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How much do you just "hang out" with your DP/DH?

(15 Posts)
rosetree Sun 10-Jul-11 13:29:32

How much do you and your DP/DH just "hang out" together?

I'm in the situation of living with a guy for the first time, we've been together for about 2 years and living together for one. I've never lived with a boyfriend before, but since the age of 18 I've always been living with someone, first with three close girlfriends at uni for three years, then with my best friend for five years in London in a very Will-and-Grace style set up.

So when I was living with my friends, it was the norm that we always hung out together around the house pretty much all the time when we were in at the same time. Sure sometimes if someone had a boyfriend round, or had to study, or wanted a bit of me-time its normal that we weren't together. But if I was home and my friend/s was home, we tended to entertain each other, watch TV together, talk, cook together, make each other laugh, just generally hang out together for the majority of the time.

I thought things would be the same when I moved in with my DP, but they are not at all. We do spend time together obviously, but the "default" position if we are both at home is not to be hanging out together. He has this incredible work ethic, always likes to be keeping busy with various IT projects he has on the go, fixing stuff around the house, does sports twice a week all evening, likes his video games etc etc.

We do spend time together obviously, but its just not really as much as I'd like. On a typical wrking day we have about 45m - 1 hour of together-time while we make dinner, eat dinner, maybe watch a DVD. The rest of the time he is off doing whatever he wants to do for the rest of the evening (generally in his office upstairs, sometimes with his laptop down with me in the lounge but even then he's pretty much 100% focusing on what he's doing so chat is not really an option). At the weekend obviously there is more time spent together because we have more time available, but even so he spends a hefty chunk of time just doing his own thing.

I should add that if we have sometthing concrete to do, ie we've decided to go out for dinner or meet some friends or have a day out somewhere he is 100% happy to do it, and we do do all these types of things. It's just all the "inbetween" times, which actually count for a lot in my book, that I'm slightly disappointed he prefers to be on his own (mentally if not physically) and its just not at all what I'm used to.

So anyway I'm sorry this has got really long, but my question is - is this kind of dynamic actually more standard than I thought when you are living with a partner? Maybe its just different to living with friends as a romantic relationship is much more involved anyway, particularly in doing things together outside the house, so its better to have more me-time when you're at home? Can anyone share their thoughts / experiences?

fluffles Sun 10-Jul-11 13:35:43

my dh and i both do our own thing on weekday evenings
monday - me to guides, him to football don't really see each other
tuesday - me to yoga, him out on his bike, see each other about 9pm
wednesday - him to pilates me to my bike club, meet up about 9pm
thursday - me sometimes to yoga, sometimes not

but then we spend most of friday to sunday doing stuff together

not sure we're all that 'normal' though in this respect.

niceguy2 Sun 10-Jul-11 13:53:02

Sounds pretty normal to me though i cant say we've timed it.

When at home, I'm usually to be found tapping away on the computer. My OH will be reading a book or surfing/studying. That's when ofc we're not dealing with the kids.

My advice is that as long as he's not totally neglecting you and that he's not trying to avoid going out with you and whilst he's out he's spending time WITH you then it's fine.

Perhaps you could set aside one night per week where there's no computers, just watching TV/talking with a nice glass of wine?

buzzsore Sun 10-Jul-11 13:59:16

When we're home, we spend quite a lot of the time together chatting/watching tv and such. We're neither of us great hobbyists and I always switch off the laptop etc when he's home (because of his shift pattern we have few evenings together normally). If he was home more, maybe we'd pay each other less attention.

But I don't think it's how other people live that matters, it's whether how your own dynamic works makes you happy or not. You sound a bit lonely with how it is presently, while he is obviously driven and self-contained. It's quite early days to be left spinning your wheels on your own, 'though.

Now you can talk to him & ask him to spend time hanging out/factor it into his schedule - or you can have your mates round for company/go out more/find other ways of filling your time - or you can think about whether this is the homelife you want. It may be that if you explain how you're feeling he'll make more effort to be companionable. But he may not, and then you have to consider that this will be the norm for you as a couple, and if/when you have children, he will probably still be the same. Would you be happy with this?

z1rconia Sun 10-Jul-11 14:02:19

Personally, I think that it's very important to have 'us' time. DH and I spend at least 2 hours together,per day,around the cooking/eating time. In our case, I was the one that would become absorbed in all sorts of 'stuff',until I realised that I was neglecting DH. If your DP has lived alone up until now,he won't recognise the fact that you need more time to communicate. Time to discuss!

bail Sun 10-Jul-11 14:07:57

I guess there is no 'normal'. It is whatever suits each couple. My DH and I hang out a lot. I am a SAHM and by the time DH gets home from work, I am generally craving some adult conversation with him. We eat together every night, which tends to go on for awhile as I bore him with stories about our DS, then we watch TV, then he may go and do some work and read online news, whilst I watch tv and clean up. At weekends, we mostly hang out together, but he might meet a friend for a drink in the afternoon or go to the gym, whilst I take DS shopping or something similar. Likewise I might meet a friend for lunch without him, bit generally we socialise together at the weekend. I don't want to paint an entirely rosy picture as we do have our ups and downs, for sure! But generally speaking, I love his company and our default position is that free time is spent together.

