Do your own thing

by Joanna on November 12, 2011

When you live with someone–roommate, boyfriend, husband, whoever–it’s natural to want to be with them, to want to do things together when you’re both there. Maybe you want to go to Trader Joe’s or watch a TV show or go to the gym. Maybe you want to stay up late or wake up early. And you want your significant other to do the same. It’s unlikely that you’ll both want to do the same things all the time.  And that’s ok.

It’s ok to spend some time apart, to do your own thing.  Not only is it ok, it’s actually healthy. Because when you take time for yourself to do what you want to do, spend your time in the way you want to, you give yourself time to think and recharge. Then, when you come back together you’ll be more of yourself, able to give your full attention to your partner.

Though Mike and I have been living together for three years now, we still find ourselves struggling with this sometimes. Or at least I do. Especially on weekends when we don’t have set plans. Though I wake up very early on weekends and want to start my day, I often find myself waiting around to see what Mike feels like doing. And we go back and forth over what to do and I find myself weighing what I would do on my own and what we would do together. But our ideas of a nice Saturday morning aren’t the same.

So I’m proud of myself for doing what I want to do this morning.  I woke up early, laid in bed thinking for a while and decided to get up and head to Moderntimes Coffeehouse at Politics & Prose for some writing and blogging with a bagel and coffee. I’m here now with a full belly, writing this post and then drafting some posts for the upcoming week.  After this I’ll go to Body Flow, one of my favorite gym classes, to stretch and relax and rejuvenate, and to follow one of my November goals.

While I’m doing this, I’m sure Mike is still in bed, watching ESPN, the History Channel, or re-runs of Mad Men on A&E. He’ll move to the couch, have some breakfast, and watch an episode of John Adams on Netflix.  Then he’ll shower and head to play hockey in the White House Roller Hockey League. And he will do all of this without me bothering him.

When we see each other this afternoon, we will both be in good moods because we were able to spend our Saturday mornings the way we wanted. We will be energized, and happy, and excited to see each other.

It’s easy to want to do everything with your partner from errands or chores to watching TV or taking a nap. It’s also exhausting to make that happen and have both of you have your needs met.  So go ahead, do your own thing.  Spend a few hours apart even when you have no set plans.  Your mind, your mood, and your relationship will be better for it.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 mrswebbinthekitchen November 18, 2011 at 6:56 pm

Love this! I got married just shy of six months ago, and my husband and I also have very different things we like to do for our “perfect saturday.” I really thrive and find rest in “doing” things that make me feel peaceful… running, baking… whereas my husband’s peace and rejuvination comes more from just “being…” sleeping in, playing video games to his hearts content. It was hard at first to be ok with being in the same room and not necessarily doing the same thing, but we each are our own people and we can love each other by letting that be.

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2 Joanna November 20, 2011 at 10:38 am

Seems like you and I are similar and our husbands are similar. I love your point “we each are our own people and we can love each other by letting that be.” So true!

Thanks for reading!

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