Monday, June 25, 2012


I have always considered myself a very independent person. I learned to walk on my own, tie my shoes on my own, hell, I even birthed myself all on my own (or is that a made-up memory???). But lately it came to my attention that I am pretty dependent on the SO. He may or may not have pointed that out to me. I didn't take it as an insult, so I'm pretty sure it was meant in a loving, constructive criticism kind of way. I'm always looking for irrational reasons to be pissed off, so if that didn't do it, it must have been very tactful the way he said it. And after he did, I got to thinking.

Hanging out with friends Saturday night
Before I started dating Joel I was single for three years. I lived alone, paid my own bills, worked a job where my supervisor is 180 miles away, and generally kicked ass all the time all by myself. I was the definition of independent. All-in-all, I have essentially lived on my own and taken care of my own things for almost 9 years now. I have traveled alone; I don't mind to eat at a restaurant alone; and some things like working out and shopping, I even prefer to do alone.

Then walks in a relationship. Within the first three months of dating, Joel and I had taken to spending every night together and tried really hard to spend most of our days together. Between work and other obligations, we were always rushing home to hang out with each other. The newness wore off--or he realized I'm actually a little bit more annoying than originally thought--and we settled into a normal time line of spending time together but not hand-cuffing ourselves to each other. A month later, I moved out of my single-gal house and into Joel's. It made so much sense because we loved each other dearly, we spent most of our time together, and we both had a goal of paying off my student loan debt and saving rent money would get us closer to that. I struggled a little bit more with this than I let on at the time, because I've been so used to having my own space. When Joel needed some "me" time, he could go to the farm. When I needed some "me" time, I was hanging out in his house trying to find it. As time passed, I got more comfortable here and now find my "me" time easily in what we consider to be our house.
You'd have a hard time leaving these boys too

But fast-forward 6 more months, and I hear that I'm not the independent, go-everywhere, do-everything girl I used to be. Not only does Joel want that girl back, but I do too. Looking back over the last 10 months, I'm realizing how hard it is to strike that balance. If I go back to the girl who does everything and is always the center of the social scene and constantly making plans and juggling time with all my family and friends, how am I still going to have time for Joel? No one ever told me how hard it would be to find the balance between being in a committed relationship (where--let's be honest--your time gets committed to your person) and being the independent go-getter you have always been.

There's no neat little wrap-up to this post, because I haven't figured out the answer to my question yet. I have spent the last several days catching up with old friends, shopping, laying by the pool, and, believe it or not, spending good, quality time with my SO. We are very happy to see each other after a long day of work or play and our time together the last few days has felt important and meaningful. So maybe I am finding that balance, but, for me, I know it will be a struggle every single day to maintain the independence I so desire and to be the best SO I know how to be.

No comments:

Post a Comment