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January 13, 2022

(Quality) Time Management In Relationships

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How much time should you spend together?
What constitutes quality time?
How do you talk about your need for alone time, and time apart?
How do you divide your time when you’re busy and there never seems to be enough time?

In this episode, Jess and Brandon share their personal responses to the questions in the “Talking About Time Discussion” — questions and reflection prompts for better time management in relationships. You can utilize it with a partner or any other loved one and use these prompt to get started:

  • How much time do you like to spend alone and why?
  • How much time do you want to spend with friends? Why is it important to you to spend time with friends?
  • How much time do you want to spend with your family? Why is time with your family important to you?
  • Are you happy with the time we do spend together – would you like more or less?
  • Would you like to spend our time together differently?
  • What benefits do you attach to spending time apart?
  • What do you see as the greatest impediment to spending quality time together? How can we address this?
  • What change can we make this week to improve the quality of the time together?
  • How did your family spend time together growing up? What might you change if you could do it again?
  • What is your definition of “quality time”?
  • Do you have any experiences; with quality time, lack of time, or time apart from other relationships that might help me understand how you feel about how we allocate time together and apart?

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Rough Transcript:

This is a computer-generated rough transcript, so please excuse any typos. This podcast is an informational conversation and is not a substitute for medical, health or other professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the services of an appropriate professional should you have individual questions or concerns.

Participant #1:
You’re listening to the Sex with Dr. Jess podcast. Sex and relationship advice you can use tonight. Welcome to the Sex with Dr. Jess podcast. I’m your co host, Brandon Ware, here with my lovely other half, Dr. Jess. Hey, it’s 2022. It is. We’re hanging in surviving. How are your New Year’s resolutions going? Last week, we talked about different resolutions for couples. And you talked a little bit about your plans for the year. What’s on your mind? Yeah, my resolutions are going reasonably well. Ask me again next week. Well, you’re working out. That was sort of one of your resolutions. Yeah. Just to maintain physical activity every single day and to also read a little bit more. So I’ve definitely checked both those boxes so far. What are you reading? You really want to know? I’ve been reading up more on NFTs and decentralized finance in the basement with my hoodie on and the lights off. No, it’s actually really interesting stuff. There’s really interesting stuff happening in that field. I know that it’s still on the margins in some ways. I know that it’s a specific group that’s involved in it primarily. Okay. What have you learned any, like, Pearls of system? I still don’t know. I’ve been reading up for about ten months on it, and I’d like to give a shout out to a couple of good friends of ours who kind of introduced us to it so that, you know, I still don’t know what I’m doing. Every time I transfer money around, I’m afraid I’ve lost it. I watched a video of, like, a four year old girl, maybe three year old, explaining what blockchain is, and she built it with little wooden blocks. And I was like, okay, this makes a little more sense. Blockchain makes sense. Some of the tokens that some of the altcoins that I’ve been looking at. It’s the Wild West. Like Dogecoin. That’s just the tip of the iceberg, man. When you start digging into what some of these coins are, I have no idea what’s going on. All right. I feel like we need to move away from this, so. Yeah, New Year’s resolutions on point. We’re good. You’re reading, you’re exercising. I want to brag. And how about you? Well, I have been exercising a little. Yeah. I think we’re recording twelve days into the New Year. It’s January 12 today, and I’ve done more workouts this year in 2022. This is sad than I did in 2021, and I don’t know how many I’ve done. Probably like eight or something like that. And they’re short. Like, I can’t do a long workout. I can do a five to ten minute one. Do you want to tell everyone what you do while you work out? I’m watching HBO Max’s, The Sex Lives of College Girls. I love it. You don’t even know how much time you have left with a particular exercise. You’re just doing what you’re doing with HBO playing in the background yeah, it’s an interesting show. I think it’s called The Sex Lives of College Girls. And yeah, it’s Mindy Kaling is involved in that. I think it’s kind of interesting. I think it’s definitely a more diverse cast. They’ve definitely looked at defying some stereotypes around gender and sexual orientation and ability and race. It’s still mostly one type of body on there. And I’m certain there could certainly be criticisms and it’s opportunities for growth. But as I do my eight pushups per week, I’m enjoying the show. And it’s kind of cool that we’ve been making the time, at least for me, to do a little exercise because I need movement. Man, I really miss it. And at the end of last year, actually, I started playing sports again. Right. I got to play Ultimate Frisbee because the caseloads were fairly low and I was so into it. I think one day I got to play five games at a tournament. I