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Alone Time in a Relationship


Reading time:

6 min


Published on:

Thu Feb 01 2024


Written by:

The Personal Development School

Alone time in a relationship is a common desire for most people.

The misconception is that time away from a partner might be a problem. And yes, too much space — physically or emotionally — can cause issues in the long term.

But there will be times when having time for yourself is ideal. You need time for self-reflection, self-care, and enjoyment.

What signs indicate that it might be best to have some personal space? Why is it important? And how do you tell your partner you want it?

Before we get to all that, let’s consider what it means to have alone time in a relationship.

What is Alone Time in a Relationship?

Alone time in a relationship (also known as “Me time” or "solo time") refers to time that you spend apart from your partner doing things you like to do.

It could be anything from exercising to hanging out with friends. It’s all about focusing on what you like to do in your free time – with our partner being present.

‘Me time’ doesn’t mean you’ll be doing stuff yourself. It could also mean hanging out with your friends only.

Now, your desire for alone time varies depending on your attachment style.

For example, dismissive avoidants love their alone time as they’re extremely independent. Fearful avoidants also desire it, not because of their independence, but because they “fear” getting close to someone.

On the other hand, anxious preoccupied people crave closeness and intimacy, so they might struggle with a partner wanting to be alone.

As you’ll see below, needing alone time in a relationship is crucial for the health of your relationship and for your self-care.

Why is Alone Time Important?

Many people ask themselves, “Is it bad to want alone time in a relationship?”.

And the answer is no.

Alone time is an integral part of your relationship with your partner and yourself. Here’s why:

It helps you focus on yourself and your likes – Whether you want to get fit and healthy or learn dancing, having time allows you to pursue things that give individual fulfillment and enhance personal growth.

It reinforces your independence – Being alone makes you more independent to take action and make choices that resound with you. It strengthens your autonomy to take on the world and be your whole self.

Allows time for self-care – Being alone will enable us to focus on recharging ourselves. You’ll have time to focus on making yourself happier, healthier, and better.

Time and space for your thoughts – You can’t really think about your life and what you love if you don’t have time to think about it. That’s why alone time can help you gather your thoughts in a quiet space.

Renewed desire with your partner – Time apart from your partner will help foster a desire to be with them again. You’ll become more attracted to them, enhance conversation, and connect emotionally and mentally.

Eliminates enmeshment and resentment – Enmeshment is when there are no boundaries between you and your partner. And while at first, that’s fine, you can start to lose your identity and become resentful. Time alone can help eliminate this issue.

Regardless of your attachment style, alone time is healthy and rejuvenating for yourself and your relationship.

How Much Alone Time Do You Need?

Now that we know it is okay to want alone time in a relationship, the question arises: how much?

Well, that depends on the couple and the person. Everyone is different, with various attachment styles and subconscious needs.

The general consensus is 70/30 – 70% with your partner and 30% for yourself – which is a healthy balance. Now, as we said, that can vary, but this is usually a good starting point.

Just be mindful: too much time alone can create distance and issues, leading to one or more partners feeling neglected.


Signs You Need Alone Time in a Relationship

Here are the signs you need alone time in a relationship:

You’re fighting about trivial things – If you’re starting to fight and argue about little things, it might be time to consider a break. This occurs because you’re stuck with the person 24/7, which naturally causes tension.

You’re bored – If the relationship is monotonous and stagnant, it could be a sign that you need time to enjoy yourself. Now, that doesn’t mean anything is wrong with your relationship or yourself; you just need time to get some excitement to offer a new perspective on your relationship.

You miss your friends – Friendships are an important fabric of our lives. You should always seek to form and maintain your friendships, even in a relationship. If you start to miss a social life, it’s time to spend time with them. The same applies to your family, too!

You don’t feel like yourself – If you feel that you’re not just yourself and you’ve just become part of a partnership, then seeking time for yourself is valid. Time alone doing the things you love to do will help you reconnect with yourself and your partner.

Now that you know the signs of needing alone time in a relationship, the next step is telling your partner you want it.

How To Tell Your Partner You Need Alone Time

We get it; telling your partner that you want time alone can be difficult. It might cause them to think about the relationship, panic that you’re growing apart (like anxious preoccupied individuals), or want them to join in.

You just have to be firm and consistent in your communication. Here’s how to get alone time in a relationship by speaking to your partner.

Establish what alone time means for you – Make it clear to yourself and your partner what it means to have alone time. It could be sitting there listening to a podcast or eating dinner with friends. Knowing your solo time requirements will make it easier to tell your partner.

Reaffirm that it’s a you thing – Ensure your partner knows it’s not about them but you. This can be lost in the message and can cause problems. You don’t want them to suspect it will create emotional distance.

Be specific in what you ask and say – Miscommunication can cause problems when establishing what you want. It can seem selfish for some. Just make sure you’re specific in what you’re asking and saying.

Tell them it's about their alone time too – Reaffirming your alone time is also a way to tell your partner they should explore time alone. If they can grasp that, then they can foster a healthier relationship with themselves.

Plan to make your reunion memorable. – Finally, tell your partner you’ll have a special reunion or time together. Not only will that reassure them, but also make it exciting to hang out with them again.

Alone Time & The Personal Development School

At The Personal Development School, we understand that alone time in a relationship is healthy for everyone involved while highlighting the difficulties in doing it.

For some, it’s a struggle, particularly if your attachment style hinders you. So, if you need alone time in a relationship, our courses can help you overcome your fears and set boundaries while healing your attachment style — the core block stopping you from embracing your independence.

Take a look at our courses today if you’re ready to embrace your alone time.

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