Jaime and I have been in a long distance relationship for nearly three years now, after knowing each other as friends for about 6 years. Since we are very close to moving in together (Either in September or December, depending on the fate of my application for housing) we had a talk the other day about personal space. Specifically, she wants some time away from me so she can work on her Master’s thesis, and a private room where she can work. This is understandable, because I often feel the same way about studying, stimming, and just wanting some alone time, and also, she admitted that when I’m around, she has a hard time keeping her hands off me and her concentration on her thesis 😉
I’ve decided therefore that it’s in our best interest for me to make new friends while I am in Victoria so I can go out for a night on the town if I wish, or go to the library if she wants to concentrate. While everyone’s enthused about the idea of me making new friends, I’ve heard a lot of people get rather upset at the idea (projecting there) that Jaime is essentially kicking me out of our living space that we’ll share. They’re not advocating that we spend every waking moment together (not practical on any level) but they find it decidedly unromantic that she’s prioritizing her thesis so highly over me that I’m expected to make leave so she can work. After all, we’re living together now, shouldn’t we want to take advantage of the chance to make up for the three years spent only having the computer as a means of communications?
I assure you, we intend to spend a lot of time together, and love each other’s company. But we are also passionate about our studies, and it would be criminal for us to neglect them. And though we both have our moments when we are so absorbed in a task that we forget everything around us until our bladder and bowels snap us to attention (ahem) there are also moments where concentration does not come easily, and we need time to ourselves to complete tasks, especially complicated ones like theoretical physics. That’s not unromantic to me, it’s a matter of devoting equal times to lesser but still important priorities: Our passion for our fields, our passion for our friends and loved ones, and our passion for our hobbies (Civilization V, reading and writing for her, blogging, stimming and swimming for me) It doesn’t mean we put romantic gestures and time together on the back burner. It simply means that we are trying to learn to respect each other’s boundaries, since living with a romantic partner is so new to us both.