Obviously you know that shacking up means you'll be spending way more time with your partnerÃ¢â‚¬”that's kind of the whole point, right? But moving in together may also make you slack on spending time with your own friends and hobbies. Of the 1,000 cohabitating renters surveyed recently by Rent.com, 63 percent said they rarely or never spend a night out with just their pals, and 58 percent said they mostly stay in with their partner on the weekends.
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Don't get us wrongÃ¢â‚¬”clearly you should want to hang out with your spouse or live-in boyfriend. "It's definitely important to carve out time with our partners," says relationship expert Andrea Syrtash, author of Cheat On Your Husband (with Your Husband): How to Date Your Spouse. That said, it's just as crucial to carve out time for yourself, your hobbies, and your friendships. "It's really important to maintain our sense of identity outside of our relationship so that our partner is not our everything," says Syrtash.
Melissa Melms, who lives with her fiancÃƒÂ© in Hoboken, New Jersey, says making time for herself amps up her happiness, which in turn benefits the relationship. "I go to SoulCycle at least twice a week and try to plan outings with friendsÃ¢â‚¬”without my fiancÃƒÂ©Ã¢â‚¬”at least a few times each month," she says. "It's so much more fun to have our date nights but also to do our own things and be able to come home and share stories."
Syrtash agrees: "You and your partner wouldn't have been attracted to each other if your world revolved around just dating that one person and you had no hobbies, interests, outlets, friends," she says. And that shouldn't change now just because you're a committed couple.
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For Nikki Roberti Miller of Boone, North Carolina, this was one of the first lessons she learned after marrying her husband nearly two years ago. "It's foolish to think that finding your 'perfect match in life' will automatically equal a perfect match in how you want to spend your time," she says. They sometimes have separate Friday plans, but they both end the night at home together. For other couples, more than one night apart is the norm, too. "My husband and I have no problems taking little vacations apart every once in a while," says Amy Stanley, from Atlanta, Georgia. "It's amazing to be able to spend a weekend with my best friend in Florida and not feel guilty about it. Plus, that little time apart always makes me miss and appreciate him."
The bottom line is that you won't be your best in a relationship if you aren't taking time for yourselfÃ¢â‚¬”whether that means spending the afternoon alone in the park or going with your girlfriends to the Bahamas for a week. "Do something that brings you joy," says Syrtash. "And you'll bring that joy back to your home life."
If you live with your S.O., tell us in the comments: How do you make sure you have relationship time and 'you-time' on the regular?
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