Time Together vs. Time Alone
Finding a balance between your personal time and time spent with your partner can sometimes be challenging. You or your spouse might be really good at spending time alone, whether that’s for your self-care, your personal hobbies, or other activities. But if that’s the case, you may not be spending enough time together. On the other hand, you might both be good at spending all your time together, but you don’t take personal self-care time for yourself.
Main points of this episode:
- It can be really easy in a relationship to get off balance with your personal hobbies and time spent together.
- How you spend your time together and alone may change over time, based on your needs. This requires flexibility and understanding.
How you can navigate finding the balance between time together for your relationship and time alone for your self-care:
- Each of you make a list of hobbies and activities you want to do each week.
- Print out 2 weekly calendars and get 3 different colored pens (1 for each of you, and one for shared time).
- On the first calendar, each of you write out your work schedules (in your own pen color). In the remaining time on the schedule, write out any other tasks you do (housework, hobbies, date time, other activities).
- Then ask yourself: Am I happy with the quality time I have with my spouse? And am I happy with the time I have for myself? Each of you take time to answer these questions for yourself and think about what you want to change.
- Then ask your spouse: How do you feel about the time that we have together? And how do you feel about the time you have on your own?
- Work together to evaluate what needs to change on that calendar. Based on each of your responses and thoughts to the questions, is your relationship missing special time? Or are each of you needing more individual time for self-care?
- Get the second weekly calendar you printed. Each of you go ahead and fill out the necessary time blocks, like your work schedule and other commitments.
- Then look back at the old calendar and work together to figure out what tasks and activities can be moved around. If household tasks can be moved around for each of you to have your own time, do it. If you need to prioritize date time, then schedule that and move other things around.
- Schedule 30 minutes to 1 hour at the end of the week for you to sit down together and reevaluate this schedule. When you meet, discuss whether or not the schedule happened as planned. Think of any changes you want to make based on the past week. Ask yourselves if you’re both satisfied with the time you had on your own and the time you had together. Once you’ve discussed this, make any important changes for the next week.
- Try again, and check in with each other again in a week.
- Schedule a short meeting every week to evaluate this until you both are more satisfied with how alone time and time together are being navigated in your relationship.