think that must have been in December. And then everything hit the fan. Yeah. Everything is shut down for folks who don’t know in Toronto, like there are no organized sports, restaurants are closed, schools are closed. So we’re back. But it’s getting better. I think we’re kind of on the precipice, and I guess the cases are going to drop off soon. So I’m going to get back to playing sports. I would rather never work out. Like, I have no interest in doing a push up or doing class. And also working out is not a push up. I did a push up yesterday. I just did a push up. I worked out. I’m done. Some people do them on their feet. Some people do them on their knees. I do them on my stomach. I do my pushups on my back. I lift from the belly buttons. All right. We’re doing something interesting today. We will be talking about time. So I am teaching a program with Coach Sonya on 30 days to master your relationships. And you’ve probably heard me talk about it. And tonight we’re covering communication. And in this communication session, we’re covering styles of communication. We’re covering some of the roadblocks to communication. We’re going to look at what triggers people, and then we’re going to go through a bunch of communication exercises as well as some essential conversations for couples. So I’ve done this in lots of different workshops before. And one of the eight core conversations revolves around time, how we feel about time, how we spend our time, how the ways in which we spend our time communicate messaging to our partners, to other people around us. And so I thought you and I could maybe go through the activity like a mini version of the exercise. I don’t have time. Yes. Time is supposed to be our most precious commodity. And I think we all talk about how busy we are. You, I think, used to wear busy as a badge of honor, right? Absolutely. Yeah. And years ago, I stopped doing that because I think we had this communication where the idea of being super busy doesn’t equate to success, doesn’t equate to happiness. It was just something that I had always been told you needed to do to be productive, be busy. Well. And it’s interesting because I love being busy. I don’t really see it as a badge of honor. I definitely don’t think it denotes success because I’m not busy doing things related to success necessarily. But I like movement. Like, you know me. I like a little frenetic energy. I like being all over the place. It’s my comfort zone. But the way you invest your time really depends on your personality. I think some people need more alone time. Others want more time with friends. For some of us, we’re really absorbed by our work and love our work and other people work to live in relationships. Kids can change everything. I think cultural, family, personal values all kind of play a role. And they vary so much from person to person, from family to family. And so I think we just need to talk about expectations in an open ended way. Right. I think relationships don’t work out when your expectations are different than your partners or you can’t find common ground. And I do believe that in many relationships, you can find this common ground if you start talking about issues before those issues erode away at your connection, before those issues build into resentment and before you allow them to kind of eclipse all the positive feelings you share. Now, if you feel it’s too late. I don’t think it’s too late. I think that if you’re already feeling tension, if you’re already feeling resentment, there are things you can do about that. And we actually did a previous episode recently on how to let go of resentment. But what I want to do today is do this kind of open ended discussion on what time means to us and how we spend it and what quality time means. Before we dive into the conversation, I want to shout out our sponsor this week, Adam and Eve.com. They sell all the sexy stuff under the sun. Vibrators, dildos, penis rings, lingerie, fetish wear, all that fun stuff. And you can save a big amount. Actually, 50% off almost any item, plus free shipping and a bunch of free goodies with Code Doctor Jess. So if your new year involves, I don’t know, new sex exploits or new discoveries around vibes, definitely. Or maybe you just want new lingerie, new underwear. Check it out. Adam and Eve.com, code Dr. Jess. It’s funny. I was reading something. I was just thinking about underwear. I saw this list on Instagram on, like, things you should have and things you should get rid of. And I think it was Tom Ford. Is he the one who’s a little bit of a. I’m not sure. I think it was Tom Ford. And he said that you shouldn’t keep your socks or underwear more than six months. And I was like, dude, come on, did you maybe wash them after six months? You’ve only got three pairs and you’re going through them twice a week. Then maybe six months is your cut off. I wish I saved this post. Sorry, I totally digressed there. But I was just so irritated by the whole post because there was this list of things that you must do and you must have it was like, you have to have this suit and these shoes and you should have lace up shoes and loafers. And I’m like, okay, I don’t think everybody can have all these things. I definitely don’t throw my socks or underwear out after six months. No, neither do I. I do like their suits, though. Okay, maybe I’m a jerk and I’m misquoting the guy, so it might have been a different name. I’m awful with designers. I just thought of it when I was thinking about new lingerie because I’m like, yes, invest in new lingerie. Check out Adams.com, but please don’t feel you have to toss it after six months. Yeah, no, I agree with that. Okay, so with that out