“But we live together and see each other all the time.” I’ve used this phrase more often than I’ve liked this past year and a bit that Nick and I have been living together. It’s something I’ve said to others and something I’ve said to myself. It’s the excuse I use to justify when I am being too lazy to really spend time on our relationship.
We had been dating three years before we decided to take the big step forward to living together. Before the move we were both living with our parents to save money while in grad school and lived about a half hour apart. I dreaded those Sunday nights when they were winding down after an amazing weekend together. We spent 100 percent of those weekends together, usually without friends, being 100 percent together: no computer time, no tv watching, just going out and exploring Philadelphia, New Jersey, and all parts in between. The beginning of our relationship was also smartphone-free so there was nothing to distract us during our exploring.
But with any four year relationship, there comes a modicum of comfort and regularity. There’s a little less excitement when you know that you expect him to be at your dinner table every night. So I let things slip a little. Slowly I let distractions creep in and that phrase “but we live together” started to sneak up more and more often. I replaced let’s eat dinner at the table and talk about our days with let’s watch tv instead. I replaced marveling over our adventures and sharing it with Nick who was right there to making sure I instagram it and share it with a group of followers.
I’ve always been a big believer in me time but I think I’ve just become a believer in something I’d like to call “we time.” We time would be uninterrupted time for Nick and I to be together. It will let us really connect, without the interruption of smartphones and friends and the millions of other modern day distractions. Of course it’s not going to be the same as when we first started. I mean I have sorted through his dirty laundry, literally. That just means we can waste all that time trying to be weirdly nice to each other and get down to doing stuff we really want to do together. We started last night by going to one of our favorite places for drinks and talked for hours. It felt so good, just like the old days but better.
Being in a relationship is hard. You learn so much about yourself and how to be a better person by loving someone else. I think that I forgot about making time to keep that love growing. Starting now I’m going to throw out “but we live together” and replace it with “but we love each other so we’re going to do it for us.”