Thursday, June 28, 2012

That Time I Forgot I Was In a Relationship . . .

Sometimes I forget I'm in a relationship. It's no big deal. It's not like I'm running around having affairs. I just sometimes make decisions that really should require both our points of view all by myself.

This winter I was so busy dreaming of this: 

Croagh Patrick - Ireland's Holy Mountain

County Mayo back road

Southern Clew Bay at tide out - Clare Island in the distance
That I failed to considered how Andy might feel about me jetting off to a foreign country for a week and a half this coming April.

You see, there's part of me that still feels like that headstrong, strings free, recent college grad who boldly makes her own decisions without any considerations beyond self. Back in those days, I jetted off to London for six months without a second thought and once I was back in the States, I took not one, but two vacations within the year: a weekend in Vegas and another in Seattle. Considering my uncertain employment status back then, all that jetting around on a whim wasn't exactly fiscally advisable and now that I think of it, I was in a failing long-term relationship when I started (but not when I ended) my stint in London.

So maybe I've just always been selfish and far too willing to sacrifice the health of my relationships for something I want. Erm . . . that's kind of an uncomfortable thought. 

I'm not sure we millenials were well conditioned for relationships. As children of the 90s, we were taught we could have whatever we want and not to let anything stand in our way. This was especially true for girls of my generation. (Hello girl power!) As a generation trained to take life by the balls, relationships, which really do require give and take, can be baffling at times. So what happens when an aggressively independent generation enters into relationships? 

I should say that Andy and my relationship isn't exactly hard work. It's really too best friends shacking up together. But like any relationship, it's still a balancing act as we learn and respond to each others' wants and needs. Decisions like moving, large purchases, or even switching jobs work best when we make them together, or at least discuss them at length. Despite still keeping separate finances, the line between yours and mine has blurred over the course of this nearly four -relationship.

We have plenty of shared interests to keep everyday life together amusing and far from dull. But I see no reason to let go of our unshared interests either. In fact, considering the amount of time we spend together in a small cabin in a very rural area, I think it's okay if our interests and priorities pull us apart briefly every once in a while. It helps keep the cabin aired out, you know?

 If Andy doesn't care to go to the Cities to take in a "Broadway Across America" performance, that's fine, I'll go by myself. If Andy's saving priority isn't a trip to Ireland, that's fine, I'll pinch my pennies and go without him.

You know, I'd feel bad about up and leaving Andy next spring, but currently Andy's working six days a week so he can bank extra days off to use during this fall's deer season. . . .

Maybe I'm not forgetting I'm in a relationship. To each his own, right?

 

8 comments:

  1. I actually think this is a really healthy approach to being in a relationship.

    You have to maintain your individuality while living in them or else risk losing your own identity!

    Then when you come back together you bring a much fuller/well-rounded person to the relationship.

    Here's to being yourself while being an "us"!

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  2. Ha! Your timing is perfect ... I've been hounding myself for a trip to Ireland/Scotland but am hitting a wall with the husband. He's not a traveler and really has no desire to go. So - do I go alone and feel guilty for spending money and time without him? Do I go alone and know that he's off playing with that new motorcycle he got, so we're "even". Should I even be thinking in terms of "you-got-this-so-I-get-this"? Whew ... ! It's tricky! Thanks for sharing. It's helpful to know that I'm not alone with my guilty/greedy conscience ;)

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  3. hehehe. i really don't think gen y was trained to be relationship folk, either! david and i aren't exactly rash people; we are definitely two people who just sort of float down the river of life together. but when we do (rarely) bump heads, we fight like CHILDREN. it's kind of embarrassing.

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  4. I totally hear you. I think we're about the same age, and often when you describe your relationship it sounds like mine. We'll be together six years this summer, living together more than three, and we still split most holidays (go our separate ways) instead of going to both houses or trading years. We are like best friends but a lot of times I still just want to be the same free spirited person I was who didn't have to consider someone else. But at certain times, I do feel the need to sacrifice since he's becoming more and more my "family." Crazy. This post hit close to home, so that's why I wrote two pages on your comments haha

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  5. Oh man I'd leave my kids and husband behind to go with you :) I think it's great that you can be in a relationship, respect each other, but do different things. It shows strength and trust. Go girl!!! And take me with you.

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  6. As a woman in her late 40's it is really interesting to read how the next generation views relationships. Personally, it sounds really healthy to me. NEVER give up your own dreams for someone else. It sounds like Andy supports you in your personal endeavors and it sounds like you support him. I think your generation is doing ok..... :-) Our generation didn't exactly get it right either. Look at the divorce rate!

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  7. Sounds pretty healthy to me! I wll be excited to hear all about your Ireland adventure. Where exactly are you going? Do you friends over there.
    I know my friend would love to help you along. She is such a wonderful person. Tell whether you like to be introduced to her.

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  8. Well I guess he will survive if it's not forever ;) I think it is healthy to be able to both also do without each other and have your own activities, besides doing things together and missing each other occaisionally :)

    x

    Marielle

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