Writing left handed

Relationship Days Off

It’s time for another confession. I promised myself that I would never again let my life revolve around a boyfriend, and I’m keeping this promise, but PIC and I are spending a lot of time together. And because he works downtown (and I live just a short subway ride from downtown), he stays over more nights than not.

This is a new thing for me. I’ve never not been in a long distance relationship before. TWD lived 90 minutes away near the Jersey shore, and even though the European was local, he lived and worked in the suburbs and rarely had time to get together during the week.

Plus, this is my first time living on my own. This is the first time it’s been okay for me have a boyfriend spending the night for days on end because I’m almost 30 years old and it’s my house.

It’s been lovely: the elaborate dinners, the learning of routines, the non-stop make out sessions, and we had what was, quite possibly, the greatest Valentine’s Day weekend of my entire life, but sometimes it gets to be a bit… too much.


We’re both very independent people. And we’re both a bit introverted. Plus I have this thing about keeping my bedroom clean because it’s the one room in the entire house that’s finished and he has thing about leaving half empty seltzer bottles on the floor.

So we decided to take a mandatory two days “off” each week.

(I also gave him an entire closet in which to keep his things and spoke to him about the seltzer bottles; they are no longer an issue.)

I like call these two days our “self care” days. This is because the majority of my friends are either Quakers or yogis (or both). I spend my nights off in the bath tub watching West Wing or painting my nails—with intention, mind you—and I get caught up on laundry and cleaning and… oh yeah… sleep. (Although, truth be told, PIC did laundry all weekend- his and mine- so I am, miraculously, all caught up without having lifted a finger.)

PIC calls these two days our “self help” days because he does not hang out with Quakers or yogis and finds my new age terminology a bit dippy. But I don’t care. As long as he is at his apartment eating his kale to his heart’s content (he is really into kale), he can call our days off whatever he wants.

Usually we take our days off on Mondays and Tuesdays (which means I’ll be spending the evening with my buddies CJ, Josh and Toby). Earlier this month though, we did Friday and Saturday instead because I had plans with one of my girlfriends to go to a Coach Bag bingo fundraiser (which is exactly as wonderful and ridiculous as it sounds) and the New Kat does not cancel plans with her girlfriends to go out with her boyfriend.

I feel a bit silly sometimes, scheduling time off, but things are progressing rather quickly.  He has no less than three pairs of shoes here right now and we’re talking about… well, actually I’ll hold off on that for now.  In the meantime, how do those of you with live in or semi-live in partners make it work?

10 Responses to “Relationship Days Off”

  1. Kelly

    This makes complete sense to me, and it’s great that you can both agree on that and do it without one of your feeling slighted. When I met my boyfriend, we started spending a LOT of time together pretty much straight away – the general way it is told is that we met at my housemate’s party, he stayed over that night (on the sofa!), I gave him a lift home the next day and stayed for dinner etc, went home for my tootbrush, and basically never left. We moved in together after 6 months, but during that time, I had, on two occasions, gone a whole month without spending a night in my own house. It worked out like that because I lived with 3 messy housemates, and he lived by himself, and worked from home, so it just made sense for me to go straight there after work rather than me going home and him then coming out, but I do kind of wish that we had had a bit more time sort of ‘dating’ rather than falling immediately into full on relationship. I do still find sometimes that I really just need some time at home along – especially as he works from home, so he is ALWAYS there. While he gets all day at home to have the house to himself, I rarely do. As a result, even though we did hobbies/sports together, I’d sometimes find myself deciding to give it a miss, just so I could have some time at home by myself. Nowadays, our hobbies have diverged slightly so that happens a bit more, and I encourage him to go and hang out with his male friends and do boy things, so I get some time at home to do my own thing, without feeling like I’m neglecting him 🙂 Wow, that is a long comment, sorry about that! Who knew I had so much to say on the matter?!

    • Kat Richter

      It’s so tricky! I was glad that he wasn’t offended when I suggested some time off- I was afraid he’d think I didn’t want to spend time together but it’s not that at all. We have some similar hobbies but not too many and I like it that way. Its funny though how easy it is to slip into living with someone without quite realizing it… We’re trying to figure out what to do about that. We both want to live together full time and the logistics would work out super well but neither of us has ever lived with anyone before and we don’t want to move (pun intended) too quickly.

  2. Ann St. Vincent

    I’m not sure how much you have read of my story about my marriage, but I will leave it to say I think it is a VERY good idea to give yourself some space. It is not hokey at all!

  3. Slight Charm

    I think your approach seems spot on – even your labeling of it “self care” and “self help” time shifts the mind from the negative thought of not wanting to be a part of the couple to the positive point of leaving room for individual growth. Sounds great! Looking forward to see how it goes. I have never lived on my own yet and when I did live with a significant other (my high school sweetheart) it was from 18-21 (when I was very young and immature), so there were no boundaries and we were each other’s lives (it was mostly playing house – we acted like how we thought we should and it just caused issues because we never got to become anything other than together as a “we” or “us”).

    • Kat Richter

      I can’t imagine living with anyone at 18– well, I can, but I don’t think it would have gone very well! We’re all too young and too immature at that age 🙂 Those are such formative years though, I can see how easy it would be to get sucked into a we/us situation without getting a chance to be/become your own self. I didn’t think I would but I like living on my own. Roommates always come with such drama (male or female) and although its nice to have a built in social life, I prefer being on my own I think. I had a flatmate in London from Belgium who I got on really well with; we would bake together and drink tea in the evenings, and my college roommates were great fun, but I really prefer being on my own. It’s lovely to wake up beside PIC but it’s also lovely to sleep in whatever position I want, as late as I want, and with as many pillows/blankets as I want because I’m the only one around 😉

  4. becky119

    Well…FH and I have been living together pretty much from the start. Luckily, we were crazy about each other and didn’t care about spending all our time together. After 8 years though, we’ve found a balance. At least sort of. We both have our own space, which is nice. He has his ‘game room’ and I have my study. The abundance of books in the house means that whenever he wants to watch UFC I can happily sit on the couch with him with my nose in a book. Over the years we’ve learned to compromise on certain things. I know now that he will never be one to do the dishes, but I can certainly get him to vacuum the house and be the main laundry person (as long as I’m willing to fold). Living together can be challenging, but we make it work.

    I do think that it is a great idea to live with someone – even unofficially – before tying the knot. It really gives you a sense of if this is something that can last. If you can put up with him leaving coats draped over chairs instead of hung up and he can cope with the endless amount of hair everywhere…that’s true love! 🙂

  5. Chicago-Style Girl

    When Chris and I first started dating, he lived in St. Louis, and I lived in Chicago. But I was unemployed. So I basically spent half of each month there. Each time I’d head back to Chicago, he’d complain that I didn’t really have to go, and it sucked when I wasn’t there. But I told him I had to because we were still so new and getting to know each other. Basically, I had to stand my ground and leave, even though I didn’t want.

    What it ended up doing (which I see now five years later) is setting the stage for him understanding that I have to have built in me time. Since it was like that from the start, neither of us resented the need for it once we were out of the limerence phase.

    • Kat Richter

      That is awesome! And what self control! Especially if you had so much time free during those early months. Good for you. And I’m glad it’s worked out so well for you both (and that I’m not crazy- there’s a method to my madness!)


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