of the way, let’s talk about this time discussion. So what I have is a set of prompts for you to reflect on your own or discuss with a partner what time means to you. And it is tailored at couples, at people in relationships. But Interestingly, I think a lot of close friends can also use this exercise because some of us spend a lot of time with our close friends. And time can become an issue with friends. Like, I know throughout the pandemic I saw some shifts with my friends where we were spending a ton of time together, and then for different reasons, we’d spend time apart. And I think those are things that could be useful to talk about. So I think what I’ll do is read through the questions and then we can discuss them a little ourselves because we have all right. So considering a regular work week, how much time do you like to spend alone and why? All right, how much time do you like to spend alone and why? How much time do you want to spend with friends? And I always want to get into the why, not just the what? So why is spending time with friends important to you? How much time do you want to spend with family? Who is your family? Why is time with family important to you? Are you happy with the amount of time we spend together? Would you like more or less? And I know that’s a bit of a difficult discussion, but again, if we can dig into our why, I think we can have a more meaningful and fruitful and less perhaps intense conversation. Would you like to spend our time together differently? Right. So how do you define quality time what benefits do you attach to spending time apart because there is so much value? And in previous podcasts, I’ve talked about this a lot. All the value of spending time apart. What do you see as an impediment to spending quality time together? And how can we address this? What change can we make today or this week to improve the quality of the time we spend together? How did your family or loved ones spend time together growing up? Because a lot of this is rooted in our childhood values, family values, cultural values. What might you change if you could do it again? What is your definition of quality time? I might have said that before. Do you have any experiences with quality time, lack of time or time apart in previous or other relationships that might help me to understand how you feel about how we allocate time together and apart? So that’s sort of digging into triggers, right. So if you don’t want to spend, for example, your Saturday night with me, am I telling myself a story about what Saturday night means? Right. Okay, well, then I’m not his top pick, right? If I’m telling myself that story, we need to talk about that and where that’s rooted and where it comes from. So these questions will be posted in the show notes. Head on over to Sex with Doctorjet.com on the podcast page if you want to get a handout. And so maybe we could start with a few of these. I feel out of breath just going through them. How much time do you like to spend a loan, Babe? Kind of tongue tied already as a percentage or just on a daily basis? Whatever works for you. I think on a daily basis I like to spend more time alone than I think. I realize. I enjoy just having the quiet. So anyway, to answer your question, I’m thinking maybe an hour and a half a day of my waking time just on my own. Okay. Does the bathroom count? In which case, I’m not one of those who spend a lot of time in the bathroom. People. No, it’s an efficiency thing. Yeah, I’m all about whether any bathing, it’s like just be done as quickly as you can. But that’s me. How about you? How much do you wash your legs? Of course I wash my legs. Some people don’t wash their legs. Oh, sorry. I just thought that was a question. Like I have dirty legs. No, I wash my legs for sure. So maybe we should talk about the qualitative part, because it’s interesting that you came back with 1.5 point 90 minutes. Exactly. Because I would never be able to come up with a hard number. So I think the qualitative side. What do you value about time alone? Why do you like time alone? What does it feel like for you? Time alone is calm, it’s collected. It gives me a chance to reflect whether it’s about what I have to do that day or just even read. I think that it gives me time to organize my thoughts. So I don’t know if that’s quiet. It is quiet. I mean, if I didn’t have work and we were spending our time together, like a typical just a Saturday or Sunday or a day off, I’d push that percentage higher. I’d say I want to spend more time alone. And that’s not because I don’t really enjoy our time. But if we had 1214 16 hours stint together, I’d want to carve out some time for myself. I like to work out on my own. I thought that I don’t enjoy working out with you. Hang on. You’ve been working. Our eight minute workouts have been great. I did the push up. I did done a button push up. So it kind of depends on the day. But a typical day where I have work to do, I like to spend an hour, hour and a half on my own. How about you? How much time? Because you’re a social butterfly. I’m a social butterfly, but I actually love being alone. Like, I think I mentioned a few weeks ago that you were out for the night and I was so excited to be in the house alone. I love doing things on my own. Like, I love eating alone because I don’t have to talk to anyone. I love pouring myself a glass of wine and having like, I know you’re not supposed to drink alone, but I like not having to entertain. So I think I’m naturally chatty. I like to laugh. I like to mess around. I definitely like to entertain. I like to tell stories. But then there’s a part of me that’s, like, I don’t want to entertain people. I don’t want to be