Relationship Jet-Lag: What Is It?
Have you ever felt like your partner and you aren’t on the same page? Do you come home after a long day of work and find you and your partner have wildly different ideas of what you’re going to do next? Do you feel like you and your partner are out of sync and you can’t find a way to match again?
If so, you might be experiencing relationship jet-lag. It’s not uncommon, particularly in long-distance relationships. While it can develop due to many reasons, they all revolve around one thing: difficulty handling transitions between one part of your day and another. Relationship jet-lag can be difficult to identify, but taking a closer look at its different forms can help. If you and your partner are ready to work on things in therapy, we offer couples counseling sessions.
Stuck in a Previous Phase
If you’ve had a long day at work, it can be difficult to disconnect from it. It can be hard to switch your focus to your partner, to spend time with them and relax when your head is full of thoughts about work. The difficulty of making that switch can make it hard for you and your partner to connect. It can lead to you both feeling out of sync with each other.
The opposite can also count as relationship jet-lag. You go to work in the morning and you can’t focus because you’re thinking about your partner. Maybe you had an argument you can’t stop thinking about, or you had breakfast together and you’re still thinking about that moment even hours later. While you may not be out of touch with your partner, you still aren’t on the same page as the rest of the world around you.
Unappealing New Phase
When the next part of our day is not something we find appealing, the transition between one part and the next becomes more difficult. You might be heading to work for an unpleasant shift, and all you feel like doing is staying with your partner and doing something fun together. Or, maybe you had a fight with your partner and you struggle to enter a phase where you have to be around them.
This version of relationship jet-lag affects long-distance couples in particular. The last thing you want is to separate for a while, but the moment comes all the same. It can be hard to change into that mindset when all you want is to stay together for a little longer.
Need For a Transition Period
Sometimes, no matter the reason, transitions aren’t short or instantaneous. It’s not a matter of waiting two minutes until you can move on to the next phase. Sometimes you need a little longer, maybe half an hour, where you can let go of the previous phase and fully settle into a new one.
This type of relationship jet-lag can cause trouble with your partner if you don’t communicate properly. They might feel that you don’t really want to spend time with them, when in reality this is something you personally need in order to enjoy the time you spend together.
Dealing with Relationship Jet-Lag
Relationship jet-lag might be a little tricky, but a lot of problems caused by it can be solved. Your most important ally is communication. If you and your partner can’t naturally get on the same page, then talking about it will help both communicate your needs and resolve any misunderstandings you may have.
As for the jet-lag itself, it’s possible to learn to live with it. You might want to try setting time aside specifically to let your body and mind adjust to the next phase you’re moving onto. Transitions aren’t easy, so if you can, be patient with yourself. You’ll learn how to deal with them with time and practice.
Whether you’d like to get help for your own trouble adjusting to transitions, or you and your partner would like to get couples counseling, don’t hesitate to reach out. We’ll help you deal with relationship jet-lag in whatever way you need.