Welcome to the ninth day of the 2018 Love Blog Challenge! Today’s prompt is Solitude. Check out the announcement post for all the prompts and rules this month. You can still join the link-up for yesterday’s topic, Passion.
Pretty much all relationship bloggers write about the importance of a couple spending quality time together. But what about quality time apart?
Spending quality time apart from my husband is vital to our marriage.
What is quality time apart?
Normally quality time refers to intentional time spent with someone else. For example, for Valentine’s Day, Dan and I ate a nice dinner at our new (to us) dining room table and talked. Normally we eat dinner while watching TV. Lately our preferred quality time is playing a board game after dinner.
As much as I love our quality time together, I also cherish our quality time apart.
Quality time apart is actually pretty simple. When Dan and I spend quality time with other people, or when we spend alone time on our hobbies, that is quality time apart.
I don’t consider working separately as quality time apart. Nor is mindless binge-watching Netflix. Just like quality time together, the key to quality time apart is intention. Intentional time on self-care or personal development, intentional time with loved ones–all of that can be quality time apart.
Why we enjoy quality time apart
Spending quality time apart helps us both maintain our individuality and independence. It’s also good to prevent co-dependence.
Dan and I love spending time together, but we don’t need to spend all our time together. Quality time apart allows us to better appreciate our quality time together.
Quality time with others
While Dan and I enjoy double-dating with friends, or spending time with our families, it’s also important for us to develop relationships without each other.
I visit my dad throughout the year without Dan. I also enjoy the occasional friend-date with my girlfriends. This one-on-one time helps me maintain and grow my relationships with my loved ones.
In our first year of marriage, Dan went to Las Vegas with his brothers and their dad. I was happy for them to enjoy a guys’ trip without me! Now that we live in Georgia, it’s harder for Dan to spend time alone with his family. We visit Ohio fairly often, but those trips are jam-packed trying to see as many people as possible while maximizing nephew snuggles.
Dan and I both benefit by cultivating interests and hobbies outside of each other. For one thing, it gives us something to talk about!
Dan enjoys working on his car. He blasts music in the garage while performing car maintenance. He also likes shopping at hardware stores. I am not a fun shopping partner when I tag along, so he mostly prefers going alone. Sometimes Dan plays video games or computer games, which are an immersive storytelling experience not unlike reading a novel.
Sometimes I just want to read a book with a mug of tea by myself. I don’t want to talk to anyone or see phone notifications or do anything other than read. Reading is a complete escape for me that allows me to relax.
I’m the kind of person who doesn’t mind dining alone. I might read or spend time on Instagram, or I might just soak up the ambiance and focus on my food. Living in France taught me to embrace my own company. Solitude is a time I treasure rather than dread.
What I find comforting about all my relationships, not just my marriage, is that they allow me to feel peaceful during solitude. Being alone doesn’t have to mean feeling lonely. I still struggle with loneliness at times with so many long-distance friendships, but having a partner like Dan makes a big difference.
Meet Your 2018 Love Blog Challenge Hosts!
Brita Long is the pink and sparkly personality behind the Christian feminist lifestyle blog, Belle Brita. While her first love will always be Paris, she lives happily with her husband Daniel Fleck in the Atlanta area.
Sara blogs at Mrs. Imperfect about letting go of perfect and embracing your quirks and messes. She writes about marriage, self love, and mental health. She is a writer, book lover, traveler and crafter, with an interest in the arts, history, and psychology.
Ivanna is a registered nurse who loves expressing her creative side. She enjoys thrifting, learning about sustainable living, and anything purple. She writes on Provocative Joy about living unconventionally, and she loves to inspire people to realize their potential to be world-changers.
What do you think about quality time apart? How do you embrace solitude? P.S. Just a few hours left to enter the giveaway for custom art!