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How Important Is Doing Things With Your Partner In A Relationship?

My friend and I are sorta-kinda exploring the idea of dating — again — and Friday he hit me with a random question via GChat:

“Last night I was thinking, if we lived in the same city how would we spend our evenings? What would we do?”

My eyes stared at the word “do” for quite some time as I dwelt on the implication of an actual activity of some sort. Already I was feeling anxious. All I “do” after work is exercise if my fitness cup runneth over, cook if I haven’t meal prepped enough over the weekend, and work on a few side projects. I knew “Cook and watch HGTV” wasn’t going to be an acceptable answer but I said it anyway.

“I can do HGTV, but you know I like to get outdoors, I can’t stay in the house all day, I’ll go stir crazy, where would we go?” he replied.

“We’d go to work and come home” I said with an LOL I didn’t really mean before adding we can go run on a boardwalk or something.

“That sounds cool, where else would we go?”

Now I was getting frustrated. “I feel like you’re over there daydreaming or something,” I typed, out of answers for things we would do that I had no intention of doing. He told me he wasn’t daydreaming, he was wondering about things in a more practical way. “I was just wondering how things would be on day to day.”

After a few more rounds of “where do you go?” and a few more answers of “nowhere,” the conversation was tabled and I relieved. Temporarily at least.

The next night I saw a cousin of mine that I hadn’t seen in a while and we started talking about her parents’ split. “They hadn’t liked each other in a really long time,” she told me. I asked why and she said, “For one, mom just stopped wanting to do things.” I instantly felt a weird discomfort. My cousin’s mom and my mom are twins and one thing I’ve known for sure contributed to the breakdown of my mom’s first marriage is the fact that she would hardly go anywhere with my former stepdad who also always loved to be out of the house. That’s why it’s so hilarious to see her regularly attend basketball and football games now and travel a bit with her current husband. Though that also speaks to the fact that with the right man you’ll make the right changes, I couldn’t help but wonder if my cousin and I are generational curses waiting to happen. When she arrived at my door Saturday night I asked her did she want to do anything, she told me no. The next morning, she looked at me and said, “Sorry I don’t like to do things.” I laughed and told her don’t apologize; I didn’t feel like doing anything either.

The thing is, I like to do things, but I have a max. As part of my job, I’m quite often doing “things” — concerts, product launch parties, happy hour catch-ups, styling events, listening sessions — those are my things. That’s why when the weekend comes, my energy for extra things is pretty much exhausted. It’s not that I don’t like brunch or movies or window shopping (okay, I actually don’t like that because if I’m shopping I’m buying) it’s just that when I do so much during the day or week, by the time I get home that’s where I want to stay, sometimes all day. But I’m starting to realize that could be a problem when it comes to a mate. Maybe. I also remember begging an ex to get out the house together sometimes and actually do something. So I know I have it in me to do things; it might just take an extra little coaxing. Or an actual vacation so work “things” don’t get in the way of other important things.

What do you think? How important is it to do things with your partner in a relationship?