By Jodi Milner

Jodi Milner author/bio pic

Maintaining a strong relationship requires effort, attention, and compromise. While it might seem like a good idea to spend more time with your partner to strengthen the relationship, sometimes the opposite is true. Giving your partner space and time to do the things they love, even when they aren’t things you love, is a powerful way to show that you respect and support their interests. Also, by allowing your partner to go do things on their own you are also showing that you trust them.

In turn, your partner should also allow you to go and do the things you enjoy on your own. This give-and-take needs to be balanced. Talk to your partner about what they consider an appropriate amount of time to spend on individual projects and activities each week. If you’ve never had a conversation like this before, you might want to explain where you’re coming from first before asking. 

give space

Try this:

Take a look at your week. Is there time scheduled for you to do a few things on your own that you enjoy? If so, great, you are already taking care of your needs. Now, it’s time for you to make sure that your partner is doing the same for themselves. 

If not, take a moment to consider what you would want to do and when you would prefer to do it. Once you have a good idea, ask your partner for the time and then ask if there’s anything they’d like to schedule just for them. 

Then, when the time comes, go do your thing without feeling bad. When the time comes for your partner to do the thing they enjoy, let them go without guilt. 


It took my hubby and me ages to figure out that we could go do our own things without feeling guilty about taking the time away from family. I wanted to participate in local writers groups and go to the monthly meetings. It took some time, but with some encouragement and knowing that I was okay with it, hubby found something out in the community that he loved as well. Now our lives are busier, but it’s with things that we are both passionate about. Both of these communities have brought us joy and a sense of fulfillment as we’ve volunteered our time and talents to these different groups.


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