How Do I Take Time Alone In a Relationship

by Relationship Coach Rinatta Paries on May 3, 2012 · 47 comments

in Dating Q & A, Relationship Q & A

Q: Genoveve asks:

Hi, Rinatta. How does the person who asks for time alone in a relationship make sure that he or she doesn’t start feeling insecure during this time out? I can see how questions such as, “Is my partner unhappy because I want this time to myself?” or, “Is he/she going to leave me because I don’t want to be with him/her all the time?” can storm someone’s mind… In other words, how do I ask for and take time alone in a relationship, feel good about it, and help my partner feel good about it?

A: Relationship Coach Rinatta answers:

Genoveve, the best, healthiest relationships have plenty of together time and also plenty of alone time. However, most people don’t know this.

Even if they feel the need for space from their loved ones, they are not comfortable asking for and taking the time alone. And those who do ask for time alone often do so in a way that damages the relationship.

A relationship without alone time will eventually disintegrate because of an accumulation of resentments due to lack of space from each other.

This means that a healthy relationship must have time and space away from each other for each partner, but how this time and space is negotiated is critical to the health and well-being of the relationship.

The steps to successfully taking alone time in a relationship are as follows:

1. Recognize that you and your partner need time away from each other and start to talk about this with your partner.

2. When discussing time alone with your partner, emphasize how important the time together is for you and how taking time away from each other will make the time together even better.

3. Let your partner know that when you are away, you will genuinely miss him or her, but do need to focus on yourself. Encourage him or her to do the same.

4. If possible, establish regular time alone. Say every Wednesday from 6 to 9 p.m., or every Saturday morning at your house, as opposed to at his place.

5. If your partner resists or can’t get over your need for time and space alone, keep talking about why it’s important to you and the relationship, and get him or her to read this article. Ask your partner to talk about why it’s hard for him or her to accept space and time away from you.

6. When taking time away from your partner, keep self-doubt and fear of whether you are doing the right thing at bay. Remind yourself that you and the relationship will be better off rather than worse off for you taking alone time. When the angst comes, know that it will pass and keep refocusing your attention on the tasks at hand.

7. If your partner absolutely refuses to give you alone time, it’s time for relationship intervention, as this will lead to serious problems down the road. For example, the person who is refusing to give you alone time now might be pushing you away in the not too distant future. Because  everyone needs alone time in a relationship, and will eventually take it, regardless of his or her own views on the topic.

Still have an issue with taking alone time in your relationship?

It might be time to get my personal help for your relationship.

Schedule a Get Clarity Sample Coaching Session to see how I can help your relationship,
as your relationship coach.

{ 45 comments }

Hannah Matthews January 26, 2014 at 1:25 pm

You've taken it very negatively. That's who she is. Some people need time alone more than others but it doesn't in anyway mean she doesn't love you or want to spend time with you. I like time alone, but I also love time with my boyfriend whenever I have the chance. This doesn't mean that I love him any less. I love him with everything in me.

Chuck Leggio November 5, 2012 at 6:02 am

My girlfriend told me recently that we don't need to be joined at the hip and that she likes being alone sometimes. It really hurt to hear that.It made me feel unimportant and not needed.She says I'm blowing things out of proportion and taking things the wrong way but I can't help how I feel.I mean I thought she was crazy about me and couldn't wait to see me and then she says she wants to be alone sometimes,makes me feel unwanted.

Relationship Coach Rinatta Paries November 9, 2012 at 3:59 pm

Chuck, I am sorry that you feel hurt. Could you find another way to hear her, to hear that she does want you, but also wants time with herself? For a healthy relationship, both are important.

Lee August 18, 2012 at 7:19 pm

Time with friends is important. However, if you cannot do the normal things in a relationship (being open, staying together, etc) than time with others or wanting space will make your partner upset. If you don’t let them know that you need them, that’s when it hurts the other. If you let your boy/girlfriend feel no matter what that you love them and need them and care for them – they won’t care what you do. It’s when you don’t make them feel that way – that’s when they’ll feel rejected and unimportant. Just telling someone how important they are and what they mean does a world of wonders.

