Quick disclaimer before we start: I’m no relationship counsellor so don’t read that title and decide you’re gonna piss off for a few months for a laugh – that probably won’t go down well with your partner.
Throughout my life, I always seem to have been in relationships, most of which were fairly long-term. The odd periods that I have been single, I’ve felt a little lost, purely because I’ve not been used to it. Despite knowing that I’d feel this way, weirdly enough, I am a big advocate for having your own space in relationships. Andy, if you’re reading this – I’m not about to go all Ross and Rachel on you (WE WERE ON A BREAK!) … you’re safe for now hun, you lucky thing.
I’ve learnt a lot about myself from past relationships and feel like I’ve incorporated these new traits into my latest one. It’s lasted 6+ years so far so I must have done something right? In hindsight, previous relationships probably resembled more of a conjoined twin type scenario rather than boyfriend/girlfriend! With Andy, things are so much different and I feel comfortable knowing we can do our own things, without feeling jealous, lost or anxious. Here’s why I feel like space is such an important aspect for any relationship:
Absence makes the heart grow fonder:
I always find that when I go back to Liverpool for a weekend, or if I go away with the girls, coming back home to Andy just feels so great! (cringe). I’m not saying disappear every weekend, but I definitely do feel like absence makes the heart grow fonder. Especially if you’re like me and Andy who have a house together – going your separate ways the odd night or weekend here and there reminds you of that feeling of missing each others company.
Your pals aren’t the same as your partner:
I’d always class Andy as one of my best friends. He was a friend before boyfriend and I know I can tell him absolutely anything. HOWEVER, I feel like the relationship I have with my gal pals is completely different. They are my personal crisis hotline, my playsuit do-er up-er, my nandos partners, my cocktail sharers and my secret keepers! Read my blog post about girl gangs to see exactly what I mean.
Separate hobbies = more conversations:
If you’re sat with your partner and neither of you know what the hell to speak about then I think you need a different blog post to this one! What I’m referring to is that by living in each others pockets, you’re going to restrict what you talk about, as you were both there and clearly don’t need a de-brief. I love that me and Andy have different hobbies and go out without one another, I think it’s so important. As I type this, Andy’s gone on a 75 mile bike ride. I know where I’d rather be….
Separate hobbies = joint hobbies:
Nope, Andy isn’t going to become a blogger and you can sure as hell bet I am not going to become a professional athlete overnight. However, both of these hobbies (just 2 examples!) provide us with opportunities to explore new places together. Andy quite often comes back from his crazy exercise trips and says he’s seen the loveliest little village and wants to show me it. CUTIE!
Self care is not selfish:
Y’know what? Relationships are all about caring for one another but it is definitely not selfish to take a little time out to care for yourself. As a naturally negative Nancy, I’m really trying to put my positive pants on more often. Even if you only manage to do one thing per day that makes you happy, get it done and let those positive vibes flow!
As much as I’m all for a little bit of ‘me time’, I can’t lie – I’m a sucker for a little but of ‘us time’; snuggled in on the couch, watching a film on netflix and eating all the snaaaacks.