funny. I don’t want to make sure everybody’s comfortable. So I don’t know about how much time I like to spend alone. And this is why, like, a conversation like this is so valuable from a self reflection point of view, kind of regardless of whether you’re partnered or not. Because I think just from this super brief conversation, maybe I want more time alone than I realized and I just don’t carve it out. So I think that’s something for me to reflect on alone, because I can’t pick a number. I’m like, I don’t ever have time alone is how I feel. I feel like I’m never by myself. I feel when I get up first thing in the morning and I’m having a coffee, reading the paper that’s time I get to spend a loan. Actually, maybe the amount of time I spend a loan is a lot more than I really think about. But I can spend an hour and a half alone in the mornings easily and then even another hour in the evening. I find it just helps me collect my thoughts. It’s interesting because one thing I like is when we’re in the same room, but we’re not talking. I love not talking to you. I love when you’re there and just not saying, yeah, I like you in body but not in spirituality. It’s funny because you were saying that all these things that you enjoy doing with other people, laughing. I’m like, I could do all that on my own. I am hilarious. No, I like sitting in silence and just knowing that you’re there. So if I’m on one side of the couch working or on my phone, like I do the spelling Bee and the crossword. Right. So I’m your dog. The quiet comfort of a dog in the room. And you know what? I’m cool with that because I love a dog. Well, when I think about people I admire. So Mike is my cousin. He’s married to Denise. Their daughter and son are Annabella and Matt. And Denise and Annabella were on the podcast a couple of weeks ago. We rebooted the podcast from last year. So you might remember them, but they’re people that I really look up to and admire because they’re so much older than me. Mike is, though. Is he twelve years older than me? Yeah, I believe so. Yeah, they’re older than me, but I just look up to them because they are fulfilled people and kind people and gracious people. Thoughtful. Thoughtful. Oh, so thoughtful. And they have such a nice marriage. Like, at some point when everything calms down, we have to get Mike and Denise on the podcast because they have such a nice marriage. How did you describe him? He’s an active service person, for sure. Yeah. I mean, he’s just probably one of the more thoughtful people. I feel like he takes a lot of time to reflect on what’s important and not just to him, but to the people around him. Like, he genuinely cares about creating experience, social connections and connections and routines and things that I feel like he can reflect back on at any point in time and say, this was great, and I’ve documented it. We created something. So, I mean, thoughtful, sincere are two words that definitely come tomorrow. We got to get them on the podcast. And she’s just like, honestly, the most lovely person ever. You can’t imagine a more lovely person. She’s the nicest person I’ve ever met. But one thing I noticed about them is that they have this lovely marriage, two really great grown up kids. They work together. She’s the CEO of this massive family company, or C-O-O. And sorry, Thalia is still CEO, but they’ll sit in silence a lot, and we’ll sit with them in the room, and we’re all just scrolling on our phones and so happy to be there. And I think people would look in from the outside and say, oh, look how technology has destroyed these relationships. They’re not even talking, but you don’t always have to be talking. And so that’s a part of my quality time is just the closeness that we share. Like the comfort knowing that at any moment I can open a conversation with you, but also feeling no pressure to do that. So I don’t know if I skirted the question, but it’s definitely something that requires more reflection on my part about when do I want to spend time alone? How much do I want to spend? I know why. I just love being alone. But I never do it. I never do it. Okay. So moving through some of the other questions, how much time I’m going to skip over? Actually, no, we should do friends. We’re not going to get through all of these folks. So we’re going to recap the questions at the end. They’re also in the show notes, but we’re going to do a few ourselves. Let’s not skip anything. So how much time do you want to spend with friends and how why is spending time with friends important to you? I don’t spend a lot of time with friends, and I hate to admit it’s not as important to me. Why do you hate to admit that? I think because socially that’s looked upon as a negative. Right. Like it’s not something that I think a lot of people. So I enjoy spending time with my friends, but it’s not something that I feel right now. I need to prioritize. So maybe that will be different in a year or a month or two years. But right now I enjoy spending time with the people that I have chosen to spend time with. And I guess those are my friends, but also some of them are classified as family. So the other friends that I have, it’s not as much of a priority for me. Well, that’s a great point because so many of us have chosen family. So many of us choose our family as friends. Right. Like my family is massive and never ending and there’s nowhere I can go with her as a and a cousin. And so as my mom said, we pick, choose and refuse with whom we actually cultivate more meaningful, closer, more intimate bonds. And so, yeah, my cousins are some of my they’re my family, but they’re also, I guess, my closest friends. So there definitely is some overlap here. Agreed. The reason I separated them is because in some of our cultures, family is held in a different way. Agreed. Right. And so for me, spending time with friends is important. And I don’t know, again, these are really hard questions for me. So I don’t like to spend too long with people. I don’t want days and days and days on end. