Wednesday, June 16, 2010

To be or not to be separate

There are a lot of couples out there who do everything together, live, work and play together.

The boy and I do not. I think we would kill each other.

Though we mesh well in our relationship we are completely different people. He builds computers for fun, and I go to vintage clothing stores for fun.

I like to be outdoors, I love the beach, hiking, going out and doing things. I love eating out, going to concerts and events, shopping, reading at coffee shops and hanging out with my friends. If there is ever anything social to do outside of the house I want to do it or I feel like I'm missing out.

The boy loves to watch tv, play video games, go to the movies, be on his computer, read the news and drink beers with his friends. He's more the techy geeky one of the family. He's much more of a homebody than I am.

We do have certain things in common, we both love to read and are both relentless in our pursuit of information and answers to anything and everything, we both like movies and we love going on bike rides together; but other than that we are split. I kind of have an aversion to technology and the media and he embraces it with open arms.

I think this is ok. I think the fact that we are completely different in our pursuits is what keeps us on our toes. I don't get bored with him because he's nothing like me. There have been times where he wishes I would play video games or I wish he would go with me to have a cocktail at a nice bar but then I realize that keeping our interests separate gives us time to be individuals.

I know couples who aside from work are together all day and every day, all the time, without a break, they identify themselves by the other person, by being a couple, and they do everything together. If there's no separation then I think laziness and boredom set in, and if you're not careful that can lead to disaster.

But maybe I'm the one that has it backward? I'm sure people think it's weird that we're so different and we have a lot of things we do on our own (we often celebrate holidays separately with our own families), that even that can lead to separation. It did take us a while to figure the other person out on what we each find interesting in life, and there are compromises, we do things for each other that we wouldn't normally do on our own, but it works for us, and so far there haven't been any complaints.

So how much time is too much, and how little is too little? Do you spend all your free time with your partner or are you very different in what you find entertaining? How do you find middle ground in your relationship?


  1. I have a very good girlfriend who has been dating her boyfriend for over 7 years now. They live together and even work together at the same company. And actually, their work is the only thing that they have in common, as they're both animators. Other than that, they're completely opposite in every way shape and form, and I have absolutely no idea how they have been dating this long. I've always preferred to date someone very similar to me, but yes - i do value differences. My boyfriend and i don't live together yet, so i only see him about half the week as it is, but i foresee that when we do live together, we'll do a lot together. It's just how we function. We even like to clean together. But I don't think there's a right or wrong way - every couple benefits differently, even thought it may seem bizarre to another couple...

  2. Hi Cinnamon, you always write the most thought provoking posts! This is something we've had to work out in our marriage as well. Our situation is flip~flop to yours (I'm the homebody he's the social butterfly ;). It took some work but we did come to a compromise in that neither of us will do anything that compromises trust and thus damage the relationship. Once I understood that he liked to socialize a lot and missed the company of men (he grew us in a family of four boys) I got the idea to start throwing barbecues, poker parties and the like for our family and friends. It helped a lot and over time we've worked things out in that arena. That being said, it also helped that we each accepted the other's faults, differences, and chose not to be resentful of them. I suppose that's been the biggest help of all. I'd probably write more but I haven't had my coffee yet... I'm off now to partake. Take care!

  3. You have no idea how relatable this post is, even if relatable isn't a word (you know what I'm trying to say). I feel the same as you. I want to go out, see things and be seen, make memories, take pictures, do things out of the ordinary. I want to wake up at the crack of dawn and go to sleep when all else has calmed down. My boyfriend sometimes feels so typical and predictable to me, which can be frustrating at times. I have learned, over the 2 years we've been together, that I can't force him to like the things I like - but we have to give eachother room so we can both continue to do those things! My boyfriend is a very practical person, and I'm more of the reckless lets-see-what-happens girl, in a way. It is frustrating when you think about it, but then again we're together for a reason - we make a good couple, and we're best friends.
    Great post :)

  4. This is such a personal thing. If people want to be together all the time and that works for them I think that's totally cool. Me? I'd go nuts. I need time alone. Our balance kind of happened organically and it works for us so I don't much bother what others are doing. If you guys like to do things seperately and are both OK with it there is NOTHING wrong with that!

  5. Hi! Thanks for dropping by my blog :)

    I think it is really healthy to have some separate interests. Otherwise, what do you chat about together (I mean apart from the big things)? Like "Oh, this happened to me tonight... oh, wait. You were there too."

    The Groomie has his running, and that takes up SO much time. If he took up something else in addition to that I think I'd punch him.

    I have wine time with my friends, and I'm getting into photography. I used to insist on going out for breakfast by myself on the weekend, but I've started allowing him to come :)

    As for the holidays, his family lives in Ireland so he's spent the last two with my family. One of the things I'm looking forward to most about the weddings is the Christmas inbetween where both of our families will be together.

  6. oh goodness, i think it's SO important to be an individual and have your own personal interests separate and away from your significant other. it's too easy to spend all your time together, forget about your friends, etc. so if having your own activities and get-togethers outside of work enables each of you to pursues your own interests and actually have something to talk about at the end of the day i am 100% for it.

  7. Of course it is important to enjoy things outside your relationship.

    I love spending time with my boy but it is that little bit more sweeter after spending time apart.

    I am not interested in his super geekery as he is not interested (although he is slightly worried) in my obsession with ebay!

  8. You guys totally sound like me and Hal. We totally love spending time a part. We do have shared interests, like thrifting, art, music, movies, etc. But our personalities are exact opposite. And we secretly love when the other person leaves out of town on a guys/girls trip! But I think it's perfectly healthy and GOOD for a relationship :) xo

  9. haha I just have 3 relationships in my life, and I cut them off all of them because the relationships became... bored, usually girls that I date just like to went to movies, good restaurants, sex (I love this one too, but that's not all) and definetly don't like to walk... I love walk :S... that's why I don't date since 4 years ago because I need something different, funny, that like to do new stuff, I don't now paint, try to make a play of two, try instruments, something different every weekend...