Recently I’ve noticed a spike in relationship spats amongst my friends and their significant others. It’s a known fact that more people partake in relationships during winter months, most likely due to the fact that you want someone to cuddle up with while waiting out the blizzards and ice storms. Break-ups soar in the spring when people realize they can go outside again and do things other than drink at a bar and order in pizza. I’ve read about this in Cosmo for years, and now I’m seeing it play out before my very eyes (and Facebook statuses).
I have a theory about how to remain attached AND happy during the excitement of Spring Fever: Don’t separate forever, take a night or two off!
I’m sure there are several women reading this thinking, “I could never leave my baby for an evening with the girls!” and a few guys saying, “But I want to bring my girlfriend to poker night.” I’m guessing these people are far and in between – or have been dating for less than a month. The truth is, we need space. You can still love the hugs out of someone while having a fantastic night out with friends.
I am a champion of Girls Nights and the Man Cave. Most people who know me will understand that I need time alone, but that I also want to gossip my socks off about everything from The Bachelorette to secret make-out stories. I learned a long, long time ago that straight men are not the best audience for these conversations. Straight men you are dating usually will entertain mild gossip, or interesting tidbits that involve their friends, but they have their limits. They cannot be the sole ear for every nail polish color you love and favorite Khloe & Lamar moment. Would you want to be the only person they talked to about sports and video games? If so, you are special. I personally have a limited amount of space in my brain for baseball statistics and Xbox game moves. Don’t be selfish – remember that it goes both ways!
One married couple I know designates one night a week for their night out. The husband plays on a sand volleyball team and has plenty of time to swear, drink, remember the good ole days, and vent. She goes out with girlfriends to see a chick flick, drink margaritas and vent. Everyone is happy at the end of the night and there is always something to talk about when they get home. You need an outlet from your sweetie once in awhile, and he or she probably needs one from you too. It doesn’t mean you don’t enjoy each other’s company, in fact many of my friends tell me they realize how much they care about their partner after being away for awhile.
I have a few couple friends who have instilled Man Caves in their homes. One room just for the guy to do whatever it is guys do in their own rooms. To me this means leave socks on the floor and play video games. I really don’t care what goes on in there because odds are that it’s what I wouldn’t want going on in my living room. Go for it, knock yourself out, have a great time. I fully support the idea of A Man Cave for Every Man. That should be a show on the Do It Yourself Network. Maybe I’ll pitch that idea and make millions. Don’t steal it.
Overall, I think spring means it’s time to get out and do things. Find community calendars and look for interesting events. I love beer festivals and independent movies so I drag people to those. You can join a scuba diving club or learn to basket weave. Possibilities are endless and you can use the time to get out of the house and take a breather from your loved one. Most of the happiest couples I know do a lot of things together, but also have their individual hobbies. Jen’s dad has a tree farm. My mom goes to book club. Be yourself and do what you love! Remember: You can’t miss someone if they are always around!