jen July 21, 2012 at 2:32 pm

I THOUGHT I HAD A SPECIAL BOND W/ A VERY SPECIAL MAN, DIFFERENT FROM THOSE THAT I DATED IN THE PAST…AFTER 8 MONTHS OF BEING TOGETHER AND LIVING TOGETHER IN HIS HOME, DUE TO CIRCUMSTANCES, DUI THAT HE STOOD BY MYSIDE AS A TROOPER, HE COMES OUT WITH, I DON’T WANT TO GET MORE SERIOUS THAN I AM ALREADY, I REALLY THINK YOU ARE A SPECIAL PERSON, MY DIVORCE WAS JUST FINAL IN THIS FEBRUARY A YR AND 4 MONTHS…B UT HE WAS ON HIS OWN BEFORE THAT….DO YOU GET WHAT I’M SAYING…I FOLLOWED WITH YEAH YOU WANT MY ASS OUT OF HERE….HE CAME BACK WITH I DID NOT PUT IT LIKE THAT….THAN A COUPLE WEEKS LATER, I HAD LEFT HIM A NOTE, I WAS GOING TO WORK, AND HE WAS STILL SLEEPING, THAT READ i KNOW YOU DON’T WANT TO BE SEEN WITH ME, JOKING…BUT LINDA FROM WORK IS HAVING A PARTY AFTER WORK AT HER HOUSE ON 7/7/12 HE RESPONDED BY NOTE, THAT HE HAD A UNION MEETING 11 TO ??, AND NO IT WASN ‘T THAT i WANT ALONE TIME in my house….THINGS GOT BETTER, HE SEEMED LIKE HIS OLD SELF FOR A WEEK OR TWO, AND THAN ONE MORNING I CAME DOWN TO A NOTE THAT SAID, NOT MAD, DON’T HATE, DIDN’T CHANGE MY MIND, MEET WHAT i SAID….i JUST WENT ON WITH LIFE AS i ALWAYS DO…AND HE BECAME BETTER, HE WAS TEASING, JOKING AND ALL THAT STUFF…..THAN LAST NIGHT HE CAME TO ME AND SAID JEN WE HAVE TO TALK, BUT IN A JOLLY WAY, i ASKED ABOUT WHAT, YOUR MAIL, NOPE, YOU KNOW, AND i SAID WELL WHAT, HE LOOKED AT ME AND TURNED AROUND AND WENT TO BED??? I DON’T HAVE A CLUE WHAT HE MEET…I LOVE HIM, AND NO THAT I THINK MORE OF HIM THAN HE DOES OF ME….AND i’M OK WITH THAT….HE HAS STOOD B Y MYSIDE THROUGH JAIL FOR 22 DAYS, DROVE ME TO WORK AND PICKED ME UP LET ME STAY WITH HIM WHEN I HAD THE ANKLE BRACELET ON….i AM RATHER DIFFICULT AT TIMES…I AM STERN, BLUTT, I TELL IT LIKE I SEE IT…I DEMAND THINGS, PROBABLY THAT I SHOULDN’T…I AM A NEAT FREAD AND COMPLAINED ABOUT HIM LEAVING MESS…SO NOW I HAVE STOPPED THAT AND LET HIS SIDE OF EVERYTHING ALONE AND IN A MESS…I MAKE MY SIDE OF THE BED…PUT MY DIRTY DISHES IN DISH WASTHER, KEEP MY SIDE OF THE KITCHEN TABLE NEAT AND CLEAN….UN LIKE HIM….HE TOLD ME ALONG TIME A GO HE WASN’T USE TO A WOMAN LIKE ME, I COOK I CLEAN, I CAN DO OIL CHANGES, TIRES, FIX A WOOD STOVE, AND CARRY IN WOOD AND STACK IT…AMOUNG MANY OTHER THINGS…HE SAID THAT I AM INTELLIGENT…AND I SURPRISE HIM THAT I KNOW WHAT I DO…HE BELIEVES HE IS THE MAN AND HE SHOULD DO MORE THAN THE WOMAN AND KNOW MORE…HE IS ALWAYS SAYING YOU KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DOING….OR DO I HAVE TO GET SOMEONE ELSE THAT DOES…

frank says July 12, 2012 at 11:26 am

it has certainly become a problem today, just meeting a GOOD WOMAN NOW. let alone , making the RELATIONSHIP WORK.

Alex August 18, 2012 at 7:37 pm

I don’t think it’s a problem. I let my girlfriend know all the time that she is important to me. I love having her around. I can do my own thing even if she is with me. It’s nice that we can be together and I can read or relax while she reads or watches tv. Then when we are done she can be right there next to me or, I can see her in bed. That is what it’s all about (learning one another and enjoying those moments together – even if they are separate moments). Isn’t that a huge part of what relationship is, just being? She has NO doubts about how I feel. We both want each other around so, she doesn’t care if I want to be with friends. I make her feel good. If I didn’t want her around or wasn’t fully present in the relationship then I could see her getting upset.