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t some friends that I like to see every day. Like I have one close friend who lives very close to me. And if we could get together for a walk every day, we would. And I don’t grow tired of her. We’re tired of her we have so much to talk about. We have so many shared values and struggles to overcome together. I also really value chatting with friends via text. And I know that that seems weird to people. And you’ll hear therapists say that text lacks tone and nuance. But for those of us who maybe think differently or have some sort of neurodivergence, that can be something that is helpful to us. I love texting. I love long texting. I don’t love texting for work necessarily, like back and forth and back and forth, but with friends. I love catching up via text without the pressure to be on a call, without the pressure to at this moment in time, be in person, and I can’t pick an amount of time. I definitely want to be in touch with friends every day. And it’s important to me because I just have all these different types of relationships. Like, I have one type with you, and I don’t want to say type. Sorry. It’s just different. Like, the things we talk about are different. I have more shared identity with this one close friend of mine. Like, we have to share a lot in common. What’s interesting to me about your friendships is that I like when you spend time with your friends. I like when you’re hanging out with your friends. I mean, I still regard them as my friends, too. I mean, I’m friendly with them. Of course they consider you a friend. Yeah. I’m just saying that you’re the primary connection in that relationship. But I enjoy when your friends pop over. I feel like it gives me a chance to interact with them, but I also can pull back. So it’s like you have somebody to interact with. I can engage for a little bit, and then I can step away if I want it. It’s a weird dynamic. It’s an interesting dynamic for me because I’m just reflecting on it right now, and that friend might come over, you might have a glass of wine with them. I get to chat for a few minutes or however long

Participant #1:
no. And then I can step away and come back and kind of go back and forth. So it gives me that flexibility, too. Do you feel pressure to engage with me or entertain me? Sometimes I think if we go away, for instance, when we’re in Jamaica at this one particular spot, again, you use the word frenetic. I think you have a lot of energy you love, and I don’t have, I think, as much energy as you do. Well, I am. I am hyperactive. Okay. Like, I would be defined as. So let’s go. I’m like, I would love to just have a coffee and sit down for this. Do you want to go see if there’s an octopus? Do you want to go look for an octopus? Hey, look, there’s a squirrel. There’s a turtle. But interesting, when you start really thinking about these questions, it’s interesting what you come up with about your own relationships and how you feel. Tell me this. Do my friends relieve you? Like you feel a sense of relief that like I enjoy when someone is entertaining me. I enjoy, yeah. I mean, a little bit. But I also enjoy when your friends come over. I mean, it’s boisterous, it’s fun. There’s a great energy, there’s laughter, there’s all of these things. We’re loud. Yes, you are. But you know what? It’s good times. I like it. I think a part of it is I don’t like the pressure of being around friends and feeling like we have to replicate or create that. I think you like being on the periphery. Is that a fair thing to say? Yes, very much. Like you like it the in and out and we laugh at it, we make fun of it, we joke about it. And I’ll tell you, I actually love that about the way you interact with my friends. I love that if we decide to go on a walk, you might join us. You might not you might join us for a bit and then ditch us. You might chat with us a bit and then walk behind us and listen to a podcast because we’ll go for long walks. And I think that’s pretty cool. I can’t wait for the time where we can do things other than long walks. But it’s coming. It’s coming. So you can tell from this conversation that I think it’s very open ended. It can go in different directions. It’s not a one shot deal. The next question is about family. How much time do you want to spend with family? And of course, we have to define who we want to spend time with our family, because I might want to spend time with one sibling or not another sibling or one cousin and not another cousin. Or I might have the type of relationship, like I can say, for example, with my cousin’s Mike, Denise, Anna, Matt. And I have to clarify, Denise isn’t a blood cousin because my cousin didn’t marry my cousin, but she’s my cousin in law. I can spend long periods of time like we live in the same space oftentimes and we do our own thing and they’re very low pressure. They’re very easy going. And then there might be other family members where I need a little bit more space or have to ask for a little bit more flexibility. So this is I don’t know if you even want to talk about this publicly. I don’t want you to feel any pressure. How much time do you want to spend with family? Do you want to group my family, your family? Do you want to separate? Yeah. I think it depends on who the family member is, as you had said. I think that there’s some family who I’ve just