Space and alone time are two very important aspects when it comes to a relationship. You can’t have a healthy, successful relationship if neither of the partners create space or alone time for themselves.
At the beginning of a relationship, it’s normal to want to spend most of your time with your partner. However, if you want your relationship to last long, you need alone time. Not only it will improve the quality of the relationship, but studies show that it will strengthen your abilities to:
Think and make decisions for yourself
Connect with your emotions and needs
Build up confidence
Here are seven tips on how you can create the space and alone time necessary in a relationship.
#1: Take yourself on a date
Take yourself on a date when you need alone time.
Remember when you were single and did everything on your own? You would take yourself to lunch, to the movie theater, to the shopping mall, or even to a concert.
You can recreate those times by regularly taking yourself on a date. It doesn't have to be anything fancy. A simple walk to the park––or through the woods doing Shinrin-Yoku––will give you enough space and alone time to replenish.
#2: Set specific time for alone time
Having specific times of the day when you and your partner spend time alone is an easy solution.
Give them a schedule of when you are unavailable and reassure them it is for your well-being. It will ensure you both have space without having to ask for it every day.
Maybe you want to have a no-talking morning routine or enjoy your comfy bed alone for an hour before your partner joins. Do whatever works best for both of you. Preemptively scheduling alone time will greatly benefit your relationship.
#3: Have a code word
You can agree upon a code word that can be used when either of you just can’t engage.
Nevertheless, it is important to remember that whoever uses the code word is responsible to initiate the conversation when they are ready. This way, your partner knows that they are not facing a wall of endless silence and that there's nothing wrong with them.
#4: Say no to group hangout
Learn to say no to group hangouts when you need time to recharge. You most likely share common friends with your partner. Therefore, you end up being with them even if you're hanging out with friends.
When you need alone time, simply pause being social and encourage your partner to go have some fun with their friends. This way, you have the whole apartment to yourself for a little while.
#5: Implement daily rituals
Having morning or evening rituals by yourself is a great way to create space and alone time within a relationship. Daily rituals aid in developing a better relationship with yourself.
You can turn any daily routine into a ritual––brushing your teeth, taking a bath, et cetera. Or you can create specific rituals such as journaling first thing in the morning or meditating in bed before you go to sleep.
Tell your partner that this is something you need to take care of for the sake of your mental health, and they surely will respect your alone time.
When you exercise, your body releases endorphins, which help elevate your mood and lower your stress levels. Exercise also allows for some space and time alone.
So each time you need alone time, practice an enjoyable form of exercise. Go to the gym, run a 5K, or join a yoga class.
If you are not a big fan of exercise, simply walk in your neighborhood and take in the beautiful world around you.
#7: Create designated space
If you live together, having a designated space for yourself is ideal when you need alone time.
If you don't have enough space in your living quarters, you can divide the sofa into two designated spaces––the left side for you and the right side for your partner.
If you have more space, you can have a whole room just for yourself. Have you heard about a man cave? Well, the concept is not only for the male gender. Women also can––and should––have their woman cave.
Ideally, you want to take some space before you really start to feel the need for it.
If you wait until you’re desperate for alone time, you’re more likely to request space in an unkind way. Think ahead and take time alone before you feel too overwhelmed to communicate in a respectful way.