Justin April 30, 2012 at 12:19 pm

Rinatta
Ok, I have never done this before and wanna ask you a few questions. I’ve been in a committed relationship for 4 years, we live together and have so for that time. I am significantly older that she is but she tells me that is not an issue, we met at work and everything seemed great. She was recently diagnosed with MS within the past 6 months, she is always sick and feeling tired. I’ve told her that I would and do everything I can to make her comfortable during her relapses. We had been in the relationship for about 3 1/2 years before she got the bad news. I told her not to worry that I’d be there no matter what. Until recently she told me just this past weekend that she wanted to break up because she needed to be alone and find what will make her happy, she didn’t understand why she was angry at me for no reason at all, angry at everyone, angry at work, angry at why she got MS when there are plenty of people that deserved it. She told me that she doesn’t know what her life will be like in 5 years and is mad because she feels that she is/was cheated somehow. She told me that when we first met, she did not have MS and that I didn’t sign up for the MS and her prognoisis, and maybe being in a wheelchair. She told me that her MS is alot worse than I know because she is always trying to put on a happy face for everyone and just can’t do it anymore. She told me that she doesn’t know why she is angry at me because I haven’t done anything wrong, but that if she stayed she would end up hating me and she didn’t want to do that. She said she wanted to move away and find out what will make her happy. She told me that she still loves me and was still in love with me but that she couldn’t figure out why she just wasn’t happy. She went to a counsler and spoke, and the counsler told her that after speaking with her she seemed to have already made up her mind and that she could charge her for more visits, speak to me and drag this on, but that wouldn’t be fair and that she asked her what would happen if she just stayed with me…she told her that she would end up hating me and didn’t want that.
She’s told me that she just wanted time to find out what would make her happy. I’m confused, we spoke of marriage many times, we didn’t fight, but had disagreements, all of our friends told her that we seemed happy together. She told me that she is hurting inside because she doesn’t know if she did the right thing, but knows she had to do this to find out. Kinda wishy washy. Is she just trying to figure out what she wants with her life and the “unknown” quality that it may bring due to the MS? Is she pushing me away for fear that I will walk away when things get really bad? I know she is a VERY independent person and due to issues in her past does not like to rely on anyone for fear of being let down. We have only been apart for three days, I spoke to her at our house yesterday for 2 and 1/2 hours, she was killing time from work and we got to hash things out and at the end of the conversation the only thing I really took away from all this is that she is scared, confused, mad, upset. She has a cousin that is getting married next month and I know it hurts her to think that her future life will not involve marriage (I dont know where she got that idea) as we spoke of marriage often. I’ve tried to be the strong one on this but it hurts so very much, we’ve never really dated, we got together and I’m sorry to say, from an affair. I never wanted that to happen, but it did and we dealt with it, I ended up divorced. But I was in a miserable relationship and didn’t know how or was too scared to get out of it. I’ve never felt happier with anyone, and she has told her family and mother that she never felt this way with anyone before. Her family loves me and her divorced parents have both told me that I was very good for her and to her and that she is very happy. I know that this is early on ini the breakup, and I’m prepared to walk away if I have to so that she can find time alone and “sort things out”. Wouldn’t like it, but I really am truely happy if she’s happy. I’d love to be with her and thought that she was the one that I would grow older, we had, or what I thought was a very strong relationship, I asked her many time if she was happy and she always told me yes.
She did make the comment that she was sick of being sick and that her life sucked because she had to take her meds and was sick all the time. She takes Avanex on friday nights, is sick within 45 minutes and then is sick the entire day on Saturday. The doctors have her on methadone to control the pain. Work is stressful which adds to her discomfort. I try to do everything I can to make it bearable for her with her MS and go to all of her appointments. She also told me that she feels that she needs to do things that she can now, because she may not be able to do them in the near future. I think she is scared of MS and what it may bring and therefore is pushing me away so that I dont have to deal with it — I think that’s unfair as I should be the one making the choice if want to be there for her as I told her in the past and especially with she first got the bad news. Any insight would be very helpful.

Cristie April 2, 2012 at 10:51 am

My boyfriend of 4 months just last night asked me for some “alone time.” We spent the past week together, though not intentionally. I don’t usually intend to stay over at his house all the time. He works from 5 to midnight, and I hate rushing him to take me home before he goes to work (I don’t have a car). When he gets home, he’s tired and just wants to relax, so asking then doesn’t even cross my mind. I love spending time with him, and I cherish every moment we’re together. Just two days ago, when he finally had to take me home, he expressed sadness that I couldn’t stay longer, and when he dropped me off, said “when am I going to see you again?” As though I was moving away, rather than just going home. We live about 5 minutes from each other by car. But after getting that sort of response when I was leaving, I’m confused as to why he wants “alone time.” That’s sort of sending mixed signals.

He told me last night that he was going to have less free time for a while because he’s working on teaching himself German and relearning Japanese, and family related things. I sort of understand, but usually I only see him one or two nights a week as it is, and that’s usually when his friends are around. I’m just confused about this whole situation.

