The case for space
If you’ve seen How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days (RIP so many brain cells), you may remember Kate Hudson’s character buying a “relationship fern” in an attempt to drive a man to dump her.
Though that movie sucks, and it revolves almost entirely around gender stereotypes, the writers may have been onto something.
Relationships, platonic or romantic, are sort of like living organisms. You have to tend to and maintain them. Some are short-lived connections with the life span of a goldfish, and some last to 50th anniversaries.
But the best thing we can take from the admittedly lame analogy of plants as relationships is that they need space. They need to breathe.
Now, we all know that couple who spends every waking, breathing moment together. And it works for them. They don’t appear to get sick of each other or sleeping in the same bed every single night; they are like Lily and Marshall from “How I Met Your Mother.”
It’s great, but it’s too much pressure to hold a baby relationship (purrhaps a kitten -stage relationship) to these standards. Everyone needs space.
Not hanging out with your partner all the time doesn’t mean your relationship isn’t working or that you’re not trying hard enough. You have to remember that everyone is different.
Because everyone has differing personal space preferences, both physically and in term lifestyle, taking space apart from each other is a great thing. That way, when you do spend time together, it’s special.
For example, I want to hang out with my friends on the weekends and go out to parties with them. I need to have my own life and being in a relationship doesn’t change that.
Furthermore, I love being around my partner and cuddling, but there’s just nothing like sleeping in my own bed alone. I can steal all the covers and sleep diagonally across the bed.
After getting my heart stomped on, I figured out that only when I started appreciating being single could I be ready for a new relationship. This is the ideal mindset to starting a new relationship: with a clean palette and no voids to fill.
I once had a friend who was starting a new romance with a boy she ended up dating for years. She said she was afraid of relationships, and when pressed for elaboration, she thoughtfully said, “I don’t want lose myself.”
This is so important and applies to anyone, whether in a relationship or single. I have found it most productive to spend a lot of my life as a singleton, even when in a relationship. Treasure time alone and with friends.
In the end, your relationship should complement your life, not take over or inhibit it.