Why You Need to Do Things Without Your Significant Other

Posted April 29, 2013 by Marcy Twete in Life After Five
Mixed race student on the phone

If you’re a fan of The Real Housewives of NYC, you no doubt remember the huge debate that ensued in one of the first seasons of the show between Alex and Ramona when Alex brought her husband Simon with her to a “girls’ night.” The same drama blew up with The Real Housewives of Orange County when one of the housewives announced she “didn’t travel without her husband.”

No doubt, we’ve all encountered these kinds of women. You invite them for dinner and they respond, “Is it OK if Bob comes, too?” You ask her to get a manicure with you and she says, “I’ll have to let you know. I’m not sure what Nick is doing.” There are women everywhere who simply just don’t like to (or choose not to) be away from their significant others for very long.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I love my husband very much. But part of what makes our marriage great is the fact that we have our own interests and take time to be independent even within our relationship. The fact of the matter is, you need to continue being a person….a whole person….to make a relationship work. The old saying goes, “relationships are 50/50.” Not true. Relationships are 100/100. You both have to come to the table whole to make it work.

Here are a few things you might be constantly including your significant other in in your life you should think about changing:

  • Parties. Just like Alex and Simon from RHONY, are you bringing your significant other to every single social gathering? Ask yourself this – have you ever brought him (or her) to something you probably shouldn’t have? Has your spouse ever been the only spouse at the table? Perhaps your friends are too afraid to tell you it’s time to come alone every now and again. You want to catch up with friends, girl! You can’t do that effectively when your spouse is next to you.
  • Travel. Hearkening back to that RHOOC drama, there are many women who never take a vacation unless it’s with their spouse. This is a big mistake. Sure, I love to travel with my husband, but there are other people who I want to foster great relationships with through travel. For instance, I just returned from NYC with my dear mother. I realized she and I had not been on a trip together alone in nearly 6 years. It was time. And though my husband was certainly (and playfully) jealous of all the Broadway shows we saw, he was 100% supportive of the trip. So whether it’s your mom, your best friend, your college roommate, or your yogi pals, take a trip with someone other than your significant other.
  • Shopping. Being a part of a couple often means developing a routine together. That might mean you shop every Sunday together at your local grocery store, or you take your significant other with you when you’re looking for that new dress or pair of shoes. But every now and again, don’t! Sometimes you want to grab whatever you want at the grocery store without someone else seeing it. If you like cheese in a can, and he thinks it’s disgusting, then girl, you need to grocery shop by yourself now and then!

I’m not questioning your independence, ladies, don’t worry about that. We all get in a groove with our partners, and forget to include others. It’s great! It means you actually like the person you’re dating or married to. But don’t do so at the neglect of other areas of your life. After all, in the words of James Franco’s character in Eat, Pray, Love, “Don’t you want me to have some time to miss you?”

About the Author

Marcy Twete

Marcy Twete is a career fundraiser turned corporate responsibility executive, a career and networking expert and the author of the book "You Know Everybody! A Career Girl’s Guide to Building a Network That Works."