Too Close for Comfort: The Importance of Establishing Your Own Space

by Mary on May 24th, 2017

There’s a time-honored joke that one spouse has to actively keep from killing the other when they retire. After years of having separate routines and delineated, individual spaces, to be thrown in a constant state of togetherness can take its toll on a marriage or long-term relationship. It’s important to do your ‘own thing’ – have your own space – occasionally – for your sake and theirs.

The good news is that you’ve moved into a 55+ home community with activities and opportunities galore. You and your significant other have myriad options to explore separately and together. You just have to be willing to branch out on your own.

Establishing Your Own Space

One idea is to establish a day or specific time when you and your partner are off in different places. One of you wants to play a round of backgammon with some friends, the other wants to go into town and do some shopping. Then come back at the end of the day and share how your day was. Develop a healthy combination of sharing time and space and being your own people. Give yourself permission to be a unit and an individual.

If you’re at a loss for what to do in your “me-time,” remember that you are fortunate to live in a 55 and better community, whose purpose is to keep life active after retirement. Try joining a club or creating your own. Try a fitness class or pick up a hobby you’ve always been interested in, but never tried. If solitude and reflection is your goal, make it your mission to find a secret space in the area that you make your own. Take a blanket and set a picnic-for-one, find a spot by the lake and write in a journal. Crack open that book you’ve been meaning to read. The possibilities are endless.

A healthy relationship is one where each half is independently dependent on the other. To succeed as a unit yet thrive on one’s own at the same time is a skill to be honed. Retiring to a 55+ community makes that even easier to achieve with its activities, groups, amenities and more.

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