Jason March 7, 2012 at 1:37 am

My opinion is that if your partner is asking for time alone especially if you are living separate to me says that there is an issue with the relationship that needs to be discussed. Rather than adding distance from them and allowing the issue to grow talk to your partner if something is bothering you and tell them what it is and why it is an issue. I had this brought up to me in my current relationship and we were seeing each other 4 to 5 days a week. I told her that we are apart already 2 to 3 days a week and asked why more time alone was needed. I asked her if she was having thoughts of ending our relationship or if there was maybe someone else and was not sure who to be with, she said no not even close. before asking first question I let her know I was not accusing of anything. Then I asked her if I was doing or even saying anything that was not sitting right with her, again no. finally we got to the root of the reason why she wanted more time apart. Most all of the time when we were together we spent in a small room doing not much more than watching movies or what ever was on TV, and talking and she was feeling claustrophobic. So now we try to get out of the house more often for walks or just sit and listen to nature. Anything to just get out of the house and now we are back to getting along great again.

If living together that is different story and there is nothing wrong with going out with girlfriends or to another room to sit and read or work on some sort of crafting or hobby by yourself (sanity time). Time away like that is healthy for a relationship and if you truly do love and trust each other there should be no issue with going out for few hours or so. If asked to text when get where you were going and when on way home do not take as keeping tabs on you its just that they care for you and your safety. I cannot speak for all men on that but in my case anyways that is why I ask. Especially if the weather is bad like snow, sleet, or real heavy rain. I do the same for her and would not expect her to do anything for me I would not do in return. I also will offer if they going to the bar if they get a little too drunk do not hesitate to call me and I will bring everyone home and even back to get their car if needed so they can enjoy their time out and not have to worry about getting home.

Communication is very important in a relationship. You should not be afraid to tell your partner or ask of your partner anything no matter what it is. It’s amazing what a conversation can do for your relationship. We might be able to sense something is wrong but if you do not say what it is then we cannot do something about it so it is no longer an issue.

Beth December 24, 2011 at 10:51 am

Yeah thats nice.but me and my boyfriend are facing a much tougher situation.
We had a baby aborted because we are both in college and we couldnt raise it.now it has taken a huge impact on us.my bf is all confused,he cant forgive himself.he is unsure whether we should go on with the relationship.he has asked for time alone and thats what im trying to do.i dont want to lose him thou.im confused.

Sara December 9, 2011 at 8:32 pm

Hi, I just wanted to know how to spend time apart without hurting my boyfriend. We literally spend every night of the week together, except for one night, and he says in his time of need, I am not supporting him. I reassure him that I am always here emotionally, but he takes this as a lack of support. I do not know what to say. I don’t want to hurt him, but we do not communicate as much as we should, and I think time apart would give us the opportunity to communicate through talking on the phone. I offer to spend the night with him, just not stay overnight and he gets mad. Please help.

susan December 5, 2011 at 5:29 am

hi, i’m Susan, this might sound like an advert, but take it as it is,couple of months ago my lover left me for another girl.it wasnt easy coping without him.he was everything to me, a father, a lover and a guidian, everything seem to be going wrong,,so i decided to grab the bull by the horn, and take actions after numerous pleas,text messages,emails, missed calls… i was online, then i came across a post about this love spellcaster,the testimony seemed kind of hard to believe but i gave it a trial and it worked.. solved my loveproblrm with he few nickel,he was back and better, relationship was renewed with passion and loveu can try him too prophetorisunbare at yahoo com

Anonymous November 30, 2011 at 1:32 am

Everything here is written as a fact, when strictly it is not always true.
After researching about various studies that have been conducted by university students, it is in fact more common that telling your loved one that “you need time alone” from them causes bigger problems and will 99/100 be seen as insulting to the partner. If they don’t feel the same way, they will question the relationship and will resent the fact that they are not able to see the partner they are devoted to.
When people work, are studying or have other life commitments, they will have space from their partner.
Telling your partner that you don’t want to spend Saturday nights with them is very unlikely to end well.
Surely there is something not right in a relationship if you feel the need to be away from the one person who should be truly special in your life.
Surely if the relationship is right and you feel comfortable enough, your alone time could in fact be time together.
Look at many older couples, often the closest of people, they spend all their time together, and depend on each other. They have the most successful relationships

