Whether you are immersed in online dating or have been in a relationship for ten years, everyone needs their alone time.
In this article, you’ll learn the five critical reasons why everyone needs a little time to themselves once in a while.
When I first moved in with my partner, he would spend every other Saturday or Sunday on his bike and be out of the house for 4, 5, 6 hours at a time. I took this quite personally…at first. I am now so grateful for his hobby and his desire to be alone for a while as it is such an essential part of a relationship.
The temptation while in the honeymoon period of a relationship is to see nobody else other than the person you seemed to have become besotted with, and that is quickly done. Friends, family, work can all take a back seat because you two are crazy for one another and that’s very exciting.
Well here is the trick to making that honeymoon period last and last, way longer than it should! To feel like loved up, giggling teenagers do the following; don’t see each other! Sounds odd? It’s not.
Here are five reasons why ‘alone time’ in a relationship is so important, and then I’ll come on to methods for making it happen.
1) You can’t love someone else if you don’t love yourself
And if ‘loving yourself’ doesn’t seem easy, at least be able to know yourself. Being proud and pleased to be you are a strong foundation for your own life and if you’ve got that sorted then your relationship is so much more likely to be strong too.
Being besotted with someone is beautiful. Being dependent on them is not. So take time to know who you are and pursue those interests and avenues. My relationship got stronger and healthier after I began yoga and meditation, this was a real journey for me.
But whatever helps you be happy to be you should be embraced. For my partner, it was alone time on a bike thinking and exploring.
2) Worst case scenario insurance
Sometimes relationships break down, that’s just the way it is. But it is important for anyone in a relationship to feel like if that were to happen, they’d be OK. Knowing this makes the relationship stronger.
Having your friends, interests, money, aspirations makes someone feel like they are a person and then they can play a much stronger role in the relationship and be able to enjoy it more fully.
3) The relationship is not the reason
I’m confident that most people (particularly those that have embraced Point #1), don’t want a partner to smother them, to be obsessed with them or to be lost without them.
Loving someone with everything you have is beautiful and will make for a wonderful and happy relationship, but being the most important person in someone’s life is very different from being their life.
Knowing your partner has other purposes, other dreams, other goals make them a) more attractive and respectable, and b) more likely to allow you the space to do the same.
4) Perspective on the problems
The producers of Big Brother don’t want people to have their own time and space – if they did then people would remain calmer and wouldn’t fight and create ‘better’ TV. It should be the exact opposite of your relationship.
If you are both getting your space, in whatever format that may be, you are inevitably going to get on better by not being consumed by the problems you may face. Particularly if most of those problems aren’t problems at all – time apart helps you see that.
Conversely, if you are having issues that need addressing, that time apart will help you get perspective on that too and so when the important conversations happen they are not fueled by overly intense feelings born from living out of each other’s pockets.
5) The true cliché! Absence does make the heart grow fonder!
Don’t panic if you’re heart isn’t aching for them because they’re ten minutes late back from work. But time apart really does make you appreciate how much you enjoy time with them.
And if it doesn’t, well that’s a different conversation! My partner would often give me a call when he stopped on his bike rides for some food, not to just let me know he was safe but to say ‘hi’ and that felt amazing.
So that’s why alone time is so important. But just disappearing all of a sudden claiming you’ve got a new French language class to go to late one night might seem a bit weird, even if it is true.
Here are four important things to know when talking about spending more time apart.
1)You are fixing yourself, not the relationship
Very much linked to the first point on the list of the importance of alone time, it is important to make it clear to your partner that you wish to spend time focusing on yourself not to get away from them, but to make the relationship better by improving yourself.
Explained like this it is seen as a very loving and responsible thing to do.
2) Context is King
Explaining exactly why you want to follow your interests and pursuits is vital. A flippant ‘I need to be alone’ is only going to start the alarm bells ringing. A grown-up explanation of how it will benefit you can only be respected.
And if it’s not, then that’s a concern.
3) Compromise is Queen
“I’m off to make myself happier and a better human being. See you later for dinner or something?”. Not cool. But the ability to explain your reasons and then make suggestions for your partners own self-development is.
Offering to be their taxi for something they’d like to invest their time in or letting them know that you will solely take care of the kids if there’s any place they want to go. It can’t be all about you.
4) Future fun
Tie in your request for alone time with specific targets for the relationship. Make a point of booking things to be done together or to put the wheels in motion on that ‘big’ thing you’ve always talked about, like a new home or kids.
This then cements the fact that you are doing this for the relationship and not just yourself.