'A little space never hurt.'
Dr. Phil McGraw is offering up advice to couples self-quarantining together amid the coronavirus pandemic. ET's Kevin Frazier spoke to the 69-year-old TV personality, and he revealed tips and tricks for getting through the quarantine with relationships intact.
"If you have some things that you can share, it's great. There has to be the balance.... If you have a common interest, revel in those, bask in those, but you also need to have some separate time, right?" McGraw said. "You need to have some alone time where you can be on your own, whether it's reading or watching your favorite show that maybe he or she doesn't like, out walking on your own, gardening."
"Whatever it is you like, you do need some time to yourself, because we do get on top of each other too much if we don't carve out some alone time," he continued. "That will keep us fresh when we are together."
Taking time for yourself, McGraw assured, does not mean there's a problem with your relationship.
"It's not that we don't love our partner. You know that old saying? Absence makes the heart grow fonder?" he said. "If you do have some separate time where you do get to pay attention to your interests, your needs, and the time you want to work on something, that's really healthy and you need to respect your partner's right to do that."
"... You need to give each other emotional space and physical space, and that doesn't mean you have a bad relationship," McGraw continued. "It just means that you have a relationship that's strong enough that you can give each other space and not feel threatened or rejected... A little space never hurt."
McGraw also shared that couples need to work to maintain their "sanity" amid challenging times by being "adaptable" and doing "some things to have some fun." They also need to respect each other's moods and feelings throughout the quarantine.
"You've got to realize that you're not gonna both feel the same way every day," he said. "What is important [is] for the one feeling really up and energized to lift up the one that's not, and then the next day, that one picks up the other one."
Watch the video below to see another ET interview with McGraw.
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