I’ll admit, I can be clingy sometimes.
I love spending time with Zaz as much as possible. Whether it’s just relaxing around the apartment doing nothing productive or traveling and seeing the world, there’s no one I’d rather hang with. She’s not just my wife, she’s my best friend!
The thing is [especially at the beginning of our relationships or when we first move in together], we want to spend every waking minute with our mate. We want to get to know them on the deepest level possible. We want to enjoy their presence as much as we can.
Which is great, but for many couples, this is where they begin to lose their sense of individuality. They spend all their time together and end up pushing away their friends. They choose mutually interesting activities and neglect the personal things they’ve always loved before they were together.
And there’s nothing wrong with creating and enjoying shared experiences with each other. That’s really healthy thing, but once you begin to lose the hobbies, friends and interests that make you who you are, the passion in your relationship slowly begins to fade too.
In my own relationship with Zaz, we started things off long distance for the first couple years. And while that experience has helped me to truly understand the value of time we spend together, it’s also helped me understand the value of time spent apart.
1. It taught me that my friends play an important role in my own fulfillment in our relationship. While Zaz and I have a lot in common, we don’t share all interests. Spending time away from her and with my friends allow me to reconnect with those things that I love and she doesn’t really care for.
2. It taught me that being apart makes us stronger when we come back together. Doing my own thing allowed me to maintain my confidence and sense of self, and as a result was more attractive and interesting to her.
3. It also taught me that doing things by myself doesn’t have to be depressing or boring like folks often make it out to be, but fun and refreshing. While it’s always an amazing time with her, my life won’t fall apart if she goes out of town for a few days. I can still enjoy hitting up a movie or eating out by myself and be ready to get back into the swing of things when she returns.
So while we all have to shift mindsets from ‘me’ to ‘we’ once we get into a relationship, that doesn’t mean ‘me’ should go out the window altogether. The same way you carve out time to spend with each other, it’s important to do the same for yourself from time to time.
The time apart will make sure you remember who you are. It’ll continue to remind your mate who they fell in love with. It won’t push you apart…it’ll bring you closer together.