What is a reasonable expectation for couple time?
August 16, 2012 11:20 AM Subscribe
What is a reasonable expectation for 'couple time' on a typical evening?
posted by JoannaC to human relations (35 answers total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
I'd like some perspectives on how people manage the balance between 'alone' time and 'couple' time. I feel like I want my partner to spend more time with me, but I am not sure if my expectations are reasonable or not. The details:
- We are both mid-30s, have been together a year and a half, living together six months (so we are still ironing out the kinks in the living arrangement)
- We both work; I am home between 5 and 6:15 depending on my afternoon schedule. He has a longer commute and is home between 6:30 and 7:30.
On a good evening, he'll spend ten minutes or so when he gets home saying hello, opening mail, checking internet etc. Then he'll go work out for an hour at the gym in his parents building. He's usually back by 7:30; sometimes, he will eat dinner with me (or we will go out) and sometimes he will want some 'alone time' and eat in front of the computer. After that, he will sometimes watch a movie with me and sometimes play video games (we have a few he will play with me as well). I have been able to get him into the habit of coming to bed with me most of the time; if he is not at all tired, he may stay up (if I ask, he'll come say goodnight to me before returning to whatever he was doing) but usually he'll come to bed and we'll read in bed together and cuddle.
What I find challenging though is the nights where he seems to spend ALL the time on him: home, then to the gym, then eats at the computer so he can check the baseball cards on ebay, then an hour or so on the video games because he needs the 'me' time, and by then it's 10 pm and he's barely said boo to me. And if I ask him to, he'll get snippy that he's been at work all day and needs some time for himself (okay, but it's 10 pm by then so what were the last four hours about?) I get that he needs to relax. I need to relax too though, and one of the ways that I do that is by reconnecting with him. Is it reasonable to ask him to not do the baseball cards EVERY night? To pick two of his hobbies but not all three? Or to shorten the duration so he is done at a certain time so we can schedule some time together?
I don't want to be that needy, demanding partner who codependently can't get along without him, but I do feel like sometimes I am not as compelling to him as the mantoys are, and I'm not sure what I can do to make him *want* to choose me instead, or even if that is a fair and worthwhile goal. I am okay with the occassional night where he just does his own thing because he needs the time, but when it gets to three or four days in a row like that, my insecurity monster kicks in and I wonder why I am not as 'relaxing' for him as the other stuff is. And I worry about getting him used to habits where he is so used to this 'me' time that if we have kids, all the work will be on me.
And---sorry for the length here, but two special snowflake details worth mentioning---on his part, he has a chronic medical condition for which he takes medication which makes him prone to fatigue. So I get that he does need a certain amount of relaxing/unwinding time. But at the same time, my issue is some residual 'child of divorce' stuff where feeling like I have to beg for attention is a bit of an anxiety trigger. I do feel like many days, I want more time with him than I get, but this issue makes me reluctant to trust my perceptions of whether or not that is valid and fair.
So, are my expectations unreasonable? Are his? What is this typically like for most people? This is my first relationship where I have lived with someone, so I don't have much to compare it to. I welcome with much appreaciation any feedback I can get on how to strike the right balance here.