I Do My Thing, You Do Yours: That's Why We Work

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I Do My Thing, You Do Yours
Love, Self

Then let's meet back here to discuss!

It's so wonderful to be in love; it makes you want to spend all your time together with your mate. You love all the same movies, have all the same hobbies, read the same books, and practice the same religion and... LOL, NOPE.

While it's great to spend lots of time with your sweetie, there's something to be said for having your own interests.

Yes, you want to think outside the box and try new things that he likes, and vice versa, but sometimes, once you've been together a while, you realize you can't (and shouldn't) spend every minute together. You need your own interests.

Does that spell the end of the romance? No, it's just the opposite. Because once you spend time apart, you'll have plenty of stuff to talk about when you get back to each other.


What's that old saying about not working with your spouse because too much together time can be bad for the relationship? Embrace that statement, hang it above your dresser and let's get to it.


My husband loves sci-fi. Me? Not so much. I had zero interest in sci-fi before I met him. Well, he loves sci-fi so much that I really opened up to trying out sci-fi movies because I wanted to experience his interest with him.

His famous question when I recommend a movie is, "Are there aliens? Explosions? Robots?"

Very soon we learned that there was only a specific kind of sci-fi movie that I enjoyed. So now, he does the research and if it's a more "think-y" film, then I'll watch with him. Otherwise, why waste the movie ticket and snack money for me to be bored? He goes with his sci-fi group of friends and they get to have a great time, enjoy the movie together and not have to hear me mumbling under my breath.

Nothing is worse than sitting in a movie with somebody who keeps whispering in your ear, "Oh my god, that's so stupid! Oh... another explosion..."

And likewise, he doesn't have to sit through my heavy, slow dramas I like to watch. We do watch movies together but we try for the kinds of movies that we think we both might like, but then he gets to do his thing and I get to do mine.

There is nothing wrong with having different interests or liking different genres of films or books. I don't know about you, but I really don't want to torture my husband with something that I know he's not going to like. It's a mutual respect thing.


It feels good to have my own interests and to have things that I do with other people. I don't want to spend every minute with just one person.

Another example: I love practicing yoga. I shared my interest with my husband and he has some interest in yoga. He's even tried it with me at home but I know yoga isn't exactly his thing. I love that he tries every once in a while, but I don't want him miserable in a sweaty Bikram class.

Sometimes when one person in a relationship starts something new and loves it, they actually might be better off if their significant other doesn't join in.

I have a friend who joined a gym so she could start working out and have some alone time. She was totally loving her hour of her time away from work and the kids. A couple of months into it, her boyfriend joined the same gym.

After only a couple workouts, his body was showing major change while she was still struggling. Next thing she knew, he had signed up the kids for membership too, so all of her alone time vanished. Her thing was gone.

Of course, these are the easy situations. What about when it's a really important area of life, like religion or child-rearing? Those are areas where compromise will have to come in.

I don't like to admit it, but I guess I'm more of a helicopter parent than I ever thought I would be and my husband is... not so much. I'm all about sticking to the schedule and doing things at a specific time. It's been known to cause some friction with my husband who's more relaxed and go with the flow.

We deal with it through communication, but also the sense of "I do my thing, you do yours."

When I'm in charge of putting the kids to bed, I do it my way. My husband has to listen to my time reminders when he's in charge, but he finds a balance of appeasing me and doing his own thing.


If we think our different ways are affecting our kids, we talk about it and find a compromise when we really need to be on the same page. Most of the time, though, we can parent in slightly different ways because we want our children learning that people are diverse and do things differently, and there's nothing wrong with that.

Same thing goes for something like religion. We are open with our kids and explain our different beliefs, which turns it into a totally teachable moment of how people with different beliefs can get along.

If I want to go to church, I'll go to church. I've taken my spouse and the kids with me sometimes, and if it doesn't click, I'm OK with that.

I'm not going to force it, so we handle it with our children by exposing them to different religions, so that they can learn and eventually decide for themselves what is going to be their thing.

So, I do my thing you, you do yours.

If you can both say it and mean it, it will work. Approach issues with a sense of love, compassion and compromise. You are in a partnership and you already do a lot of things together; there's no reason why you can't have your own things.


If you have a hard time wrapping your thoughts around this, ask yourself why you or he believe you have to agree on everything. Everybody's different. There's no way to spend every single waking minute together and like the exact same things.

Allow your differences to flourish and draw you closer as you share all the new things you both will learn, and then spend your alone time together, doing things you both love — make those things your "us" things.