Being single is great. It allows you to watch the tv shows you want to watch, eat ice cream throughout a Sunday if you want to and no-one tells you that you shouldn’t still be playing Football Management simulation games as you’re a grown-up.
That being said, I love being in a couple. A proper couple, who spend lazy weekends together when the kids aren’t around or who have no problem with the other person seeing them without their hair being done and without makeup on. I’ve written about this before and, honestly, don’t think I’ll ever change.
So here are ten things that I really miss about being in a couple.
1. Making a cup of tea for someone else
I like drinking tea a lot, but making a single cup is rubbish. The only time I have one is when I both fancy one and can be bothered to make it. I miss the days when someone would offer me one out of the blue (or, even better, just make one), as much as I miss being able to do the same. Asking someone if they fancy a cuppa is a beautiful little ritual and says “I care about you and want to give you something small which will make you happy”.
2. Not deciding what to have for dinner every night
It’s bloody draining! Trying to come up with something remotely healthy based on what I happen to have in the cupboards at any given moment, balancing out with the other food we’ve eaten that week, what the kids had at school that day and what they had recently round their mothers; it’s sometimes challenging. And no-one else does it. No-one else says “let’s have chicken supreme tonight”, or “I’m ordering takeaway”.
3. Snuggling for warmth in a cold bed
I do love getting into a cold, crisply made bed and warming it up, but nothing beats having someone to snuggle up with and do it together. Before you know it one of you is too hot and you have to thrust a single leg out to regulate the temperature, but warming up together is lovely (and is always a nice opportunity to transition to more fun ways to generate body warmth…).
4. Having a side of the bed
Traditionally, the man always sleeps on the side of the bed which is closest to the door, mostly I would guess for home protection reasons (and yes, I appreciate how sexist that sounds, but tradition is often sexist). I always did this, anyway, and got used to sleeping on one side of the bed and facing in a certain direction. Now I’ve got a much bigger and more comfortable bed than I used to have and there’s no need to do so I still find myself on that side more often than not, which only reminds me that no-one is beside me.
5. Discovering new things
It’s easy to get stuck in routines; listening to the same music, watching the same shows and movies and eating the same meals. Sometimes friends or family can suggest something new, but when you spend your life bringing up kids it’s usually easier to slide into tried and trusted things. When you’re with someone, though, they bring their own tastes into the equation and expose you to different things constantly. Still won’t make me enjoy Love Island or Arrow, though.
Spend enough time in close proximity to someone and you will end up with stories, memories and jokes that only the two of you understand. Whether it’s why one of you has the nickname of “Beans”, or the time they lost their shoes so you had to give them a piggyback home in the rain, or constant references to the treasure hunt you promised them months ago, in-jokes mean you have a shared history that you both treasure.
7. Joint plans and dreams
Some of these can be short-term; a holiday you are both looking forward to in a month’s time or a friend’s wedding. Others are bigger and longer term, like plans to ultimately build a dream home and working on how to make that actually happen. Dreaming and planning alone is lonely and it’s easy to lose momentum. A dream shared is a dream ten times closer to reality.
8. Shared chores
I need to be clear – I am not looking for a mother-replacement for my kids nor a maid (though certainly related visuals are in their own way appealing…). That being said, in a proper relationship both of you share a certain degree of chores. Doing some gardening, getting some shopping in, tidying up after dinner, paying a bill, even simply picking up a scrap bit of paper from the stairs and throwing it away; having someone else to do even a fraction of these jobs among a thousand others would make me happier than I ever thought it would.
9. Having someone to call
It might be someone to call when you’ve had a bad day, but more often it’s having someone to share good news with. Or any news, in fact. Sitting alone in a hotel room after a work conference, or when you realise you have nothing to do on Sunday, or working out how to celebrate when you get an unexpected bit of PPI; not having to think about who to call first because you’re already dialling that one important person is an unappreciated joy.
10. Falling asleep on the sofa
Whether it’s me falling asleep on their lap, them falling asleep on mine or both of us passing out after a glass of wine in front of a good movie, the sense that you are with someone who doesn’t feel like they need to perform to keep you interested in them and can, in fact, relax totally with you and trust you implicitly. Bliss.
Those are some of mine; what (if anything) do you miss about being in a couple?