Remember: in 2016, the writer Isabelle Teissier published a letter on the Huffington Post Quebec entitled “Single for two”, which started out like this: “I want to be single together with you. I want you to go have a beer with your friends, that you be out of town (hangover, one would say in good French, editor’s note) the next morning and that you still ask me to join you because you have want to have me in your arms (…) ”Many media have relayed these words, relating the concept of“ celibacy as a couple ”. But behind this idea, there is no notion of a free couple or even of polyamory. More simply, it is about retaining your freedom, your lifestyle, your autonomy, and appreciating that your partner does the same. In short, we are faced with two individuals who, together, construct and lead a love story without making this love story the only landmark in their existence. Because in the beginning, there was you, there was me, so why would we disappear into a world-old pattern that wants us to merge, glue and freeze? It is rich in these reflections that the coach Nathalie Lefèvre, also a journalist and business manager, publishes “Singles as a couple” (ed. Larousse), a work she presents as the logical continuation of her first book “C is decided, I marry! “, Released in 2018.” After self-engagement, I wanted to deal with freedom with the other, “she tells us. A desire that is inspired by her personal journey – since the author has just got married. But her will is twofold: with “Singles as a couple”, she also wants to counter the vision of “I take advantage and then I line up”. Why should we “tidy up”? How to live together while preserving your freedom? What’s the point in that? Find out how to do it.

Multiply the sources of love

Yes, the couple are a source of love. But sometimes we tend to expect our partner to feed us everywhere, whether he is our lover, our friend, our lover, our colleague (hello the telecommuting), and we go. However, as Nathalie Lefèvre points out, “the sources of love in our lives are innumerable and we can have several emotional spaces”. In other words, our partner cannot meet all of our desires. He doesn’t like chatting for hours over a drink? Doesn’t he like the movies? We can share this with others. The opportunity to stop incriminating him for nothing (and that feels good), to enrich himself elsewhere and otherwise, but also to let him enrich himself elsewhere and differently. “The other can have strong human or intellectual connections at different levels and the couple cannot respond to all these levels”, continues the author who adds that, on a personal basis, she falls in love with certain books or certain meetings. human beyond its couple. A real state of mind and a way to make us understand that love is everywhere, and that it is also because we are going to look for it “elsewhere” that we experience all the better the one that unites us (to our partner ).

Take personal responsibility

What is individual responsibility? To be single in a relationship with Does he mean that we have to take out solo insurance (there we would be very independent)? Nothing to see. To enlighten us, Nathalie Lefèvre borrows a quote from Jean Grenier: “It is not enough to love, you have to give something to love”. Which means that in the couple, we bring back what we are. So, it’s good to know who we are to know what to bring back (first), also to live happily with you to come back with a smile and things to say (second). It involves asking, “Who am I apart from the other? “. The question may seem spiritual (and it is), but it allows us, ceaselessly, to live our own life and to bring of ourselves to their marriage, otherwise what can the couple eat well? Why imagine that it depends on nothing, or only on our feelings? If my couple is bored (example), maybe I am bored, while if I take what I love and take care of myself, I positively stimulate my relationship. We are therefore both responsible for our marriage, since we are also responsible for what Nathalie Lefèvre calls “internal sovereignty”. It is therefore necessary to maintain this internal sovereignty.

See yourself as a team

Being single but in a relationship also means relying on the business metaphor: what if, together, we were collaborators? “We are collaborators for the happiness of the other, but not the guarantor of the happiness of the other”, poses Nathalie Lefèvre. We can go further and then perceive the couple as a society that houses partners with common ambitions. The key word: the project. And among these projects, there are projects for two, small or large (we go to the theater, we go on a trip), which have (by the way) quite the right to stand out from the “stage” projects (s’ settle down together, have a baby …) as long as they correspond to us and offer us to look towards the future. But there are also the respective projects, which should not be forgotten in the back of a drawer. What did we dream of “before”? Small? Yesterday? To be fulfilled individually is not to “tinker” in your corner (like selfishly), nor to “take care” to let yourself think that you are indeed living for yourself. No, really, it’s about questioning your inner desires and feeling a deep joy at the thought of walking forward with yourself, into your office, the couple’s office being … right next door.

Founding your erotic culture

“When I was little I was leafing through my mother’s books. I was lulled to epistolary relationships, inflamed letters, romanticism and eroticism ”, confides Nathalie Lefèvre, who opens the subject of sexuality in the“ single couple ”by evoking the importance of discovering readings that will help us. upset us, excite us, make us think. And it also works with erotic podcasts, or even a walk in his imagination. This self-exploration, according to the author, is a foundation. We meet, we become aware of our desires, our desires, our fantasies, our body too, and it is from there that we introduce ourselves to the other. “Of course we can discover pleasures together, specifies Nathalie Lefèvre, but this relationship with oneself is essential, since it is a question of not expecting the other to help us to know each other. . “To this, the author adds that this erotic culture is of course fostered in a couple, and even in a lasting couple (precisely):” The sexuality that one experiences with oneself must always exist “. So ciao guilt: masturbation always has its place.

Accept the mystery, summon the unknown

Often this advice comes up: for a happy couple, keep your garden a secret. Nathalie Lefèvre confirms: “We do everything to know the other, but it is the part of the known that breaks the desire, that is why the mystery brings an interesting dynamic to the couple”. So not saying everything is not a problem. But what to do when, finally, we already know each other? When the mystery has deserted our couple? We then remember that we are living beings and therefore changing, and that the other is constantly reinventing himself, like us. The unknown can therefore return at any time, because we really do not know what our partner is going to say or do just now. No ? What do we expect? This is where the concern lies: by projecting something onto the other (he will react like that, behave like that), we prevent him from changing. “It’s interesting to imagine that it could be otherwise,” advises Nathalie Lefèvre. At the same time, it will help us to be different. And in this series of changes, we will have the chance to experience several relationships together, to rediscover each other. And it’s kind of like being single as a couple.