Nicole November 4, 2011 at 7:43 am

I came across this website and I’m a tough emotional spot. There is a lot of history between me and my boyfriend of a rocky 5 years. We survived through acts of being unfaithful. He realized he didn’t know just how important I was till’ he lost me… how original huh? Well we made plans to have a child and he would go to the military…I ended up having twins and couldn’t stand the thought of being alone with my two children and him risking his life. So we are working at a fast food restaurant and recently (babies are 3 months) I saw a school advertising for pharmacy tech classes. While he of course would need to help financial wise (i work 2 days a week and call of most of the times due to him going out or other issues) he stated that he didn’t believe in me because I never kept my commitments before. (Workouts/diets) He had a bad day and I was out of town visiting with family. He text me how sad and depressed he was and how things need to change ( jobs, little things). He wanted alone time but I told him I would be coming home. When I got there he was gone. I called him and informed him that i was home. He said he went to the park and that he would be heading to his best friend’s house that he needed someone to talk to. * For the record, he has been spending 2-3 days a week out this past month and we just had our kids. I feel hurt. When he comes home he is tired and with the babies we don’t have time to do things like we use to, I totally understand that. But he could try more! I try my best to meet his needs. So now it escalated to leave, don’t leave, long space, should I make myself more emotionally numb? Like these things hurt to where it’s like why should I wait till u want to be happy? Selfish and stubborn I guess… any advice?

Ryan December 22, 2011 at 10:36 pm

I do not believe what you are asking for is to much. He should be more supportive and understanding. Just keep on trying.

Pinguine October 12, 2011 at 8:15 am

HI, I think I am going through the same situation of everyone here… I have been dating this guys for 5 months.. he has some problems with depression and anxiety. A few days ago I told him that I was feeling that he was very disconnected, distant.. I express how I was feeling.. and all of the sudden.. He sent me an email saying that he needs time alone.. then he calls me 2 days after saying that if I have been thinking what is going to happen between both of us… I don’t understand, I didn’t ask for time alone. He did. Am I missing something here?

Rhoey March 18, 2012 at 11:39 am

Hello.
This will probably sound a little cold, but if he has depression and anxiety, does it really come as a shock that he would be distant and disconnected? I suggest you don´t try to push it, but find someone who´s not having similar problems. Sorry if I may have been harsh.

steve September 29, 2011 at 5:45 pm

I am puzzled as to why my girlfriend of 4 months would want time away after we had a ” difference of opinion ” just a couple of weeks ago. I am trying and doing my bets to be in her good books .
I am guessing that it- ( the time away from each other ) will be at least one week and probably longer . I will also add that we live 5 hours apart and I would go to see her approx. every 15 days.

Any comments are welcome.

She said that she does not want us to expire as a couple.
It is living hell without her , as we used to talk 3 to 4 times a day.

Steve

marta September 27, 2011 at 2:20 pm

I have been with my boyfriend almost four years I realized we argue often he started jealous not like he like that before. He’s worried some men win my heart I told him stop worry …I decided I need space time alone…..he can’t live without me :/ help explain pls?

Love Coach Rinatta September 27, 2011 at 9:19 pm

Marta, thanks for asking your question. I don’t answer questions posted in comments. Sorry about that. Please use the “Click here to ask me!” red box above. Thanks!

Claudia July 23, 2011 at 10:21 pm

Salma,

I understand your pain. It must feel terrible to split up when one loves the other so much. However, all I can say is: En el corazón nadie manda. If your husband has told you that he does not want to continue, well, then learn to respect his decision and get a life of your own. If you let him breathe, he may reconsider…or not. Just live YOUR life. You might want to google the term ‘Codependencia’.

I wish you the best of lucks.

gary July 23, 2011 at 3:12 pm

AY CARAMBA!!!

salma July 16, 2011 at 9:55 am

hola mi esposo y yo hemos dsidido separarnos pero yo no quiero me reuso por que siento que lo pierdo pero tambien se que si m e quedo esto sera muchisimo peor y la verdad noq uiero perderlo el me dice que ya no quiere estar conmigo porque lo he absorbido demasiado me siento muy frustrada muy mal la verdad no se que hacer, me siento muy triste porque creo que me fanatize demasiado con el y ahorita el esta practicamente afixiado de mi :( si solo queria hacer lo contrario ayudarlo.

TYLER WILLIAMS May 8, 2011 at 4:32 pm

HELLO I HAVE ALOT OF CONCERNS ABOUT MY PARTNER I FEEL THAT AM NOT HAPPY IN MY RELATIONSHIP ANYMORE HE DON’T HAVE TIME FOR ME IN HIS LIFE AND I CAN’T TAKE ANYMORE AND AM NOT WILLING TO TRY AND WORK IT OUT I MESS UP HIS CHANCE OF BEING WITH SOMEONE ELSE BECAUSE HE GOT CAUGHT LYING TO ME ABOUT THIS PERSON HE WAS MESSY WITH ON THE JOB SO WE SEPERATED FOR ABOUT 2 1/2 MONTHS AND WEGOT BACK TOGETHER WE HAVE 3 KIDS TOGETHER AND WE BEEN TOGETHER FOR 18 YEARS AND I SEE NO POINT IN SALVAGING THIS RELATIONSHIP WE BOTH WORK I WORK DURING THE DAY AND HE WORKS NITES I EVEN GO TO SCHOOL MON.-WED AND ONLY TIME WE HAVE TOGETHER IS THE WEEKEND AND WE DON’T SPEND IT TOGETHER HE SPENDS IT WITH HIS FRIENDS IN THE PARK ITS LIKE HE HATES BEING HOME WITH ME.SO I GIVE UP I CAN’T TAKE IT ANYMORE EVEN MY KIDS THINK THEIR DAD DON’T CARE SO I THINK IT’S BEST THAT WE PART HELP WHAT DO YOU THINK?

