I met my husband in college, we were immediately attached at the hip. Now, a decade later, our commitment is as strong as ever but you wouldn’t know it by looking at our social lives.
We’re both introverts. Contrary to popular belief, being an introvert isn’t the same as being shy or having social anxiety. They sometimes go hand in hand, but they’re not the same. Introversion means that talking to and socializing with other people takes significant energy and you need to be alone soon after in order to recharge your lost energy. Now put two introverts in a relationship and you basically have the perfect recipe for staying indoors 24/7.
It’s not just two people, there are four of us now. Although our kids are at the age that we can take them with us when we go somewhere, it also means that everything is at least three times as expensive. They always want their own meals, their own desserts, and often a toy from the machine as well.
Someone has to watch the kids. Speaking of kids, it’s generally frowned upon to leave them home alone at their ages (4 and 6), and finding a babysitter is expensive and often inconvenient. After a long night out, the last thing you want to do is drive the babysitter home. It’s much easier to have one parent stay home while the other goes to whatever function it is that they need to attend.
Going out is expensive. We’re definitely not poor but we’re not rich either, and spending money on going out, gas, dinner, a movie, and a babysitter while we could also stay at home and watch a movie and enjoy ourselves so much more? We’d rather save the cash to spend on more important things, like video games and Haagen-Dazs.
We like different things. When we were just dating, I loved going to his favorite Italian place and I’d often ask him to go get tacos. I hate Italian food and he hates Mexican. When you’re young and in love, you often set aside your own preferences to do whatever it is your partner wants to do. When you’re older and still in love, you recognize the value in having the freedom to do whatever it is you want to do without having to drag a partner along who doesn’t really want to be there.
Going out separately gives us something to talk about. Real life is boring. You get up, go to work, come home, fall asleep, then get up and do it all over again the next day. My husband doesn’t want to hear about the 600 invoices that I archived at work, nor am I particularly interested in the fact that he learned about a new software. Going out and doing things on our own means that we have interesting things to talk about when we are together again. It keeps things interesting.
It’s all about Netflix and chill. I don’t know what more needs to be said about this. You can either go to a theater, with overpriced popcorn and soda, uncomfortable seats, chatty people around you, and a complete a-hole who kicks the back of your seat during the entire movie… or you can cuddle up on the couch, get some snacks, cover yourself in your favorite blanket and watch whatever it is you want to watch without interruption.
I need gossip time with my girls and he needs to watch sports with the boys. When I’m with my friends, we talk about guys, kids, and our husbands; when my husband and his friends hang out, he tells me that they open a few beers and watch TV and talk sports. I can’t imagine anything duller than that. Why would I give up any of my free time to subject myself to that voluntarily? Even if we have a rare couples’ event, almost instinctively the group splits itself in two and I find myself with my friends and he with his. We just like doing stuff on our own.
We’re not teenagers anymore—we just really like sleep. OK, this is maybe the real reason we don’t go out that much. If you have a kid, you start to really value sleep. If you have a second one, you start to daydream about the day that you can sleep again. When they both start to sleep through the night, you really don’t want to do anything except sleep. Any way you can get it, you take it.
We really enjoy each other’s company. We made it 10 years without any major divorce-worthy events. We like each other, we get along, and we enjoy each other’s company. We know what we have in each other and we can be ourselves together. Nobody can be as awesome as my husband, and he feels the same about me. We enjoy ourselves just fine—we just like doing it at home.
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