Dear Robert


Dear Robert

Between the 30,000 to 40,000 visitors a month to my Novelist Seeks Heroine website and the many who have bought my book, Efficient Love, I get large volumes of emails each month.  Many are kudos and thanks, a couple are complaints, some are questions.

Most of the questions I receive are about how to better apply The Good-Man Methodology to the reader’s own personal relationship issues.  This page, updated periodically, is focused on trying to answer a few of those questions that may relate to many readers.

This Week’s Letter

Dear Robert,

I am a frequent visitor of your web site. I have met a man, and we have been seeing each other for 20 months now.  I have two daughters 16 and 19 and he has one daughter 13…I have more freedom than him, because of the ages of our children. I would like more quality time with him to develop a deeper relationship. We are committed to each other and still maintain our own separate homes. We spend weekends together and one night during the week, and have recently spoken of living together maybe 6 months down the road.

The advise I am seeking is this:  How do you define quality time?

How many hours are reasonable a week? Is there a general guideline one should strive for?

This is my biggest dragon which I am having a problem dealing with, he is happy to have our quality times between the hours of 11 PM and 2 AM, after his daughter is tucked away, but often our quality time is becoming less quality, as I find I am getting a bit cranky and somewhat resentful of the hours we are keeping. While I realize your writings make you think for your self, I am having a problem trying to define and explain to my partner the quality time is becoming not so quality now without sounding like I am nagging.

Any comment is appreciated or maybe I have missed something in your writings about quality time.


This Week’s Answer

Dear LC,

Quality time is in the eyes, and on the clocks, of the beholder. It is also one of the more difficult issues that needs to be resolved between partners in a relationship. Like most things, the closer two people are on this, and virtually everything else on the Profound, Profane and DIDO Lists, the easier it is to resolve any differences.

That having been said, let’s deal with your specific issue. This is, of course, just one of a multitude of issues with the Kiddo Dragon that I write about. The first question for you is what kind of quality time are you describing? One on one private time together?….or one on one intimate, private time together? If it is the former, you might look at setting an hour of uninterruptible time together even while his daughter is still up. If it is intimate time, then the question becomes: does it have to start at HER bedtime?

The next question is size – and if size matters: how much quality time would you like to have each night? How much does your partner want? If you want three hours each and every night…and he wants 20 minutes…or vice versa…then, that is the first thing to resolve and make sure is not irreconcilable.

As an example from my own history, I was in a long term relationship with someone who had a 13 year old daughter also. We started out about like you have…but my lover had to be at work at 8:30 AM AND required 8 hours sleep. Lack of sleep started having a LOT of impact so we knew we had to come up with a better resolution.

Our solution and mutual agreement was for 2 hours every night…starting at 9:30 PM. After 9:30 was our time and the daughter and the phone and the rest of the World were simply not allowed to interfere for anything less than nuclear war. For us, this was a mutual decision, satisfied both of our individual needs for quality time, was enforced and reinforced with the daughter (after the first few nights of interference) and it resolved the issue. Naturally, there were and always will be times when other things do, rightfully, become a higher priority. However, we were successful with this approach over 90% of the time.

You might suggest something similar to your lover. Just be prepared for him to say something similar to another past lover of mine: “Two hours? Every night? Are you crazy? I don’t have time in my life for that much time for anything!” In my case, that relationship did NOT last very long! In her case, it was a huge incompatibility that was irreconcilable. Hopefully, that will not be the case with your own lover.

Just be completely candid as to how important this issue is to you…and don’t have the conversation about this during your 11PM to 2 AM time slot!

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Due to the sheer volume of emails, I simply don’t have the time to answer very many of them.  Those I do answer, I will try to choose ones that I believe will be most helpful to my visitors and Dashing Members.  I reserve the right to edit for clarity and content and while I will try and give you my best advice, it is just that:  advice.  You are solely responsible for your own judgment and your own actions and any consequences of those actions.

Within those guidelines, you are invited to email your own questions about how best to use The Good-Man Methodology to enhance your own current relationship…or to help you find your own Happily Here & Now path to Happily Ever After. 

Just click anywhere on this line or on my signature above to send me your own Dear Robert question!

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Excerpt from Efficient Love – The Good-Man Methodology. Copyright © 2003-2012 Robert Goodman.
All rights reserved. Used by expressed, written permission of author.