John November 25, 2010 at 1:55 pm

Hi coach, ive been seeing a divorced woman with two kids for three and a half years. Im 33 and have no kids. This lady has bipolar and is a alcoholic. She’s on medication. When i first met her, i told her this relationship wouldn’t work due to the kids etc… But she insisted so we got together. She lives alone with her kids and for the past year ive been living alone. The first couple of years our relationship was great, she told me when i was building my house to not change. I.e, keep going over and spending time with the kids. Well to be honest, i haven’t been doing that. I know its wrong. The last 6 months though we have been drifting apart. We see each other every second weekend and every wednesday, when she doesn’t have the kids. Lately, those meetings have been stopping. She has been cancelling our wednesdays lately and our weekends have been cut short for some reason or another. Usually to do with the kids. She told me recently though the reason she was cancelling our wednesdays is because she was going to alcohol anonymous. She is an alcoholic combined with hard medication. She lied to me at the time and i wasn’t happy about it. She has noticed i have gone cold lately, but the truth is i want to be with her how it used to be. But im not happy about the way she has gone about it. Im not perfect thats for sure. She doesn’t talk to me to tell me whats going on, so i start making assumptions which leads to arguments. I have stressed to her to talk to me, to not cut me off. In short, we have been having a few problems lately and recently she has gone sober and seeing a pscychologist. I mentioned to her that maybe she needs time off from us to be with her kids, and she really didn’t answer that. We continued to talk though like nothing happened over the last couple of days like normal. Still talking about how much she loves me, im her husband where we should go for holidays together etc… Then last night, she text me saying she needs time apart to be with the kids. I tried calling her and she wouldn’t answer the phone. She left a single bed at my house so i returned it in the morning without her knowing. I don’t know what to think at the moment, but i can only control my actions. I am shocked and upset. I’ve decided to leave her alone completely because it seems thats what she wants. Can you give me advice?

DivorcedWoman April 15, 2011 at 1:45 pm

I’m not sure if people are still reading and/or responding to the post. I’ve been dating a recovering alcholic for 9 months. I have BP 1 disorder. He has and 8 year old and I have a six year old. He officially lives with his mom but about 2 months into the relationship started staying over at my place all the time. His daughter would also stay at my place on his weekends. Overall it had been very fun, but a lot of things have been going on and I became very frustrated. i.e. he doesn’t have his driver’s license and I drive him everywhere and he just always assumes I am available to take him to pick up and drop off his daughter. I make more money then him so I pay for the groceries, gas, etc. and he rarely if ever contributes.

We had a rough weekend and were barely talking to each other. He started packing up his laptop which he never does and I said do you want to go now and he said yes so I took him home and left him to figure out how his daughter was getting home. We didn’t talk that night and we always see or talk to each other every day. I met with my counselor the next day and she said he might just need a break and that if I felt like calling him call him that their were no rules.

I did call him and that’s what he said, I need a break. I’m a planner so I said for how long and he didn’t know. We’ve talked to each other 1-2 times a day all week but I couldn’t take the just talking about our day anymore. I called him and said I was confused, frustrated, that I missed him etc. and I wasn’t exactly sure what was going on. He said he loved me and that he didn’t want to break up. He said he was very hurt and needed time to process things and he couldn’t give me a timeframe but that he was sure his daughter would want to see my son so probably we would see each other this weekend. So he’s not sure he’s ready but he’s going to let his daughter dictate if we see each other or not. That confuses me even more.

I have abandonment issues. My ex left me after I had a bad manic attack from bipolar. I was with him 20 years and this is the first serious relationship I’ve had since then. I’ve never experienced this take a break thing. I don’t like it, but I’m also scared that every time we have problems he’s going to run away or not be there for me if I have an episode with my illness. He assured me on the phone he loves me, doesn’t want to break up and will be there for me. I feel very leary and not trustworthy right now.