completely cut out of my life. And they’re not necessarily immediate family, but I don’t see them anymore. And that’s a decision that I’ve made. Was it conscious? I think it wasn’t at first, but I think it became a conscious decision if I were to have to make a decision. Now it’s a conscious decision. And again, it’s not necessarily everyone, it’s specific people. But I’m okay with that. When it comes to how much time do I want to spend with family, I couldn’t give you an exact amount. I’d have to think about that because our schedules are so busy at sometimes and when we’re traveling, we’re doing our thing. I would love to spend more time with certain people and I’d love for them to come, but I know that isn’t always feasible. So I think the situation, the context matters as well. But there just isn’t a focus where I’m like I need to spend X amount of time with family a week to kind of fill the bucket of fulfillment. Yeah. It’s interesting that you seem to be thinking about quantitative. I want this much time and I’m thinking more for myself. There’s no wrong way or right way. In fact, I think quantitative can be really useful, especially when there’s tension and conflict around how we spend our time. I just think I want to spend lots of time with family. I don’t know what that means, like, I don’t know in hours or in days or in months. But I know that prioritizing time with family is super important to me and it varies from person to person. I’ll admit that being Chinese Jamaican, I do experience a sense of obligation, even with family members that maybe don’t always bring me joy or peace. I’m not saying they don’t bring me any joy or peace, but family members, that might be a little bit more draining for me. I still feel a sense of obligation, but the ones who bring me joy and comfort and almost serenity, I want to prioritize that so much, not just for me, but for the two of us. I love when we go spend time with certain people who make us feel great. Right. Who are inspiring in some ways, whom we admire vacations for me. Listen, if we’re in a city, I want to be with you because we like to rush around and do our thing and keep it open and just wander. But I like spending time with family on vacations. Like that’s something I like with separate rooms. In some cases, it’s like literally separate strips for themselves. No, not hotels. And that’s the other thing. I like traveling with family who I am very lucky to get to travel with family who do their own thing. Right. So when we travel with my mum and my stepdad, for example, if they get up before us, they’re not like waiting for us to go to breakfast or making anybody feel bad for not getting up at the same time. No, never. It’s the same thing with Mike. Denise, Anna, Matt. Like, for example, if we’re busy working, they’re not going to worry about waiting for us to go for lunch. They’re going to do what feels right. I don’t know. It’s clear I want to be like them. So my answer to that is that I want lots of time with family because they’re important to me and so many of them bring me so much joy. We’re kind of lucky in that we’re on the same page with different people. Like the ones I like. You like the ones I love. You love the ones I limit my time with. You would limit your time with. And that’s the other thing I think that’s such an important piece for me is that there’s no single way to have a happy relationship with someone like, you can have a really functional, caring, supportive relationship with one person. It looks totally different than a happy, functional, supportive relationship with other people. Like, I know with some people I just need to limit my time. Not because I don’t love them, not because I don’t enjoy their company, but just because certain things can feel like too much after a given period of time. Okay. I know we can’t get through this whole thing, but this one, I think is important. Are you happy with the time we spend together? Would you like more or less? I feel like we might have talked about this recently, but I can’t remember. We have so many conversations. I’m happy with the time that we spend together. Not always. I mean, each day isn’t the epitome of happiness in terms of how we spend our time together, because some days you’re busy. But generally speaking, overall, yes, I’m happy. There’s a second part to that question. Wasn’t there? Do you want more or less time together? I always want more time together when we’re enjoying our time together. Does that make any sense? Sorry. Yes, exactly. No. What I mean is when we’re feeling good, when we relax, when we’re enjoying our time together, then of course I want more of it. If it’s a work day and I’ve got things to do. It’s not that I don’t want to spend time with you. It’s just that I also need to attend to some of those other things. So generally speaking, yes, I’d like more time. I’d like to also focus our time to be more. What am I trying to say? I just have things I need to work on in terms of organizing and planning events and doing things. So I think if I could shift my time a little bit more to be more effective in that way, then I think we’d enjoy our time together even more. So. Was that super political? Does that make any sense? I’m not sure I fully understand. Are you saying you need more time generally to split always? No, because I think a good question that might be missing from this list that is actually on. One of my other exercises is like, how do you feel about your allocation of time between all the things in your life, whether it be partners, family, other loved ones, friends, work, leisure, self development, like whatever it is you value? I know. For me, for example, I feel like