Keep your relationship strong with “me time”
by James Hills for Club LT
Men and women generally have different perspectives on almost everything in life. It’s natural and it’s part of the joy of a relationship as you navigate experiences together using each other’s special skills and experiences. However, to keep things fresh and fun it’s essential to spend time apart as well. For some couples, this can be a challenge to negotiate since the natural reaction can be, “what? You want time away from me? … do you not love me?”. This was and sometimes is the way Heather feels when I want to go and just do my own stuff. However, ultimately I think it’s important for both of us to spend time as independent people since that only makes it more exciting when we come back together. Here’s some ways you can carve out some me time – alone or with the guys, without having to feel like you are risking damage to your relationship.
Moderation Is Key!
While “me time” is essential to keeping your marriage strong – it can’t become routine and you need to balance your time at home between family, partner, and self. Otherwise, if you spend too much me time, you’ll find that your relationship will suffer … just like if you spent all your time together and had no time to decompress on your own.
Create Your Own Space and Time At Home
So much of a marriage is focused on sharing – bank accounts, TV remote, meal choices, chores etc. However, most people don’t think about ways to carve out time for themselves. For some people it can be a den, office, game room, or even a man cave that’s “your space”. While others find it easier to simply turn ordinary chores into an opportunity for some much deserved solitude. For instance, walking the dog, mowing the lawn, or even going out to the store to pick up groceries can be a welcome respite that allows you freedom to breath.
You can even invest in some furniture that is “yours” or “hers”. For instance, many sack chairs can actually be personalized with embroidery to label it as “yours”. That might seem silly or it might seem fun depending on your relationship but sometimes putting your mark on stuff is easier than fighting over it. Just remember though – you need to keep things balanced and so don’t be surprised when she buys something just for her! If there isn’t a spare room in the house, then think about moving into the garage. It’s a big space that isn’t used often, which makes it perfect.
Plan Guys Nights Out
Yep, a man date never hurt anyone. In fact, it has saved millions of relationships in the past. Going out with the the wife is a fantastic way to get away from the kids and have some breathing space. But, there is nowhere to go when you need a break from the ball and chain. Thankfully, the guys are often on hand to give you an excuse to get away. This is by no means a cry for help; most men would rather be with their significant other. But, sometimes, it’s nice to have a meal and a few beers and talk about boy stuff.
Encourage Your Partner to Have Her Own Time Too
Don’t only focus on number one. She deserves to get out of the house without you by her side as much as you. In the same way that boys need the company of men, girls need the friendship of women to vent and let loose. This is a perfect opportunity to kill two birds with one stone. While she is out enjoying time with friends, you can stay in and enjoy having the entire house to yourself.
Keep Your Mobile Close By
Now, this sounds as if it’s a little sneaky, and it is to a degree, but needs must. Speaking with your partner is an essential part of maintaining a relationship. Without a cell phone, it would be harder to connect. Nowadays, couples can do it remotely which is pretty amazing when you consider how far the technology has come. Of course, it’s also a bit of a strain. Today, there is no excuse not to respond to a phone call or text message. Turning your phone off can provide a small amount of breathing space.
Don’t Keep Secrets
Ultimately, while you don’t have to tell your partner everything you do during your me time … don’t keep secrets. Also, don’t do things that she’d object to or be humiliated to hear about from someone else.
Your me time is a time to decompress, indulge your own passions and retain some of the individuality that made you the person she fell in love with. Don’t abuse the privilege and always encourage her to take time off too.
About James Hills
James writes the ManTripping blog and lives in southern California. For more than a decade, ManTripping has been a leading male lifestyle blog covering food, fashion, travel, toys, action and adventure – you know, man-things. James shares his wisdom regularly on Club LT and is often featured in the Club LT podcast.
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