Source: Flickr CC
Source: Flickr CC

Though I consider myself pretty naive when it comes to understanding and appreciating art, I spoke with a few graphic designers recently about what makes a piece compelling. It’s common to hear these creative types describe the critical role of negative space when they’re working on something new.

You can fill a canvas with colors and lines, but it’s the whiteness, the emptiness, the intentional void that gives emphasis to the content area. It serves as a guide leading a viewer from one element to another.

And really, the blank spaces in art operate like the blank spaces in life.

Everyone’s busy. We plan and schedule and coordinate and confirm and we’re alwaysalwaysalways on the go! There are brunches and happy hours and hikes and just… so many activities.

In a relationship, I think it’s important to reel in the plans from time to time and just be. You know you’ve got something great if you both cherish each other’s company in those empty moments. When it’s just the two of you – with no distractions, no plans, nothing penciled in – you see what’s actually there.

You can be undeniably compatible with someone; you can share the same hobbies and come from similar backgrounds, but when you let go of that and it’s just two people sitting on a frumpy couch with nothing to do, how do you want to feel about the person by your side?

In those unplanned moments where there is an utter absence of stimulus, a relationship is put to the test.

I urge couples to question what they have. Quietly contemplate. Ask themselves if it’s enough.

When you’re done fooling around and the Netflix series is over and your romantic dinner date gets canceled, are you still content? Are you still entirely happy to just coexist? Do you feel lucky to be in the presence of your partner regardless of the situation?

Allow yourself to revel in that relationship white space and bear in mind that nothing can say a lot.

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