So last week I shared about ‘man caves’…giving you some ideas about what they are and what men do in them.
But today we get to look at ‘cave time’ in a whole new way…
Why is cave time so important?
Time and space like this is a need for masculine men….and they will all find a way to get it in some shape or form.
It’s not a ‘nice to have’ or ‘I’d kind of like it’…it’s a need, a must, a lifeline. It keeps him sane.
Now the amount of cave time a man needs can vary significantly. Some men may only need 5-10 minutes a day, some men may need some time in the week, or every month…or maybe even every year.
Most women have had the experience at some time in their lives of wondering why on earth a man takes reading materials into the bathroom…and why he takes so long in there! It’s often not about the toilet, or the newspaper…it’s time in his cave, just a little bit of space in the day for him.
They key with the cave is to not take it personally. It’s nothing to do with you. It’s not that he needs time away from YOU…it’s that he needs time specifically for HIM. It is not personal.
If a man doesn’t get cave time he can often feel uneasy or restless. If you are spending all day every day together the danger is that he will associate this uneasy or restless feeling with you or your relationship….which then can become a bigger issue, when in fact it’s nothing to do with you or the relationship…he just needs a bit of time in the cave.
So how do you deal with cave time?
The first thing is to let him know that cave time is OK. If a man feels like you’re reluctantly giving him cave time, he’ll feel a pressure to come out of the cave…which completely defeats the point of the cave in the first place. He needs to know that you understand, that it’s OK, and he can take whatever time he needs.
The interesting thing about this is that if a man feels like it’s not OK to be in his cave, he’s likely to want to stay in there longer. If he feels like it’s OK and he can have the time he wants and needs…he’s actually likely to need less of it.
I speak from personal experience. If you’re sat by the cave door asking him when he’s going to come out…he’s likely to feel the need to be in there longer. If he knows he can take as long as he wants he can come out before he expected to himself.
When he’s in the cave let him be. Don’t approach him, don’t contact him (unless he’s explicitly said it’s OK for you to) ….initiate no contact of any description.
Let him totally have his space, and let him come to you when his cave time is done.
Don’t follow him into the cave, don’t try and ‘help him’ with his cave time….simply ask him to let you know when he’s out of the cave and then let him have his space.
The great thing about the cave is that you can make it fun, and play with it. If my man needs cave time I’ll get a text or a message saying something like “Cave man need cave time, ug ug ug”…which makes me smile and makes it easy to be understanding about.
I have a little giggle to myself and message back to let him know it’s OK and to get in touch when he’s out of the cave.
How can cave time be a gift for you?
When you start to understand that the cave is a need, and by letting him have that space your man will be happier in himself and also more able to meet your needs in return…you see that the cave can actually be a win-win.
So many women think that by letting a man have time in his cave, they’ve got to lose something in return. That in giving him what he needs, somehow she’s not getting what she needs.
…and this is where the problem lies. When we look at a situation like this from a place of scarcity, of course it’s likely to cause a challenge.
If we think there’s only space for one person to get what they want and need at a time, then in order for him to get what he needs, we need to give up what we need.
In order for us to give him space…we lose connection time.
But what if there was a different way of looking at it?
Because when your man’s in his cave it’s your time to be able to do the things that make you feel great.
Have time with the girls, pamper yourself, watch a chick flick, go out dancing…anything that fills you up.
Just because your man’s in his cave, doesn’t mean you need to be sat by the door waiting for him to come out, twiddling your thumbs at a loose end until he reappears….
…no cave time is as much your time as it is his time.
You can make cave time work as much for you as it does for him.
…and when he comes out of his cave and you’ve given him what he wants and needs, the time you’ll get to spend together will be so much more enjoyable. He’ll be in a great space, he’ll be grateful that you’ve given him what he needs, and he’ll really want to enjoy spending the time with you.
He’ll be able to connect more with you, because he won’t be distracted by the other things on his mind, because he’ll have used his cave time to process them and deal with them.
He’s likely to be more attentive, more connected and more present.
So everybody wins!
Have fun with thinking of the ways that you will enjoy his next visit into the cave… because cave time for him = ‘me time’ for you…and it means that the time you spend together after will really be quality time.
…look at it this way and the next time your man wants time in the cave you’ll be only too happy to let him have it!