there’s not enough time, and that’s something I have to do something about. Like, I can’t create more time. I don’t have less time than other people. And so I know I need to just split my time better. Maybe I didn’t understand exactly what you’re saying. No, I think I did a really poor job of trying to explain. So, yes, I do want more time. I think the time that we do spend together, I’d like it to be better spent. Like, I don’t want to be spending it doing a choreogether or something where it’s something obligatory when we’re dedicating time to spend together. Quality time. I want it to be fun. I want to really enjoy that time that we spend as opposed to, okay, we’re together. Let’s go do groceries because we need to. And then let’s clean the kitchen together. The toilet. No. So maybe that’s what I’m trying to say. And I completely agree with you. I always feel like I’m running short on time, but these are decisions that I make, and I have to learn to everything comes with the sacrifice. So I just have to accept that if I’m going to sacrifice in one area to give to another, that the sacrifice. I have to be okay with that sacrifice, and you get to choose it. I think what I’m hearing from you is you want quality focused as opposed to just quantity focused. Yes, I would agree. And you kind of defined quality time a little. I think that’s a really important question. You said quality time is fun. It’s joyful. What constitutes quality time for you? Quality time is where I’m feeling relaxed. It doesn’t mean that I have to be lying down relaxed. It’s just like I’m in a good head space. Mentally, I feel good physically. I enjoy being physically active. So that could be us going and throwing the Frisbee or you’re going on a walk, doing something like that, doing a push up, doing your workout. A push up. It’s a brag. Cool, brag girl. I think that’s kind of where I’m at. How about you, how do you feel about this? About the time that we spend together? More or less. So definitely quality time for me is when we’re connecting. For me, it’s usually around conversations, like when we get into, like, a group where we’re just, I don’t know, having an interesting conversation, not just talking about the everyday stuff, but talking about something like exciting or meaningful or even challenging or talking about current events. I’ve seen a big shift in you over the last I don’t know how long ago, three years or so, where you read a lot more, and you’re always reading the paper. And I find that there’s more things to talk about with you now and then. Some of the issues that I’m really passionate about and emotional about and struggle with in the world, like global issues, political issues, identity based and oppression based issues, I feel like a long time ago I’d be talking about them and you’d listen. But now, because you’ve done so much of your own work and read not work, but research, I feel like you can engage with me in an interesting way. And so quality time for me is often like, we have these engaging conversations. Like, to me, this is quality time. Is it our regularly quality time? No. I want to acknowledge that we’ve got a microphone here. And so I don’t know that I’m letting loose 100% right? They always say, oh, you need to be yourself. You need to be authentic. There’s still a piece of me that’s thoughtful about the fact that we’re not all alone. I joke around about these conversations and taking so much out of these podcasts, but every time we’re having these conversations, I feel like we’re creating this foundation and we’re continuing to build upon this foundation that makes this relationship even better. And I agree that some of my favorite conversations, some of the ones I look forward to the most, are where we’re walking and we’re talking about what we’re working on and some big goals and some big dreams we’re problem solving even as fun. Yeah, I look forward to those. And those conversations we’ve had walking on a beach. We’ve had them walking through a city. We’ve had them walking through the park in our neighborhood, walking through Cabbage Town, which is the neighborhood right above us, and trying to walk through Cabbage a thousand times during the bed. Listen, Cabbage Town is great, but I’m ready for a new walk. Yes, unfortunately, we can’t get through all of these questions. Maybe we’ll go with the last one, which is, let’s go with what can we do to improve the quality of our time together? The first thing that comes to mind is just turning off my devices. So if I’m not being distracted by something else, I find that the time I spend the conversations that we have, I’m focused in on them. I’m focused in on whatever it is we’re discussing. Brandon needs to turn off his no, just kidding. Me too. Me too, for sure. This year over the holidays, I made a concerted effort to turn off my phone and not take it with me. Other than the two times during the day that I agreed that I had an auto response on that I would respond to messages and it changed how I felt and it was hard. I had this gravitational pull back to my device throughout the day where I just wanted to check something. I’m just going to do this or that. But I took the time to just sit there. We were away and I was sitting on a chair, not staring at a wall. Beautiful landscape and just breathing or just listening or looking or doing anything. And it really did help me recenter. And also when you came around because you didn’t engage in the same thing that I was engaging with because this was a personal decision, I felt like I had things that I wanted to talk to you about, which was great because there were things that I wanted to discuss. Yeah. We had an episode recently on