Article: The Importance of Space

I love my friends. I love my family. I deeply and truly love Mr Peaches with every inch of my being, but sometimes I need everyone to just bugger off and leave me alone.

This may sound callous but for me it’s a necessity. I’m a very social person but I’m also a horrific introvert, which means having time to recharge my batteries often equates to being alone, curled up on the sofa while browsing the net and listening to the news on the radio.

Time alone is (at times) completely and utterly required.

Time alone is time to grow. Photo Credit: Tomi Nieminen.

But it’s not just introverts that need their space, nor is it a reflection on your relationships with the people around you. In fact, taking some time away from the people in your life can sometimes be just what is needed.

Find Yourself To Find Others

The current consensus among relationship experts is that to feel content in a relationship one needs to be able to maintain and recognize their own sense of identity and autonomy.

Doing things together is great, but no couple will share all of their hobbies and, even if they do, sometimes true contentment comes from being along with one’s own thoughts.

Giving over one’s needs completely to your partner, children, etc.  may also lead to neglecting one’s own personal needs without even recognising it. By finding time to be alone (or perhaps, in some cases, being afforded it by those around you) such individuals sometimes realize where they might need to prioritize things in their life, including their own happiness.

Insecurity Is No Excuse For Overcrowding

Hearing the words ‘I need some space’ or even ‘I’d just like some alone time’ may cause some people to jolt in fear. There’s a common misconception that if someone if given time to think about the relationships in their life then they’ll suddenly find them to be surplus to requirements. But this is rarely the case.

Good relationships are sturdy, and sturdier still when each individual is given time to be an individual and to realize just what they value from the people they love in their lives.

‘Absence makes the heart grow fonder’ is said with a good reason, it seems, as long as balance is maintained.

Maintaining The Balance

But how is this balance achieved? Well, the first step is (as with most things) sitting down with your partner and discussing each other’s needs. Some couples may find that they have a disproportionate desire for space, and this can lead to the most important conversations.

It could be that for the longest time you thought your lover was losing interest because they were spending more time away from you than you desire from them but, in reality, this is just a mismatch of needs.

Such relationships aren’t damned (not at all) but they may mean that you must understand and respect each other’s boundaries and personal requirements before you can feel truly secure with each other.

This may also mean finding ways to cope when someone in the relationship is struggling with the time needed apart/together. Friends and family are important in these instances, as is compromise at times. Sometimes it pays to make sure that relationship needs are being balanced and that everyone’s happiness is being considered.

Fun Ways To Encourage Alone Time

But just because lovers may need time apart doesn’t mean they don’t care about each other (as we already explored) and sometimes the sweetest way to treat someone you care about is to enable them some alone time or help facilitate it.

This can be as simple as agreeing to take care of the kids for an hour, or walk the dog one evening, or as elaborate as booking a spa or sports week away (or whatever your lover desires).

It can also be things such as buying your partner a book, some new paints, or that puzzle they’ve been lusting over. Treating you partner to a hobby present lets them know that you encourage their independence while also maintaining a clear and loving connection between you.

Basically, it’s the bee’s knees.

How To Reconnect

That being said, there is a difference between spending time alone and feeling lonely and it’s important to know the difference.

When you and your partner do come back together it’s important to cherish those moments and (depending on the length of time spent apart) to reassure one another of your affections.

For shorter absences, it’s sometimes nice to have little quirks in place—love letters while your apart, meeting them with their favourite treat, making them their favourite drink, you get the picture.

For longer absences, it might be that you need to ease back in to your routine. Enjoying time alone can sometimes mean struggling to be together again, even if you enjoy it and recognising this is important.

Don’t expect too much from each other and savor the sweet times where company makes everything feel better. I hate to sound sappy but if you love each other then these moments will emerge, you don’t need to worry about that.

Final Thoughts

Sometimes I venture out in to the big wide world out on my own and I adore it. I have an innate sense of wanderlust and it’s hard to ignore the call for too long (plus there’s nothing dreamier than sitting alone in a coffee shop sipping loose leaf tea and writing whatever comes to mind).

But during those trips one of my most common thoughts it ‘I wish Mr Peaches were here’.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that having him by my side would make me happy in that moment but I appreciate him so much that it’s hard not to think about him, even when we’re apart.

I’m not too sure what this says about the quality of my alone time but I know this for sure—being away from Mr Peaches has never made me want to be apart from here and, oftentimes, they are the moments where I value him the most.