In college, I was roommates in a dorm with my good friend, Robin. We nicknamed ourselves Tigger and Pooh. With her boundless energy, she was definitely Tigger; whereas, I was the low energy, cuddly one that wanted to sit somewhere, sip coffee and swap stories with friends, or lay around watching movies with friends… definitely Pooh. My idea of a great day with friends was a movie marathon with restaurant takeout breaks. On Saturdays, I would sleep as long as humanly possible. I just adored the feeling of the warm sheets and the gushy pillow. When I did get up, it was to get cereal and the remote. Robin was a bit different. If she could have, she would have gone on a different adventure every day. Some days it drove her crazy waiting for me to wake up. She would bounce up and down the hall visiting people, and if someone was leaving campus, to go almost anywhere, she hopped in the car and went with them. We are still friends today, but still have some different interests and different friends that enjoy those different interests with us.
The good news is that Robin and I are friends and we don’t have to check with each other before we choose our activities. Had I met a man with Robin’s energy level and married him, I would not be able to keep up. For the first hour I might be okay; however, after that first hour, I’d be begging to go home. What if Robin had met a man with my lower energy level? She would have probably gone crazy with random energy bursts and run laps around the house, much like my golden retriever does after having been cooped up for longer than she likes.
There are many components that create a good spousal match, but energy level might be a bigger issue than you may realize or for which you have accounted. My husband does have more energy, overall, than I do. He needs less sleep and he has more stamina to complete work tasks. However, he is content to come home after work and watch a little television with me and settle in for the night, unless work warrants otherwise. He loves to read and other tasks that he can do sitting down. Had Eric needed to constantly be moving, or outside doing something, we probably would not have made it to the altar. While I’m not opposed to going out and having fun, I just have a low tolerance for long term physical activity. Additionally, I need a lot of time at home to recharge my batteries, which would drive someone who always needs to be on the go completely crazy.
This is an area of your relationship you have probably already noticed. Do you and your boyfriend or girlfriend have similar energy levels? Do you get tired more easily than the other person? Does your significant other drain you by always needing to be on the go? Do you feel like you will explode if you and your girlfriend don’t get out and do something social? Will you go postal if you are dragged to one more party? While I’m not saying that you have to have energy levels that match exactly, I am saying that if you are polar opposites in this area, you will encounter a number of conflicts in this area. Someone who needs to be on the go can be easily suffocated by someone who always wants to be alone with them indoors; whereas, someone who needs to be on the go can emotionally and physically overwhelm the low energy partner.
If you do have opposing energy levels, serious compromises will need to be made if you choose to pursue marriage. The active person will need to understand that their spouse needs down time at home to be functional. At the same time, the low energy person will have to understand that his or her spouse needs to be free to exercise their active bones whether it be through working out at a gym, playing a sport, or simply being a part of a men’s/women’s group at church. While it’s not fair to expect low energy people to constantly go beyond what their bodies and emotions can handle, it is also not fair to keep active people cooped up. Make sure you take time to observe and analyze your energy levels before running to the marriage altar together.