Not a typo, dear readers, but a deliberate play on a word to emphasize the wonders of spaced love. It's the next great thing; I promise you. And it could very well be YOUR next great thing. (Pause.) Now that you're with me, let's look at what spaced love is and is not.
For openers, it most definitely is not an excuse for a wandering eye — aka cheating. In fact, a sprinkling of space in committed togetherness actually heats up the good stuff because the comings and goings add a bit of welcome and slight sorrow in both hearts. Twenty-four-hour togetherness can't possibly do that.
What we're talking about here is mutual commitment of two hearts, the stuff that can't be fudged or phonied. And the spacing between them, whether measured in days or weeks, adds strength to the commitment and yearning to the passion. One huge plus is that the picayune, sometimes unattractive moments between two cohabiting humans just aren't happening. The pantyhose hanging in the bathroom and the toilet seat eternally lifted aren't to be seen. Yes, I believe their absence adds to the mystery that love should bring with it, that glamour that adds to the tingling between lovers. The day-to-day humdrum events of daily life that we all know too well are absent in spaced loving, and actually, they do detract a bit from the passionate mystery all lovers concoct in daydreams of their beloved.
Curious to know how it's done, this committed separateness? I know of a married couple living in the same apartment house but in separate apartments on different floors. Their kitchens contain a lighted signal that tells them when the beloved is at home. What they do after seeing the light is between them, not for us to know. But the hours between their comings and goings are the space that so fascinates this columnist. Will I, at some time in the future, put my money where my mouth is and have the guts to have a go at spaced love? Maybe. Whoever knows? But meanwhile, consider another form of spaced partnership: A couple I know bought a duplex house with an interior staircase. She occupies the bottom apartment; he lives in the rooms above. They each have privacy but can easily join the other at a moment's notice.
Don't scoff too quickly at spaced love. Middle-aged lovers grow into a need for space, their own. Their ardor is still passionate — but not all the time. After 40 or so, each part of a couple has developed a routine, interests, a circle of friends. And the beloved may very well not share some (or any) of them. Those differences, rather than cause rifts, may well spice up a relationship — adding new interests, along with new people who otherwise might never have been met.
The proviso, of course, is rock-solid love. Spaces between togetherness require deep, abiding love. (Not easily found, that.) But think it over, and ponder it well. The next step: talking about it with people who might give you a good hearing, mentioning it to your own beloved or even trying it out for a week or so. It will surely cause a reaction. Your letters will appear in "Single File." Promise.
Have a question for Susan? You can reach her directly at [email protected]