#SeparateTogetherness: How-To Live In A Small Space

After living on a 34-foot boat for over two years with my sweetheart, we’ve learned some tricks to find alone time even if we’re just an arm’s length away.

This is healthy for one major reason: distancing from each other gives us space to come back together. 

A taste of, “absence makes the heart grow fonder” if you will.

Here are a few tips to find your own space when space is very limited. 

Doors. Use Them. Many cruising boats are large enough to have at least a door to the V-berth. This comes in handy when I want to write or chill in the galley and Chris wants to watch a movie. He’ll go into the V-berth, close the door, and voila! We each get restorative alone to time to recharge batteries.

I am happily typing while Chris is happily watching a movie in the V-berth.

Keep Favorite Snacks Separate. The last thing you want to do is fight about is who ate the last delicious brought-down-from-America treat.

For example, this year we have separate bags of organic dark chocolate with dried cherries. Last cruising season, it was peanut butter. (We both like crunchy, but he prefers salt.)

It’s one of those, pick-you-battles type of thing.

Zone Out, Side-by-Side. Just like in your bed at home, zoning out on phones, books, magazines and computers happens on a boat, too.

This is especially nice while sitting in the cockpit – one person sits portside, the other, starboard. #Separate yet #together

Chris sittin’ pretty on the port side.

Take Excursions. Alone. When you’re on anchor or at a marina, discover the town while walking hand-in-hand with the one you love. Then take note of coffee shops to revisit by yourself.

WiFi changes everything. So does a change of scenery, even if you’re simply scrolling on Instagram. 

When we’re in a remote anchorage, for example, Chris will row the dinghy around and I’ll stay on board to write. Bonus that you get the whole boat to yourself to spread out.

Same goes for Chris. When I go in town to write, he can play/work on the boat all day without me commenting with unsolicited advice or micro-managing (my bad!).

Alone time means more room to spread out!

Earphones Work Magic. Sometimes we’ll literally give each other a kiss, put in our earphones, and zone out for two hours.

It’s amazing what bubble world you can create when sounds go directly into your ear.

Earbuds = BFFs. They don’t call them “ear-buds” for nothing! #earphonepun

V-Berth: The Ultimate #SeparateTogetherness. The V-berth is a funny concept for couples.

(As a reminder to those who do not sail, it is shaped in a “V” because it is placed at the bow of the boat where it narrows to a point.)

When you both lay in the V-berth, your shoulders are about a King-sized bed away from each other yet your feet share a space about the size of 1/2 a Twin mattress.

To me, this symbolizes the ultimate balance of separate togetherness. You’re so close yet still far away, you almost miss each other in the morning. Cuddles, anyone?

What’s your favorite #SeparateTogetherness trick? 

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  1. Enjoyed reading your adventure, Megan. You’re an exceptional writer. Really sounds like you have a great guy, I’m happy for y’all. Be safe out there!

    • Is this THE Luke?! So great to hear from you! And thank you so much for the kind message. Really means a lot. Aside from being my first love, you were also the person who told me to “just date” while in college. Though it took me over 12 years, I finally understood what you meant. That’s actually how the I Heart column was started – through dating stories! Chris is a great guy and would love for y’all to meet one day. A perfect scenario would be to run into you and your entire family on a Carolina Gameday. My sister and her family would be there as well. And Carolina would win. Take care and hello to all the McCormacks for me! (Also, my apologies for the late reply. Solid WiFi connection is few and far between!)