A Little Relationship Secret You May Not Know

Since I can work from anywhere, I headed down to Florida for three weeks to escape the cold and snow back home. I also needed a change of scenery, and my trip provided it for me. When I tell people about my extended stay in Florida, their first reaction is usually jealousy (depending on where they live) but a close second is “WHAT!? What about Chris!?”

It’s a fair question, but it always makes me laugh a little bit. Chris and I have done a lot of long distance in our relationship, and we’re Math_Coupleboth independent people. Spending a few weeks apart is hard, but we do our respective things and enjoy pursuing our own interests. That’s why it always baffles me when people wonder how we spend time away from each other. I have a friend who used to panic when she had to spend one night away from her boyfriend. It was sweet, but it also made me kind of sad. A night away, whether it’s to visit friends or to take a business trip for work, should make you happy to see the other person, but not totally distraught.

I guess you learn about relationships from your parents, and my mom and dad have been married for 32 years so they’re good role models. The one thing that my mom always says is that independence and space are key components in their relationship. Both of my parents have their own friends and interests, and they allow each other to pursue these things. They are not one of those couples that has a joint Facebook account, goes to the grocery store together, works out together, and only speaks in “we.”

To me, this is one of the most important elements in any long-term relationship. Even though you’re a “we,” you also have to remain a “me” and many people forget that. Of course you want to spend time together and build memories as a couple, but a relationship loses its luster pretty quickly when you go from being a part of a couple to just being one giant mix of a person. If he wants to train for a marathon and you don’t even own a pair of running shoes, that’s fine. Each person needs to be allowed to pursue their own interests and spend their free time the way they want. Of course you need to make time for each other, but you don’t have to completely build your life around another person. The best relationships are the ones where you can just be who you are, and find someone who appreciates that.

How do you maintain your identity in your relationship? 



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