What should I do now? Break up with him? Limit the amount of time we spend together i.e. ease back into the relationship. Go back to where and what we were? (Very leary of that option now)

linda August 23, 2010 at 1:28 pm

I loved this article. I’m back with my high school sweetheart after graduating college. N after a not so healthy relationship first time around we decided to maintain the health of this one n keep it lastin. . One of the ways we r doing this is having and appreciating alone time. We are also in a long distance relationship he is in iowa I’m in tx but we learned that we don’t need to b on the phone all day everyday to prove our love. He knows me n I know him so when he is playing his videogames, or I’m watching my desperate housewives or we r hanging out with friends n family we leave each other alone. Anyway it took us a while n many conversatioons to get to this n we r still working at it. But it doable and so rewarding.

Edward Weiss August 20, 2010 at 4:56 pm

Great topic. And one that needs more publicity. Well said Rinatta!

Jennifer Taylor August 4, 2010 at 10:42 am

I just recently got into a relationship and now I don’t want to spend time with him as much. Now I don’t know what to do? I do like him, but well I just hate spending alot of time with him. He is a truck driver and I get very excited about him leaving and not coming home. but then I really enjoy the time we are togather, so what is wrong with me. Today I have felt very depressed about it all.

I don’t know maybe it is just me or something like that. who knows.

please email me and let me know what to do about it.

Melanie July 23, 2010 at 8:55 pm

I have been with the love of my life for almost 2 years. We are both in our 40′s and our previous relationships lasted over 20 years. The relationship is AMAZING everything I could ever want or need….. when we are together! He loves his alone time! The first 3 months was a whirlwind romance, together every available moment. When he first started to take his time for himself I admit that I became insecure, fearful, doubtful of his feelings for me. I never said anything for about a year, I just got more upset as time went by, big mistake. When I finally talked with him he saw an emotional side of me that he had never seen before. I really pushed him and tried to insist we spend more time together. (We spent maybe 2 or 3 days together a week but talked every day and sent loving texts often.) Ha, he stopped all communication with me for 2.5 months. In that time I contacted him 6 times. 2 texts 2 emails and 2 phone calls. He did send me an email with pictures from a Motley Crue concert we had gone to and replied on a several of my facebook threads. I think that was his way to reassure me? Never once said that it was over. Now we have been back together over 2 months and I have completely accepted his need, I also share that need. I enjoy my time and space just not a week at a time like him. We just finished spending 3 fabulous weeks together, now he is on his 5th day alone.The first couple days no contact, then he text me, quick text back then a couple days later he called. I just let him be. He loves to spend time with his sister, works out, is a single father, has beers at the bar, I trust him 100% that is not even a question. I feel completely confident and very much loved by him. I keep my life busy, make plans do my hobbies, never waiting for the phone to ring. I know he will be calling and yes “Absence makes the heart grow fonder!” He will say Baby I love you, I have missed you!

Claudia June 19, 2010 at 8:11 pm

Hi, M. Andersen. I’m not a love coach, but I think I can help you a little.
Don’t be afraid of anything. People’s requests for alone time should be respected as it is a deep need they have. I’m telling you from my experience. I was married a long time ago, and one of the things that broke my marriage was my husband’s inability to respect my need for space and time. Everytime I wanted to be alone he took it as lack of love from me to him and never understood that it was something I needed, because that’s my personality. So it got to a point where he complained and complained and invaded my time so often because of his fears, that I ended up feeling stressed out and disliking his presence. That destroyed the love I had for him little by little. Give your boyfriend the time he needs…think about HIM, love him really, let him be what he wants to be, and you’ll see that when he wants to be with you, it’ll be beautiful. :)

Nevertheless, if you are not like that and cannot stand having a relationship in those terms, maybe you should rethink the whole thing and find a way to fulfill YOUR needs.

I hope it’s been of some help. :)

M Andersen June 16, 2010 at 8:53 pm

Dear love coach, I am so confused I feel like I am going crazy about my BF wanting time alone its been 2 days without communication. We talked the other night as he has been grouchy and make a long story short he told me he needs time alone. I don’t understand why he wants this he told me that it’s about his ex wife and custody battle he is having. I told him I feel it’s a cop out to ending our relationship. He told me if he didn’t want to be with me he would tell me that. I asked him how long he wants as his time frame might be different from mine and he couldn’t give a time frame. We been dating 7 wonderful months and I was wondering what I should do..can you please help me. Can you give me a time frame which would be reasonable to wait or should I wait at all. I am getting angry as the days go on and wondering if our relationship was anything to him like he says it is. How can you just drop out of someones life that you say you love.
Kindest regards,

Anne January 8, 2010 at 3:25 pm

Me and my bf are in alone time right now. We both decided that we need some space and time. We dont live together, we only sees each other every weekend but we have frequent calls and spend time when friday night comes til sunday evening. Do we really need this kind of alone time and how long does it take being alone time? we even didnt discussed the parameters of havingthis alone time. pls advise

Dina February 23, 2009 at 3:58 am

I am one that is having a problem in my relationship right now concerning ALONE TIME. I live in another country all together from my girl friend. She at times do not respond to me in anyway, Why because she claims she needs to be Alone and do not want to be Bothered.

