In a word? Very. Everyone needs “me time.” Old, new, single, coupled, permed, bobbed, everyone needs space. But this is mostly important for coupled people. Studies indicate that lack of privacy and/or “me time” significantly accounts for unhappy marriages and bad sex. That’s bad news.
No matter how much fun you have just watching Netflix with your sweetie, or how much the two of you can’t stand to be apart when there’s a birthday party, giving one another a night off to spend with friends or interests is a healthy move for any relationship with future goals. Because (hard as it is to imagine now), you both did have lives before you met. It’s good form to help preserve ties to old friends.
“When she wants to go to a wine tasting with her friends, I’m totally okay with it, but if I want to go out on the boat to fish, there’s going to be a problem,” said Rick S., 27, graphic designer.
“Especially, if you go on a Saturday,” chimed a 35-year old father of two.
“There is no Saturday option at my house,” said a 24-year old coder in a new relationship.
Tsk, tsk, we fall in love with boys and men because of who they are. We’re interested in their opinions and tastes, want to learn their interests, anything and everything about what makes them them. Being supportive of a guy’s night out is really just guaranteeing that he continues growing into that awesome person for as long as you know him. It enhances trust between the two of you and creates space for personal growth, including your own.
Men learn from other men and while that has its pros and cons, it’s also how Graham can tell Joe what to do about the rattle in his car. And likely, they’ll bellow a few laughs and share some retold stories and come home feeling inspired. It’s something that comes from that male bond. You do not want to try and squeeze into the bond two guys have over a team’s entire sports history since they were in 6th grade. You need to leave that alone.
When it’s your partner’s night out, it’s also your night to spend however you wish and reap the benefits of being (momentarily) alone. Stay at the studio for a second yoga class; go in search of that tomato plant you’ve been meaning to replace. Invite BFFs over and bask in the glow of a good girlfriend session. Or, of course, go out and hit the town!
Barring any late night phone calls from jail, you’re in for a grateful mate upon return. Happy people want to make people happy so hopefully, you’ll reap the benefits of this almost immediately. And with some regularity, you’ll quickly see how healthy it is to give each other space for other things.