19 March 2014

Miss Independent

Street art - Hosier Lane - Maggie Simpson so quiche

(Street art - Hosier Lane Melbourne, January 2014)

When I started to go on dates with my boyfriend, I remember telling Tash that I just don't have time for a boyfriend. I guess it was one of the excuses I used to keep my heart safe. And it was also true - I have so much going on that I didn't think I'd have time for a man in my life. I wondered how I'd schedule in boyfriend time.

The sharing-time part of my relationship took some getting used to. I've been single for a long time. And only child. A sole dweller since moving out of home 11 years ago. I'm driven, focused on my goals and probably a little selfish. I worried that I would not accomplish my goals in a relationship. For a few weeks I felt suffocated, I just wanted some time on my own. Looking back, I must have been pushing him away. He wanted to spend every minute with me. I didn't want to see him every day. I wanted to continue to have my own time - I didn't want my life to change. But I wanted love too.

I read this article on Elephant Journal - it's on how to love the independent girl. It spoke to me.

"She’s the self-sufficient, somewhat mysterious go-getter with big dreams and an even bigger heart, though not everyone sees it at first glance.

Some might see her as cold and distant, because she needs a significant amount of alone time to keep her from feeling scattered and spread so thin that she disappears. Sure, she has family and friends with whom she loves to spend much of her time, but it’s in her nature to crave those precious hours of solitude—being only with her thoughts, completely alone in a crowd or in the vastness of a quiet scene.

Some call it antisocial; she calls it sanity."

That girl is me. I love being alone.

I love my time on the couch writing and drinking wine on a Friday night. I love playing music loudly. I love falling asleep to I love to get up when I want, go where I want and do what I want. Being alone lets me think, let's me be me. I am an extrovert who needs to wind down in my own space. I love being alone.

And now he's here, because I love him, I've made time. I love being with him.

The more I see him the more I want to see him. We've reached a comfortable stage where we can sit quietly doing our own thing, or doing things apart and then coming together. Sometimes I ask him what his favourite part of the day was and he says "all of it, because it was spent with you". I feel the same. I can't imagine life without him now.

I've talked to him about the need for my independence. I've told him I don't want him to lose who he was before he met me.

As I write this, he's doing what he likes to do - bike mechanic stuff. We've texted a few times. Told each other "I love you" and discussed My Kitchen Rules. Later we will send goodnight messages, sappy and romantic. And there will be a beautiful wake up message for me in the morning: "have a wonderful day my princess".

We spend weekends together - usually Friday to Monday - and one or two nights in the week. I like this alone time, I know he does too. I like that I will see him in two days time. I am so excited about seeing him. (Though not sure how we will fare with six weeks apart.)

Being Miss Independent has been a challenge when it comes to love. My independence has been a brick wall I've had to dismantle a little to let him in - luckily that happened very early on. There's a fear of losing who I am. But I know I won't because of the love and support he continually shows me. Love is about compromise and life change. My life had to change.

I am still always super busy. I set time aside. I make to-do lists. I have let a few things go (admittedly as much as I love falling asleep in his arms, I miss falling asleep listening to podcasts). I say no more often. I ask him for help. I rest. I get stuff done. I'm still Miss Independent, only a little less.

Are you independent? How did life change when you found love?



  1. I love this post and how happy you are in life and love right now.

    SSG xxx

  2. I don't necessarily think it's about losing independence, but redefining it. You can be independent while also in a relationship. I believe myself to still be very independent, in the way I do things and also the way I think, but I am coming up to four years married and adore spending time with my husband. I chose someone to be with not because I needed to be, but because I wanted to be. And he's not the man I thought I wanted in my life - but he is the man I need in my life. He lets me be who I am, and I offer him the same, but together we make each other better people. It's also about acknowledging that together time, doesn't have to be active together time, if you like. We spend a lot of time 'together', but he might be writing his next article while listening to his own music, while I’m working on my blog and listening to a podcast. But these will be broken up with offers of a cup of tea, or a short walk to grab some coffee together before back to our separate pursuits. I think the best indication of a great relationship is your ability to be together quietly, without feeling you need to be ‘doing something’. I was away for four days over the weekend, and when I got home my husband said to me that as much as he enjoys being alone to do his writing etc, he'd much prefer to it with me around, being in the next room, or coming home. You'll get there, let it settle. :)

    1. This is such a beautiful response - thanks for sharing! I also believe my boyfriend is the man I needed in my life, not the one I expected.
      It is nice to know that someone is there for you when you are doing things alone.

  3. We are still negotiating this, four and a half years in. We are very comfortable just hanging out, but both need our alone time. Despite him being more introverted, I'm the one who craves a night sleeping alone (or in a king bed, which is nearly as good) and because he gets plenty of time working at home alone, I'm the one who is missing out lately, especially since we added a housemate. After about 4 hours of alone time I'm good, and then I start to miss him. That once a week is perfect. When he went away for four days to Queensland I got quite lonely. I'm really scared of having kids though, because while he understands that I need alone time for my sanity, they won't when they are little, but I won't cope very well if I can't get away from them.

    1. Oh sleeping diagonally in the big bed is the best. I'm alone tonight and it's nice not to have to tug at the doona or worry about my stupid lack of temperature regulation making him too hot!
      Hopefully you can get some alone time in - I can't imagine having a housemate to take away the personal space!


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