In a situation like this, should I worry and be ok with her wanting that Alone time or is it more to that. Please someone respond to me. than k You.

Dina February 22, 2009 at 10:25 pm

I am one that is having a problem in my relationship right now concerning ALONE TIME. I live in another country all together from my girl friend. She at times do not respond to me in anyway, Why because she claims she needs to be Alone and do not want to be Bothered.

In a situation like this, should I worry and be ok with her wanting that Alone time or is it more to that. Please someone respond to me. than You.

Robyn February 9, 2009 at 4:12 pm

I agree with all these posts, however, maybe some people just require more alone time than other people do. We are all different. There are some people who just dont cope with being alone at all and will do anything to avoid it.
I think when you first get into a relationship that you should point these things out to the other person, so they know that despite spending lots of time together, which is natural at the start anyway, that you are a person who requires a lot of space from time to time, and that you desire them and encourage them to have hobbies and lives of their own to continue with. Discuss balance with each other.
In my case, I have been explaining this about myself since the beginning of the relationship, and it hasn’t got me anywhere, to the point of exasperation. My partner works a job where he only works 4 days of shift, then has six or nine days off in between, as well as earning a fantastic salary for such. Lucky ay??
Whilst I benefit some from his salary, the lifestyle it brings is exasperating mostly, cause he is always at home, and I never have any time to myself, he has a daughter, whom he hardly sees, (lives in the same town), but always has excuses as to why he doesn’t take time out to go do stuff with her. Soon we will have another vehicle, so it will be interesting to see excuses popping up when that comes about.

Aaron January 23, 2009 at 5:08 pm

In my case taking time off in a relationship is not in the best interest for the other person simply because you want time for your self and trust me in a serious relationship can be hard on your partner because for a while its bin “US”and “WE” now your asking your partner to do the opposite like me my girlfriend has asked for it and it has never worked out for me at all we both were into parting and drinking and just having a wild time and fooled around a lot we changed our lives around and I’m scared she might start liking her old life style again.I TRUST her but just paranoid because of my past experiences Ive always had long lasting relationships but when they have asked for this i get my hopes up they might stay but they never do people say let her go and if it was meant to be she will be back, wut if it was meant to be but i let her slip im scared i might loose the love of my life we’ve bin together for 2 yrs i was planing on proposing on may how do i do dat whyle im second guesing myself and her plz need advise!! a desperate Man

Kristen January 31, 2008 at 11:59 am

I’m there. I need my personal space and alone time, but my live-in boyfriend does not understand this. It’s gotten to the point where he feels like I’m ignoring him if I am reading the paper or a magazine, if I’m checking my email in the other room, or even if I fall asleep! He wants to be together and do things together all of the time. But I have many of my own interests and things I would like to persue. We’ve been together for about 9 months and unless he begins to lighten up, I’m not sure if I can make this relationship work.

Bobby Capps January 20, 2008 at 2:41 pm

I’d have to agree with Rinatta. Couples need alone time. You can’t spend one hundred percent of the time together or you’ll start resent each other.

Marilyn December 7, 2007 at 11:18 am

Coming from the point of being the person who needs the alone time, and having a hard time having my partner understand why, yet be secure in us. I know that if I am not granted time to self, eventually, I will take it, apart from them indefinitely. For some, alone time is just a necessary part of replenishing. Like the cup gets too empty to keep giving, and the alone time replenishes it. I absolutely love my partner, and desire to spend the rest of my life together, but I have a basic need for alone time. Yet my partner struggles. It’s very hard.

Anna November 19, 2007 at 3:08 pm

I have recently talked to my bf about this as I have been going through depression and he has his own problems to deal with and he was stressing a lot. He asked me if we could have some more time to ourselves but reassured me that he still loved me and that he doesnt want to leave me but that we both have to stress less, and sort out what is going on with us. Im not sure how to feel because I feel like i am loosing him and that this is just a road to a slower break up. At the same time I love him so much and I want to be with him and for things to work out between us so maybe this time alone is what we need. He said we would still see each other and talk but less frequently so i just dont understand how this is going to work out or be different. Im just very confused.

Jay Krunszyinsky July 4, 2007 at 4:24 pm

Communicating one’s need to be alone is vital as long as this is done respectfully. Your partner should not feel paranoid about your request if you communicate your needs appropriately!

Gary September 5, 2006 at 9:38 am

But, how much time?? If it is months then …is it fair to ur partner?

Cassandra Buchan January 17, 2006 at 11:06 pm

I agree with Rinatta. I have found, from personal experience, that not having alone time is detrimental to a relationship.

Previous post:

Next post: