My best friend (and partner, both in crime and otherwise) just came back from almost a month in Germany. By the end of the time, we both missed each other way too much, but now she’s back, I’m glad she went. Not just because she got to see her family and relax for a bit before going back to uni, but for the benefits to our relationship.
I think it’s a contrast thing. Although I’m always aware that I like spending time with her and enjoy her company, her sudden absence really drove home just how important she is to me. It meant that I was eagerly awaiting the date she was due to return, and has made this past week – since she’s come home – just wonderful. To quote Pippi Longstocking, “if you don’t [leave] you can’t come back, and that would be a shame.”
It’s similar with lots of things in life, I’m coming to realise. Take food. Recently I’ve become a big fan of Nassim Taleb‘s ideas about antifragility, one of which is the notion that our metabolism benefits from a less regular eating pattern than is typical in modern Western societies. So instead of having three square meals a day, you fast for one day and then eat more the next day. Apart from any biological benefits this may be conveying (I’m no nutritionist, so no guarantees or recommendations that anyone else try this), there is also the additional enjoyment of food consumed when you’re truly hungry.
So if you want to enjoy your food more, stop eating for a while. Feel like something else in your life is becoming mundane? Try living without it for a week. And to ensure that you fully appreciate how lucky you are to have your significant other, send them away (but only for a bit).