We all need time on our own or with our friends to maintain our independence and balance — it’s a vital part of maintaining a happy and healthy relationship. If you want to keep your relationship thriving, there are 10 things you really need to give him the time and space to do without you so that things are even better when you’re together again:
Go out on a weekend night. By the time a relationship gets serious, you probably don’t go out all that much on weekend nights anymore. You usually spend them together at home, watching a movie or ordering takeout and scrolling down your phones on the couch. Sometimes you probably get bored of that, so why shouldn’t he? If his boys text him and ask if he wants to go to the bar and you’re three hours deep into a Harry Potter marathon, let him go. You don’t need him to enjoy Hogwarts.
Hang out with his friends in general. Sometimes, the guys want to watch the game without their girlfriends around. It’s really not a big deal and won’t matter 10 years down the line (or even next week), so why should it matter now? Wanting to hang out with his friends without you isn’t a personal slight — boys want to be boys and burp and fart and talk about women. He’s coming back home to you in the end, anyway.
Play video or computer games for several hours straight. Sure, sometimes he’ll want to play with you, but other times he’ll want to bash zombies or whatever by himself for hours on end. Think of it as decompression for him so that when he’s done, he can turn his attention entirely to you. Obviously this is a problem if he spends more time on his games than he does with you, but generally speaking, this is totally harmless.
Go on a vacation. If a bachelor party comes up, don’t be the girlfriend that tells him he can’t go or who bitches so much about it that he can’t properly enjoy it. If you have a legitimate reason for protesting (i.e. you won’t be able to pay the rent next month or you’re giving birth to his child), fine, hold him back — but if you’re just being paranoid and argumentative, you need to take a step back. Remember that you love him and trust him and let him go be very, very drunk for a few days.
Run to the store. You do not need to go everywhere with him. I repeat, YOU DO NOT NEED TO GO EVERYWHERE WITH HIM. Even though he loves you, sometimes he just doesn’t want to be with you. I’m sorry to say this, but even just a 20 minute run to the grocery store can rejuvenate him, give him some time to think alone, and have him head back home and happy to cook dinner with you.
Spend time with his family. So his family is basically your family right? No, they’re still his family and if your relationship fails, they’ll still be his blood. If his parents invite you guys to visit and he says he’d like to go alone, let him! Maybe he wants to talk to them about you two getting married or some other important life decision. Either way, it’s his family, so don’t be a difficult biotch, OK?
Hang out with your guy friends… without you. The best way to get him to be comfortable with your male friends is to let them bond without you in the way. Guys seem to be able to do the better than women. Once he sees that they’re harmless and definitely not interested in you romantically, he won’t worry about them anymore, but you need to stay out of it. Seriously.
Stay up late. You probably hate when your significant other goes to bed later than you. No matter how hard he tries to be quiet, he always ends up waking you up and it’s obnoxious. But sometimes he really wants to watch an episode of some horrible TV show you hate, so to gain brownie points and have some leverage for another time when you want him to do something for you, let him stay up, geek out on the awful show, and save that favor for later. You’re welcome.
Get an after work drink. Maybe you guys meet for happy hour with some conglomeration of your friend group and his. It might be nice of you to let him grab a drink just with his people once in a while to give him a breather, show to his coworkers you aren’t clingy, and to prove to him that you trust him. He will be extra happy to see you when he gets home. Oh yeah, and it gives you a chance to see your own friends without him, so it’s a win-win.
Work out. A lot of couples enjoy working out together and that’s great. But maybe sometimes your boyfriend really wants to go for a long run and you definitely don’t so he goes on his own. It doesn’t make him a jerk or you lazy, he’s just doing his own thing. Joint cardio sessions can still be your thing, but there’s nothing to say you can’t do some additional work in your fitness on your own.
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