summerysunshine Sun 10-Jul-11 22:55:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

rosetree Mon 11-Jul-11 10:13:56

DP knows that I would like to spend more time together at home, and he has made efforts to make me happier in this respect, ie working from the laptop in the lounge with me instead of in his office, trying to get me involved in one of his projects, coming to bed actually at the same time as me more often instead of just staying up til 3am working (its incredible to me how little sleep he needs). So I can't complain that he isn't trying to compromise

I guess I am slightly hurt though by the fact he doesn't have the motivation to spend more time with me off his own back, and by the fact that all these various projects seem more interesting to him than me, though I know thats really an unfair generalisation.

I guess he will never change that much in terms of his driven-ness and motivation to have all these projects on the go to occupy his time.

buzzsore I've asked myself the same question, ie would I be happy with this way of living in the long term. Obviously its not what I would prefer, but really part of me thinks if this is the worst thing about our relationship (and I suppose it pretty much is) wouldnt it be crazy to throw it all away based on this one thing? If this is the main thing I have to complain about maybe I should be counting my blessings...

LeQueen Mon 11-Jul-11 10:51:36

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CloversMama Mon 11-Jul-11 11:47:33

We are both quite busy people with our own interests, hobbies, friendship groups etc so spend quite a lot of time apart. However, when we are both home together we are always 'together' - watching TV, cooking, chatting etc.

We do have periods where I feel like we are ships in the night and we never really see each other. Luckily we both feel quite similar about this and one of us will always say something like 'I feel I haven't seen you for ages...shall we go out for dinner tonight?' or 'I'll meet you off the train tonight and we can go for a drink before we go home.'

kaluki Mon 11-Jul-11 11:50:43

I think you sound normal. I'm like your DP and like my own space and always have unfinished work or projects on the go and we like different things on TV so rarely sit and watch programmes together.
But we always go up to bed at the same time and we do talk a lot to each other, also every other weekend when our kids are away we spend the whole weekend doing things together.
I think its something you will get used to - its not healthy to be in each others pockets too much.

AngryIThink Mon 11-Jul-11 12:16:21

I am a bloke and I would like to spend more time hanging out with my wife of 24 years than she does. Just talking. It is a frustration and does not go away. She prefers to be doing and is very list-driven. My perception is she is afraid of intimacy. I have sort of accepted it for now, while still working on it with her, and have been collecting good friends (of both genders) with whom I can get some of my needs for intimacy met.

A useful book is 'The 5 Love Languages' which helps articulate how what partners want from a relationship can be different and if we want to show we care then we know what to do more of. The languages are: quality time, acts of service, gifts, words of appreciation, and touch. Sounds like you and I are big on quality time but our partners are less so.

It's not easy this relationship stuff. I do think they should update the fairy tales and change the ending to: "Then they got married and that's when the work really started".

ilovedora27 Mon 11-Jul-11 16:38:01

Most evenings from when he gets in until bed, and also at weekends except for if we go out for a night out with friends which is me usually clubbing and him xbox nights with mates. We spend a bit less time together than when we were younger but only marginally.When we first got together at 18 we were together practically 24/7, worked at the same place and lived in one room. We have had lots of periods of time where we have lived abroad working and in uk where we have been together practically permanently living in one room with no net or computers and just each other for company. Its not something we ever fought about or found a struggle tbh.

I use the net and he does but its rare if we sit in silence. We watch tv together and save stuff on the sky box to watch together. Also we do dvd nights. We usually watch programmes we like seperately when the other is at work in day. A large amount of our friends are joint friends so we are used to them being round and us all being together.

I think it sounds ok, it's good to have a routine of when you spend time together - ie cooking and eating dinner - every night that's sacrosanct though.

We chat over family dinner, then one of us puts dc to bed while the other cleans and tidies up downstairs: we're not blessed with good sleepers so this can take a while and it's often 10pm before all is done. Then we might have a drink and a chat, or watch TV together, or be on our laptops before going to bed around 11pm. We always have pillow talk in bed (not so much sex, sadly). But at least once a week, if not more, as soon as DC are asleep we sit in the garden with a bottle of wine and have good conversation. The other night it started raining and we crawled into the kids' tent in the garden, to see if it was waterproof, with a bottle of bubbly and a pack of pringles. Which was kind of romantic for us these days!

madonnawhore Mon 11-Jul-11 20:59:02

Rosetree do you have any hobbies or things you like to do just for you?

From what you've described, it doesn't sound like your DP's behaviour is unreasonable or unusual. But it seems like maybe you've always relied on other people to entertain you. It's not a good idea to structure your life and all your free time around someone else.

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