own life.