Tuesday, February 5, 2013

How Can I Ask For Alone Time?

bored couple - How Can I Ask For Alone Time
If you feel your partner will be resistant to the “alone time” concept, think of some specific activities that you enjoy, and your partner enjoys, separately. Have some suggestions ready.

Everyone needs their alone time to maintain personal sanity and help resist the urge to hit people with sticks. 

But seriously, we all need alone time to think, clear our heads, to fulfill our own interests, and have the chance to experience pieces of our own lives by ourselves. 

This couldn’t be truer for couples. This, really, is a paradox considering you spend all this time searching for someone so you won’t be alone, finally find a partner, and then need quality time by yourself for the benefit of the relationship. 

That’s where the guilt comes in. You spent all this time searching for The One, and then you’re desperate to be alone. Don’t feel guilty. Don’t feel like you’re neglecting your partner by asking for “me time.” Healthy relationships have a balance of quality time together, as well as quality time apart. 

Everyone needs alone time. You’re not selfish. You’re not crazy. You are normal. 

That doesn’t mean it’s easy to ask for alone time, especially if you have a partner who doesn’t have as strong of a need to be alone as you do. How do you ask for alone time without hurting your partner’s feelings? How do you keep from coming across in the wrong way?

#1 Prepare
Accept that you both need alone time in order to fulfill your sense of individuality. If you feel your partner will be resistant to the “alone time” concept, think of some specific activities that you enjoy, and your partner enjoys, separately. Have some suggestions ready. Does your partner like to golf? Encourage them to do 18 holes with one of their golf buddies. Do you like to shop? Need to see a chick-flick? Need a pedicure? There is always going to be some activity or interest you and your partner don’t like equally – you’re an individual that way! Be prepared with a couple of ideas in case your partner has a hard time understanding you both have separate interests, and it’s healthy to explore life as an individual.

#2 Communicate And Discuss
Eventually you have to bite the bullet and tell your partner that you need alone time. You don’t want your partner to feel threatened or make them feel like your need for alone time is a reflection of your feelings for them. Here are some points to make while asking for “me” time: 

-Explain and highlight how important time together is for you, and how spending time away from one another will make the time you do spend together even better. 

- Emphasize that you will genuinely miss your partner during your time apart, but you need the time to focus on yourself and have personal space. 

-You have to let your partner know, “It’s not about you.” This is not a form of rejection. You need alone time for yourself.

#3 Plan
To ensure you have quality alone time on a regular basis, it may be helpful to plan scheduled “me” time.  Is there a weeknight you and your partner can establish for alone time? Could you alternate who stays home and who leaves one night a week? Could you plan separate activities? Could you agree to do “your own thing” on Saturday afternoons? Having structure can help you get the regular alone time you need, and help your partner understand alone time as part of a personal routine. 

If your partner continues to resist the idea of your need for time alone, stress how important alone time is to you. Also explain why it is important to your relationship. Encourage your partner to discuss why they are having a hard time to accept time away from each other. Continue to explain alone time is not a form of rejection, and does not reflect your feelings for your partner. 

You don’t have to spend all of your time with one person. You’re allowed to maintain relationships with friends, family, and co-workers and you are not required to have your partner always with you. Just because you’re in a relationship doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice the freedom to be an individual.

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