It sounds like a dream: lazing in bed until eleven, having sex in the middle of the day, scoping out your city’s best happy hours in the early evening with your man. This is the life of those unemployed and in a relationship. But there’s a dark side, a very dark side, and it’s called the Wii.
My friend Veronica (not her real name) is in the middle of such a slacker paradise. She’s temporarily living at home until she can relocate with her boyfriend to an as-of-yet unknown locale, she was recently laid off from a job she hated anyway, and she’s one of the only people I know who doesn’t freak out in a situation like this. But as someone looking on at her life and her relationship from a slight distance, I’m freaking out on her behalf.
Her boyfriend recently bought a Wii, that addictive gaming console that lets you bowl or play tennis by swinging a white remote around and looking like a moron. I love my friend, and I love that she’s so comfortable with her boyfriend that she can hang out with him in her pajamas, and I love that he finds her sexy even when she doesn’t shower. But I think there’s a fine line between being comfortable with your other and being stuck in a rut.
Veronica and her boyfriend have long been turning into the same person. First, it was their jokes, sometimes funny, sometimes offensive, as if they were nudging each other on. Now, it’s their attitudes towards life, a blasé, things-will-work-out-on-there-own attitude that seems to magnify the longer they are together. This may sound as if I don’t like them together, but that’s actually not true. He’s a good person and he treats her well, and I wish I could be as relaxed and go-with-the-flow as she is, but I’m not, so I worry.
The risk of the slacker dream is real.When you’re in college you have time apart literally built into your schedules. You have class time, study time, maybe lab time, apart. When you’re employed, this time triples, quadruples, to forty+ hours a week. The time you spend together is then more thought-out, more carefully utilized. Sleeping in together becomes a treat and dinners out aren’t an everyday thing but a date. While the sleeping ‘til noon life with your boyfriend might sound like heaven, it can actually be very unhealthy. I’ve been there.
When you spend all your time with your other, morning, noon, night, and happy hour, you lose all perspective. I spent a year and a half attached at the hip to a boyfriend. I drifted way from friends, put on five (okay, ten) pounds, and at one point even wore a ring on that finger. It wasn’t until a study abroad trip to Prague threw me back into reality (a very grey, post-Communist reality). I hadn’t entered into some loving, comfortable place with my boyfriend, I’d gotten stuck in the mud, and I hadn’t even noticed.
Now, I’m not suggesting you take a trip to Prague if you’re in the relationship mud (goulash and dumplings is really an acquired taste), but I do think you should take a mini vacation from your relationship. Not a break, not at all, but a few nights without him. Go to a bar with just the girls, rent a few cheesy romantic comedies, take a weekend trip to Las Vegas or Atlantic City and dress up in your finest glittery gold. What’s the harm? If he loves you than a weekend without you isn’t going to send him into the bed of some floozy. If the time apart gives you a new perspective on the relationship and you decide that it’s not working, then I’ve saved you the year of heartache I wish I’d been saved from. And if distance really does make your heart grow fonder, your relationship will flourish upon your return.
[lead image via Buida Nikita Yourievich/Shutterstock.com]