Technoference and how to have a similar conversation to this one we’re having right now about time, but specifically around the use of technology. I don’t know if you remember, I do that conversation. And it actually brings me to how I want to close out with a couple of tips for resolving problems or I guess for dealing with time, like some time hacks. And one is if you want more quality time, put your phones away. Definitely. One thing I was trying before was to stay off my phone in the car because you’re driving. And then I’ll just be on my phone and you’ll try and talk. No, it’s okay. I’ll just go on my phone. Yeah. Listen, in Florida, I’m pretty sure you’re allowed to text and drive. I don’t know if that’s true, but I see lots of people texting and driving. So one is to put your phones away. Number two is if you are going to spend time apart. We didn’t really talk too much about spending time apart. I think we could do a full episode on how to deal when one person wants more time together and the other wants more time apart and how you really navigate that conversation. But if you are going to be spending time apart, like, for example, when I go back to travel, which I really look forward to, make sure you spend quality time together before you split up. So if you are going to be moving apart, make sure that that time together really counts. And you are always really good about this. Like when I was traveling, you’d always take the night off before and make sure that you didn’t have stuff to do and spend it with me. And you’d always take me to the airport with sex for time because this all relates to sex because people say they don’t have enough time or energy for sex. My advice from my experience is squeeze it in when you can, like make it a game. Instead of complaining about how little time you have, find ways to sneak it in. Just squeeze it in. Just go on, just put it in there. I was going to drop something. And then the other thing is if you feel that you’re disconnected rather than say and you’re actually apart, don’t text or call. See if you can, like video calls so that you can look into each other’s eyes. This is if you’re spending time apart and then also make sure that you have time on your own. Right. We have all this evidence showing that self expansion theory suggests that couples are happiest when they give each other space to grow. So I think this conversation is really laying the groundwork for how can we make sure that we have time together? How can we make sure that we have time apart? And also, how can we make sure that we have time alone? If you want time alone, I hope people will kind of use this conversation even as a starting point. I’ll recap the questions really quickly, and again, they’ll be in the show notes, but at the same time, you don’t have to follow them to a team. We didn’t because we just went off on a tangent. But once again, how much time do you like to spend alone and why? How much time do you like to spend with friends and why is that important to you? How much time do you like to spend with family and why is it important to you? Are you happy with the amount of time we spend together? Should we spend more or less? Would you like to spend any of our time together differently? What benefits do you attach to spending time apart? What do you see as the greatest impediment to spending quality time together? How can we address this? What can we do right now to improve the quality of our time together? How did your family spend time together when you were younger, or how even now? What might you change if you could do it again? What is your definition of quality time, and do you have any experiences from other or previous relationships that can help me to understand how you feel about how we allocate time together and apart? So basically, what baggage you bringing in? What are your triggers? We all have them, right? And I think the reason we do this discussion, the reason we talk about time, is not only as kind of a preventative approach to conflict related to a lack of time resources, but also so that we understand where our partner is coming from and we don’t internalize and tell ourselves stories. Right. So if you want, I don’t know, a weekend away with friends, I don’t tell myself the story that I’m not as much fun. He’d rather be with his friends. He’s looking to escape. If we’re having these conversations as part of our kind of regular interaction, we’re less likely to tell ourselves these stories that can feel globalizing or catastrophizing or just generally damaging to the relationship. So that took more time than I intended, yes. No, but it was great, as always. I mean, these questions are just jumping off points. When is my hype man? He’s like, this is great, man. Folks, thank you for listening. It does always feel, I guess, vulnerable and a bit scary. Like if I’m just talking about studies or tips and stuff like that, it feels kind of easy because that’s my job. But talking about our own stuff always feels a little vulnerable. Even though I don’t think it’s the deepest stuff ever or scary stuff, but it feels scary anyhow putting yourself out there, just being on a podcast, let me tell you, is scary for folks who don’t do it. I know there are lots of other podcasters who listen. So thank you to you. Thank you to all of you for joining us. Please do check out Adam and Eve.com using code doctor Jess to save 50% off almost any single item plus free shipping and a few free goodies Adam and Eve.com appreciate you being here, Babe. I appreciate these conversations as always. Thank you, folks have a great one. You’re listening to the Sex with Dr. Jess podcast improve your sex life. Improve your life.