Face it - you can love someone to death, and still need a break from them every now and then. Too much time together can created friction, and that's never a good thing in a relationship. You need a good balance of time together and time apart. I find it interesting and (sometimes) rather irritating to see those couples that can't be apart even long enough to go to the bathroom! It's absurd! Love each other, sure, but seriously, get a life! Therefore, I've listed 8 ways that you can give a little space to your sweetheart and create a balanced relationship. (There are some ideas for both men and women in this article...)
1. Go out with the Girls (or Guys)
Just because you're a couple does not mean that every free night must be spent on a date together. Once in a while, plan a night where the girls go out and the guys go out and do separate things. Another way to do this would be to have a girls night in and invite all your girlfriends over for a movie and girl talk, and make hubby go out with the guys for a while. Or maybe hubby wants a night to have the fellows over for football or poker, and the girls can go out for the night. Just be sure to try one of these!
2. Go Shopping
I've seen women who appear to not even be able to go shopping without their husbands present. Come on! We all know that shopping isn't a guy thing at all! Why make them go through the agony? Leave the man at home and go shopping on your own. Trust me! You'll find that it's much more fun when he's not in your ear repeatedly asking, "Are you ready to go yet?" If you're not the loner type, ask a girlfriend or your mother to go with you. It's always nice to get away with a female companion now and then, and chances are, they'll understand your desire to spend three hours in J.C. Penney's!
3. Go Fishing
Fishing, hunting, that's what a guy loves. It's alright for you to take off for a few hours and do a little fishing on your own. Vacation doesn't have to be all about the family, though that should be the majority of it. It's wonderful for father's to take vacation and spend quality time with their wife and children. However, a man needs his own quiet time too. It is not thoughtless of you to take a few hours to yourself and go hunting if you want. So, go for it!
4. Take a Weekend
Trust is a big issue when it comes to doing things apart, especially things like trips alone. Don't put your relationship at risk if you're having issues with trust. However, if you trust your spouse 100%, there should be no problem with one or the other taking off for a few days for some time alone. For me, personally, my husband isn't much on vacationing away from home. I have family in other states, so for one week out of the year, I'll take off with my son and go visiting. It's a nice break from each other, and when I come back, our relationship is refreshed and great! If you can pull this off, I highly recommend it! If not, take baby steps - you can even start with simple over-nighters. Whatever works for you.
5. Take up Separate Hobbies
Another great way to get some time apart is to find different hobbies to pursue. Say hubby likes woodworking and you like ballet dancing. It's perfectly ok for two people who are in love to love to do different things. In my humble opinion, there is nothing wrong with having "yours, mine, and ours" in a marriage. Just make sure that you keep things balanced, that's the key.
6. Eat Alone
I know it sounds crazy, especially coming from me! I grew up in a family where every meal, every day, was eaten as a family. We never ate alone. My husband is different. He's the type where, if he's outside doing something, he wants me to go ahead and eat and not wait on him to come in all the time. When we first married, I nearly had a stroke when he suggest that! Now I look back and laugh. I've found the benefits of just the quiet meal alone on occasion. I couldn't do it all the time, though! I'm very much a "people person."
7. Don't Press for Answers
Sometimes, space isn't a physical need, but an emotional need instead. There have been times in my marriage, where I posed a serious question to my husband and was puzzled when he put it off. Through trial and error, I've come to find that in these times, he needed space to contemplate and process the question. I've learned to ask something and then back off and allow him to answer me when he's ready. Believe you me, it's much smoother that way! And it really doesn't have to be an answer that you're wanting. Maybe there is something important in your relationship that you would like to discuss, and you want your partner's input, and yet, they seem to brush the topic to the side. Simply say, "I'll let you think about it for a while and we'll try talking later" and leave it alone for a while. When they're ready, your spouse will talk - just give them space to do so in their time.
Giving each other space in a relationship is what actually holds the relationship together. We have to hold onto our individuality just as much as we need to establish a couple's relationship. It's all in the balance. Is your relationship balanced?