As I was sitting and watching TV with my husband one evening, each of us comfortably plopped on our respective ends of the couch, I looked to my right and was somewhat astonished by what I saw. Lying there between us, in the no man’s land that is the middle couch cushion, were no less than four– four!– remote controls, plus our smartphones!
It suddenly dawned on me that this stalwart middle cushion, used much less than the comfy reclining ends we tended to gravitate to, was both literally and metaphorically coming between us. Thinking back to early in our relationship, I recalled how we would almost always sit thisclose to each other. Realistically, I know those days don’t last forever, but I realized that in many ways, this couch cushion represents the stress and distractions of every day life that prevent us from staying connected to our partner. Kids, careers, bills, chores, meal prep, house maintenance, appointments, etc. — we become preoccupied with the mundane tasks and responsibilities of being an adult. At the end of the day we’re often spent, and we retreat to our opposite ends of the couch. Maybe your hand brushes your partner’s when you both reach for the TV remote or your smartphones to check social media, but you’re not truly connecting.
Did you read our recent blog series on “checking in“? If so, you learned how committing to a check in can make all the difference in maintaining a true sense of closeness and intimacy in your relationship. Next time you check in, consider sweeping all of those remotes out of the way (or move them to the coffee table) and scoot in close. Don’t let the middle couch cushion– real or metaphorical– come between you!