Spending time alone in your own company reinforces your self-worth and is often the number one way to replenish your resilience reserves – Sam Owen.
Having me-time is a luxury that I grab hold of at every chance I get. I am such an introvert and love to spend time on my own with nothing but my own thoughts, my own passions and my own to do list to pass through the day. Growing up as an only child, I got used to playing alone, not sharing my toys or my time and being happy in that aspect of life. As I got older, I became that person who prayed for cancelled plans and loved to sit indoors with nothing but a book or a TV series I was obsessed with. Back then, it was The OC. Living with your parents or on your own allows for me-time to be consumed a lot of the time, but when you find yourself moving in with someone romantically, you both go on a journey where making time for yourself gets lost in the excitement that you can spend every waking hour together whilst you’re at home, until you both crave alone time in order to do the things that you want to do without having to please the other.
IS IT SELFISH?
Absolutely not. In fact, I think it can be the most unselfish thing you do for yourselves in a relationship. Constantly being with someone, day in, day out, can be the best thing in the world, especially when you feel completely at ease with them and comfortable in your own skin. However, there comes a time when some alone time is seriously needed and you’d be a fool to ignore that itch to be on your own, doing something utterly for yourself. The longer you leave it, the crankier you will get which can have a detrimental effect on your relationship. Bickering might start which can lead to unsaid things and mood swings. Take some time apart (not a break FYI, that is something completely different that needs to be addressed) to refuel your mind with something that makes you happy on your own. The bonus is you get to excitedly share that experience with your partner later on when you’re in each other’s company again!
DOES WANTING ALONE TIME MEAN YOU WANT IT PERMANENTLY?
Also no. Well, depending on how much alone time exactly. If it’s just a case of an hour to yourself per day, or an afternoon or morning to yourself a couple of times a week, that is pretty normal behaviour, especially if you’re the type of person who thrives off being on your own rather than having company all the time. When I was younger, I used to think that wanting alone time meant wanting to be single; it is a very strange concept to think in that way now, but that’s how my mind worked in my early twenties, rather than in the logical way of simply needing my own space to focus on myself for a little while. Nevertheless, I think that need of my own space spiralled, so perhaps it was an early gut instinct on my part. If you want to spend next to no time with your partner, even if messaging somebody back is constantly an effort, it’s time to rethink the relationship a little bit.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF ME TIME IN A RELATIONSHIP?
There are plenty of benefits. For a start, you are not your relationship. You are your own person who brings something special to a relationship just like your partner. I think that sometimes people forget who they are as a person when they’ve fallen head over heels for someone. It is lovely and romantic and beautiful, but you also need to remember who you were before the love of your life, or lack thereof, came along. Making time for yourself nourishes who you are as a person, however crazy and outlandish, or quiet and studious you want to be. Don’t forget that they love you for you and so making sure you do all the things that you love to do for yourself will probably make your partner love you all the more. Not that that is why you need me-time; that’s just a bonus. Having me-time also reminds yourself that you are a primary focus in your life. There is only one you and you need to make yourself a priority sometimes, whether that is as little as taking twenty minutes to walk around the block, cooking your favourite meal, indulging in some pamper time with zen music and a sign that says NO PARTNERS ALLOWED. It is okay to do that, and you shouldn’t feel guilty for it. In fact, you’ll feel refreshed and rejuvenated, ready to spend quality time with your significant other.
Spending time apart allows for growth as individuals which in turn nurtures the relationship. Dedicating time to yourself is not only important, it’s crucial to having a happy, successful relationship. Plus, there’s the added benefit of not wanting to kill one another after living in each other’s pockets for so long.
What are your thoughts? Do you think having time for yourself is crucial for your relationship? Or, can you spend every moment with your partner?
Love, Faye xo