Give each other some space in your relationship can sound dramatic, like your relationship is struggling or you just can't stand each other anymore, but that's really not the case. Having time by yourself is a totally normal part of a healthy relationship.
“Taking time for ourselves may seem selfish, as though we're avoiding our partner,” clinical hypnotherapist, author and educator Rachel Astarte, who offers transformational coaching for individuals and couples at Healing Arts New York, tells Bustle. “In reality, brief periods of solitude recharge our soul batteries and allow us to give even more to our partners and to the relationship itself.”
It has nothing to do with how your relationship is going. Having some time apart is important to both people involved — and can also benefit the relationship as a whole. Rather than being a sign that your relationship is at breaking point, it can keep your relationship from getting to breaking point.
I love my girlfriend and we can spend a ton of time together, but if we spent 24/7 together I'm sure we would be on each other's nerves all the time. Instead, giving yourself some alone time and remember what's so great about them gives you something to come back to. Here's why you should take some space, according to experts.
It Helps You To Maintain Your Individuality
You know those couples who only do things together? The couples who drop their separate friends and separate interests to become sort of weird couple-blob? You don't need to spend time away from the things you love just because you're in a relationship now. "There is the sudden loss of an identity that was very important to you," Erika Martinez, Psy.D., licensed psychologist from Envision Wellness, tells Bustle.
There's no need to lose that identity, whether you're just dating, in a long-term relationship, or married. By spending time apart and keeping up the things you love, you can still be the person you always were. "It’s incredibly important for both partners to maintain a sense of independence outside of their relationship," Jalesa Tucker, a content coordinator at One Love, a foundation dedicated to teaching young people about healthy and unhealthy relationships, tells Bustle. "By engaging in activities independent of each other, couples are better able to maintain their sense of self and bring diverse experiences to their relationship."
They Might Need Space From You, Too
If you and your partner spend all of your time together, that puts way too much pressure on them, too. They can't be your everything. "No one person can provide all the things you need for happiness," Patty Newbold, author of award-winning marriage blog Assume Love, tells Bustle. "You know this. Your partner knows or senses this, too. When your happiness is tanking because you’re depending on just one person, that’s frightening and discouraging for them. They cannot make you happy, but they begin to fear you’ll abandon them if they don’t, and that fear stifles their ability to add much at all to your happiness."
If you spend time with your friends and family and keep doing things you love, you'll be getting your needs met by a whole range of people and things. Then your partner can focus on being your partner, rather than trying to be your everything.
It Can Improve Your Relationship
Doing the things that make you happy will ultimately make you a better partner. Being with friends and doing things you love is a form of self-care. It makes you a happier person — and your relationship benefits from that. "When women take the time to hang out with their girlfriends and rekindle those relationships, [partners] reap the benefits because you are happier. It's a win-win," Martinez says. Your relationship has a chance to become stronger because it's made up of people who are feeling confident and fulfilled, which is a good thing all around.
Spending time away from your partner isn't a sign the relationship is struggling — it's a sign that you're caring for yourself and for the relationship. So take some time to do things that make you feel great and see the people you love. You and your relationship will be better for it.