So many relationships become an exhausting repetition of being absolutely enamored with the other person, leading to a gradual but definite loss of appetite for said person. Many times it’s difficult to transfer from the honeymoon phase to a contented medium where you can enjoy someone’s presence without being overbearing or feeling burdened with making your significant other feel wanted. But really, it’s okay and totally healthy to back off, take some time for just you, and hang out with yourself.
Time For Yourself
First off – taking time for yourself shouldn’t be time filled with errands or chores. Time for yourself should be spent doing things you enjoy and want to do. Maybe it’s watching your favorite TV show in your underwear, hanging out at the dog park, or having a nice glass of wine at the bar down the street. If the only time you’re spending one-on-one with yourself is spent doing the things you dread, you’re leaving yourself with two choices – shower your significant other with attention and expect the same back indefinitely, or constantly dread your alone time. Remember the things you enjoy when you’re single and revisit them. Maybe leave out the part where you pick up cute guys while you’re drinking that glass of wine… or not, but that’s up to you. 🙂
We’ve all heard the cliché breakup line – “I just need some time to myself.” NO. It’s not like that. Alone time shouldn’t be taken or delivered as an insult to either partner. Time alone is an opportunity to regroup your thoughts, reflect on your day and your life, and find some enjoyment in the little things you can do when you know no one is watching (time to dance in your underwear) and it has nothing to do with your partner, other than a little bit of radio silence. Most times a partner will understand if you use an excuse, like the aforementioned errands or chores, and choose to leave you alone. If they insist on coming along, or accuse you of not wanting to spend time with them, take that as a cue to reexamine your relationship goals, with or without your partner, and determine if this relationship is worth the complete loss of your personal time. Most times it won’t be.
Good for You
Last, encourage your partner to take some time for his- or herself too. Sometimes a breath of fresh air and the chance to muddle around in your own respective heads will bring up new ideas that may not have ever sprouted if not for that time alone. Maybe one of you thinks up a new hobby to try and wants to introduce it to the other. Maybe the time apart will just remind you how much you like the other person’s presence. The possibilities are endless, but you have to be willing to be alone for a certain amount of times to let them come to life.
Alone time is important for your health and wellbeing. Let your brain have time to process and chill, without the knowledge that there is always someone else around. Especially if you have high levels of anxiety, this time alone will take you away from any social triggers and allow you to meditate on your own thoughts, removing tension and doubts and reaffirming your belief in yourself. Taking a little bit of time to relax will make you more comfortable, and your partner will probably appreciate the care you’re taking to preserve a healthy mental state.
Also – alone time doesn’t have to mean you put the person on freeze either. Even if you live together, you can run out to Starbucks and have a morning of reading and people watching by yourself, or vice versa. Give your partner a time frame and let them know the two of you can regroup later. Nothing sucks more than someone neglecting to communicate with you, especially someone close. Don’t leave them in the dark and let them assume the worst. Use an easy excuse to have the night alone or tell them straight up you need a little bit of time to yourself. If they truly care, they’ll understand, and maybe take the time to do something similar.
Taking time to yourself should never be a chore, and will be totally worth it once you learn how to enjoy yourself, by yourself. Your partner should understand and do the same, and both of you will feel refreshed when you see each other again.