What you need to know:
People should be allowed to breathe without a compulsory plus one everywhere
I just finished watching this show called Designing Miami. It’s a really cute show about a Latino couple who live in Miami, and they both have interior design firms. Their style is different, but their personalities are close to the same: both hard workers, both enjoy the finer things in life, and they are both bubbly extroverted personalities.
On one episode of the show, the producer asks them if they would ever just combine their two separate firms and work together; Ray, the husband, often comes to her office to work or say hi, and there is some point that they allude to him renting out her office space when he needs it. But they both look at each other when the producer asks that and say, no way!
It’s interesting to me because even in the same place, couples don’t always want to be together all the time, regardless of what our 20s told us. Do you remember when we were younger, there were those couples who were always together? To the point that it seemed that seeing one without the other meant that one of them had to be dying. They would go to class together, live together off campus – it was a buy one get one free deal in all situations. I used to think that was extremely strange then, I can’t imagine what it would be like now that I’m older.
And it feels a little controlling, no? People should be allowed to breathe without a compulsory plus one everywhere. Let the person be a complete person away from you. How about those situations when you do not want your man around? Is he going to show up at your girlfriend’s bachelorette party and maybe tip the male entertainment that you might have hired for the night? Are you going to rock up to his guy’s trip, with your own cigars and whisky? Not that you shouldn’t do the whisky, but do it on your own!
It’s extremely healthy for couples not to spend every waking moment together. I don’t even think living together absolutely necessary, unless you’re the type. And even if you do live in the same house, there are ways to keep your lives separate. You don’t have to blend into one amorphous human being. You had lives before each other; getting married doesn’t negate or erase those lives, and they ideally should continue to exist. They can come together for what they need to come together for, like mutual friends, or family functions.
It's ok, and actually better, to have interests and excitements outside of your partnerships. The man leaves his home to cleave to the woman and become one flesh, yes, but that means one in purpose, not actually one flesh. You’re going through life together – not identical.
What happens if the people who are in your life do not necessarily like your partner? If you’re the type to drag your significant other everywhere, that wills significantly change your relationships, won’t it? With your mom, or your best friend, who can’t talk to you openly anymore because you’re always with someone else.
The Jimenezes on Designing Miami have the right idea. They’re already in the same field, and live in the same house. There’s no need to also work in the same building, in the same house – that makes this person your partner, your co-worker and your lover. It’s a little too much, in my opinion. And besides, with separate lives, there’s more to bring to the table when you do meet to meld – you have different things to talk about, to discuss and more to exchange, instead of when the drive home, and dinner, is silent, because they were there experiencing the exact same thing as you the entire day!