One of the key ingredients to every good relationship is spending time together – whether this relationship is the one with yourself, your partner, spouse, children, sibling or best friend. If you ask me, the most important relationship you will ever engage in, is with yourself. If you are happy, your spouse will most likely be happy so you can both thrive in the relationship; on your own and yet together. This is why we need to respect time: me time, you time & us time.
We’ve all heard it, we all know it. Me time is about spending time with yourself, appreciating the relationship you have with yourself and more importantly, strengthening it. Me time should be used to go after your individual needs – what is it that makes you happy, makes you feel relaxed and makes you feel most comfortable in your own skin? Me time can range anywhere from a spa treatment (at home or away) by yourself, to walking outside in nature, listening to a podcast and trying out new recipes to meeting up with your own individual friends.
A lot of people tend to loose themselves, especially when entering a new relationship. Suddenly everything seems more fun together and just the thought of not doing something with your other half is heartbreaking. But think about what you have done prior to meeting your other half – would he or she enjoy all those activities? It is also of utmost importance to not neglect your friends. Yes, your best friends all want to meet your special other half and they surely might even love that person (to a healthy degree) and start a friendship with them, too. That is the most perfect thing that could happen. Or is it? As much as we may enjoy couple-dates, sometimes its just nice to sit down with our girls and gossip about certain things that may not interest our other half. Same thing goes with the men; you may enjoy that beer with your boys and your girlfriend, but I would bet you talk about different things if the girls aren’t around.
So here’s the thing. Me time is basically you time just for the other person in this relationship. Let’s look at our relationship with our spouse once more:
Often times, one partner in a relationship enjoys alone time more than the other and that is totally fine. The last thing anyone wants to hear though, is “I think I need some time alone”. Horror sentence, right? Well yes and no. Obviously we do not want to ever hear this sentence come out of anyones mouth, but really, we should be thankful for the communication we get. As much as we love our alone time, our other half may enjoy it, too. So perhaps try and use the time effectively where each gets their alone time. Why not schedule a girls-night-out when the men have their boys-night-out. Why not try that new cake recipe and listen to a podcast whilst he enjoys the newest game on the playstation? (note: I am not trying to underline any stereotypes here but I hope you get what I mean) In fact, I encourage you to encourage more alone time: for you and for your partner.
Now we’ve spoken about me time and you time but what about us time? And with us time I am not talking about cooking dinner together in a hurry after work like every other night. I am not talking about sitting on the couch together and each person being on their own phone, iPad or laptop. That is all great and normal, do not get me wrong. I am speaking about time that you have both chosen to spend with one another consciously to grow together. This may be a walk that you both go on with the dogs and speak about your day and talk about those deep topics. It may be going out on a Friday night, no matter how tired you are, because you hella sure owe yourself a date night after this stressful week! It may be that golf session together on Sunday afternoon when the kids are with the grandparents. It may be cooking together, but taking time for one another and enjoying that glass of wine whilst throwing together a fabulous meal.
I see so many couples being stuck with each other twenty-four-seven (yes, 24/7!) to a point where it’s just not that special anymore. The biggest fear of all couples newly dating is that routine starts to kick in and that love may be lost along the way because, well, life got in the way. And that is exactly where you need to step in. Life doesn’t just come in the way because you can choose how to live that life. You can choose whether another me time is best, whether your partner needs you time or whether us time is in need. Of course life may get in the way from time to time. We all know busy schedules, especially if kids get thrown into the mixture. Yet, we can still prioritise and it is up to you to make the right choices. Choose wisely and you may be able to benefit from a life long relationship!