Relationship tips: do your own things side-by-side. Also, support each other in doing your own things even when you can’t do them side-by-side.
Dave wanted to go fishing while we were in British Columbia. Who knows if we’ll ever get back there, so it was worth an afternoon. We spent the morning together gasping at the scenic drive between Vancouver and Whistler, exploring a new city, and eating a satisfying lunch.
I’m content to spend time with my journal and my Kindle. Park me alongside a river? All good.
Although, let’s be clear, some hobbies demand more from both partners than others. I could read and write in every spare minute and it would have little impact on Dave. When he goes away on a fishing trip, however, I get to pick up the slack around home.
Not equitable, exactly, but important. Necessary, considering we don’t have a river in our backyard.
He finds fulfillment hip-deep in a river that he doesn’t find elsewhere. It doesn’t matter if he catches anything; he says that’s why it’s called “fishing” and not “catching.” He needs to be outside in his own solitary encounter with nature. It fills up his soul.
I’ll admit that I get a little itchy-irritated when he goes away. I have to talk myself down (I’m definitely preaching to this choir of one right now): this is good for him and so it is also good for me.
So guess what I’m doing today? You got it: reading and writing, and all is well.
Did you know I send a monthly newsletter to encourage you to have hope, seek beauty, and live joyfully? No spam and no sales pitch, just encouragement. The June issue was on LOVE in honor of our 30th wedding anniversary, although I address love more broadly than just romantic love: family love, friend love, neighbor love, community love… I’d love to send it to you if you’ll share your email address. Thanks for your support!