BlogBefore Requesting More Time

June 9, 2023by Frank Love0

In my previous blog “I Don’t Want To…” we looked at why it is sometimes important in loving relationships to look beyond personal interests in order to support the relationship. Today’s blog focuses on instances where we should be taking care of our own needs before reaching out to someone else to do it.

“I want to spend more time with my partner.” “My partner is not attentive enough.” These sentiments exist powerfully in many relationships. The accompanying feeling(s) can appear insurmountable to the partner who wants more.

River is a go-getter. An extrovert extraordinaire. A business owner and a mover and shaker. Aggressive and accomplished. Always in the field and putting deals together.

Jordon is methodical. An introvert and one of those people who (to anyone who’s paying attention) brings value to their project. Jordan is less social and can often be found at home.

There is ongoing tension between Jordan and River, two romantic partners: Jordan wants to spend more time with River. They’ve talked and talked about it, but the two are at an impasse.

River wants to keep busy with social and work commitments. Jordan wants more time spent together, beyond work,  networking, or socializing. Is this difference insurmountable?

One of the beliefs that guides the Frank Love work and the effort to facilitate a loving culture in our relationships is “Let’s always look at ourself with a loving and critical eye first.” We are all at different phases in our journeys. Each of these phases is to be respected. If Jordan is sincere about the desire to take a critical look at their relationship, it is suggested they start with themself. 

If you are at a phase where a loving, critical look may support you and your future endeavors, keep reading.

Before asking our partner for more of their time, let’s make sure we are giving ourself the time we deserve. This concept might seem amorphous. Let’s illustrate. We all have areas we know we should put more of our time into. Yet we don’t do them. We believe we must take time to pray, and we don’t. We believe we must take time to exercise, and we don’t. We believe we must take the time to write the book we have been conceptualizing for years, and we don’t. We are asking our partner to do something that we are unwilling to do: spend time on us.

Each of us has a calling. We have a gift, and it is important that we invest in our gifts. The first investment is time. Perhaps you have watched my video, “The Act of Caring.” In it I stress that we must give our partner our time. “No matter how your partner wants to be shown affection, appreciation, and care, if you aren’t investing your time, you aren’t doing your best.” If we change the pronouns and the wording a little, it becomes “No matter how you want to experience affection, appreciation, and care, if you aren’t investing these elements in yourself, you aren’t doing your best.”

How might we show ourself affection (fondness or liking)? Start by doing what makes us happy. Let’s identify an activity or experience that we reliably enjoy. Then let’s do it! Let’s make sure it gets done.

How about appreciation? This can be shown by recognizing our talents. Acknowledge what the people in our world praise us for and figure out how we can give that to the world and receive reciprocal compensation and energy. If we share our talents with the world and receive satisfying compensation (whatever that may be), we will feel appreciated.

Finally, we get to take care of ourself. Many of us think taking care of ourself means we must fulfill our bucket list before tending to others and whatever they wish to see happen. This is not the case. Taking care of ourself in a healthy manner can mean we have a routine that promotes our well-being. We exercise each day. Or drink tea. Or read the paper. Pray. Meditate. Or whatever. Let’s treat ourself to predictable self-care. Everyone around us will know this is our self-investment too . . . and will most likely respect it.

Moving forward, before we let the frustration we have over our partner’s seemingly ill-used time get the best of us (and possibly the relationship) . . . and before we ask our partner for more of their time . . . let’s make sure we are giving ourself the time we deserve.

There are times when the slightest nuance can change the dynamic of the relationships in our lives. This slight change may be all that we need. The new focus may lead to a new level of appreciation from our partner. Suddenly, they want to be around us even more. No guarantees are offered, but the principle is sound. Take care of yourself before you ask someone else to.

It doesn’t take two people to change the relationship. It just takes you.

Keep Rising,

Frank Love

In my next blog post, “Always” “Never” Wins, I will discuss how problems can develop in our loving relationships when we resort to extreme language.

Watch Frank Love’s presentation “The Act of Caring.”


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Each week, Frank Love hosts Zoom support group meetings that assist women and men as we work to create a loving culture in our relationships. Calls occur from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. EST and can be accessed by visiting FrankWeeklyCall.com.


  • Tuesdays—Black Women: Creating a Loving Culture in Our Relationships
  • ThursdaysBlack Men: Creating a Loving Culture in Our Relationships


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Frank Love coaches individuals toward creating a loving culture in their family. He is also the author of Relationship Conversations You Don’t Want to Have (But Should Anyway) and 25 Ways to Be Loving. To schedule a free consultation, contact Frank at Frank@FrankLove.com.

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