Space In A Relationship: The Art Of Being Alone Together

artwork by : Lorenzo Mattotti

One of the many basic requirements in life is the need to belong, the need for love and affection. It is very essential but like anything else in life, there needs to be a balance and the attachment should be in a healthy way. Yes, different people have different attachment styles and ways of forming this intimate connection with their special someone but there is a common mistake couples make when they get involved in a relationship with someone. That is the inability to maintain boundaries and give space to their partner and themselves. 

Think about it, it is very hot, don’t you wish to be loose and free when the temperature rises? Don’t you ask the person sitting next to you to give you space to breathe? Both your bodies are generating heat and at some point, it gets uncomfortable to sit too close. In the same way, in a relationship too, there will come times when the temperature rises, maybe you are going through something or maybe your partner is. If the concept of space is alien in your relationship, then you might have difficulty in such times where you or they need to be alone and process things, figure something out on their own.

Wanting to be alone from time to time is very normal, sometimes when we attach ourselves to someone, we might lose our individuality in the process and either become too dependent on the person or we end up mirroring each other. You come with your own qualities, flaws, beliefs and special touch, so does your partner. You were raised in a different home; you both have had completely different experiences in life just like anyone on the planet with their unique set of experiences and aspirations. It will be so unfair and unjust to want to change each other and lose our individuality in the process. 

It is a beautiful idea to want to blend and walk completely parallel to someone but is that possible all the time? From time to time, you might get tired, or they might want to pause to tie their laces. What is important to understand in this long walk you two are taking is that it is okay to stop, it is okay to walk at different paces and respect your partner’s trail of walking as long as you both know that you are there for each other and every time you turn around, they are there. 

So, how do I do this? How do I give myself and my partner the space we both need? Let us try to understand that through some tips mentioned below: –

  1. Find time for your friends and family and let them have theirs too. If you are with a partner and you see yourself drifting away from the people you used to be with before, it will eventually end up making you too dependent on them and you might feel alone when they for some reason are not there. Balance your relationships in life and give time to the people who are important to you.
  2. Find things to do with your partner but also continue doing the things you used to love doing alone. There are a lot of things you can do as a couple but why stop going for that long evening walk you used to go on alone to collect your thoughts? 
  3. Understand your partner’s side too. They also might have the urge to be by themselves from time to time, that is not something to be taken personally. People have their own trail or thoughts and they sometimes might have a tough time trying to explain everything to you. So, give them the time they require and don’t try to find personal meanings in those things.
  4. Communicate effectively about things. Let’s say you needed some time alone, your partner understood that and gave you your space, now when you feel like you are ready to speak to them again, tell them briefly about why you wanted this time and what you were going through so that they do not end up taking things personally. Effectively communicating about things and maintaining transparency in the relationship are very important traits in any healthy relationship. You and your partner will feel very secure together if both of you know and understand the need to be on your own and have a healthy set of boundaries you both maintain.
  5. Don’t lose your originality in the process. Like we talked about earlier, you are a complete person with your own set of experiences, remember this on the way and don’t let the things consume you and change you.
  6. Don’t try to change your partner. Our personality develops over the years. People have flaws and there are some things they want to change about themselves. But if there are things in your partner that they are okay with and you don’t like, it is not a very healthy practice to try and change that. If there are some aspects that they want to work upon, definitely help them there but there is a difference between wanting to help and wanting to change someone. Learn to accept your partner as they are and don’t try to make them your own version of a perfect partner.

Lastly, remember that this journey can be a very beautiful one if shared with someone in a healthy way and seek help if you are having difficulty maintaining a healthy equation with your partner. 

“I do my own thing, and you do your thing. I am not in this world to live up to your expectations and you are not in this world to live up to mine.
You are you and I am I. And if by chance we find each other, it’s beautiful. If not, it can’t be helped.”

Fritz Perls, 1969

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Urvashi is a post graduate in clinical psychology and wishes to get closer to her goal of healing others and herself on the way. “She knows there’s no success like failure and that failure’s no success at all.” Bob Dylan
Posts created 10

2 thoughts on “Space In A Relationship: The Art Of Being Alone Together

  1. The article is so well written. It touches upon every aspect and the need of space in a relationship. Give a read to the other articles as well! Waiting for more of such writings.

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