I’m an independent woman, but my desire to be alone pales in comparison to my boyfriend’s. He’s a great guy, don’t get me wrong, but sometimes, he needs so much “me time” that I wonder if he even likes me at all. It’s been an adjustment, but I think I’m finally coming to terms with the fact that my boyfriend needs a lot of alone time.
- I’ve questioned my judgment. The beginning of a relationship is great. You see each other a couple of times a week, and he plans everything and shows interest all the time. Then as soon as things get serious, all of those things start to dwindle. If you’re like me, you might question what was going on and wonder if it’s too early to state how this makes you feel. I consistently asked myself if he was simply over hanging out with me because this is the point where some men usually start to pull away. As an independent woman, this was uncharted territory for me.
- He doesn’t realize how much I love to spend time with him. Co-dependency is not my thing. I enjoy a “Netflix and chill” kind of night alone. But there are also times that I want to just “Netflix and chill” with him. Quality time can be scarce, and sometimes all I want to do is be in his space. I love the time we spend together and the way I feel when we’re together. I’m not co-dependent by any means — I just want to be with my best friend/boyfriend when I can. That notion completely escapes him sometimes.
- I’m always the one who has to make plans. I love my partner to death, but sometimes it takes him a minute to figure things out. Here I am excited at the thought of making plans other than hanging out on the couch while he’s just blissfully unaware that I want him to take the initiative. I make the mistake of assuming that he knows what’s wrong or what I want. In the past, assuming worked for me — eventually, my past significant others figured it out. But with my current boyfriend, I have to state the obvious and tell him when I need him to step up and make plans for us.
- I’m sensitive and I’m not going to apologize for it. A relationship is a two-way street and being able to communicate my feelings doesn’t make me mushy or overly sensitive. It makes me human, and it should prove to him how much I care about him and our relationship. Some people might think that getting upset over how much he wants me around is ridiculous, but I’m not going to chide myself for sticking up for what I want in a relationship.
- I want “me time,” but I don’t want space. It may sound like they are one and the same, but they totally aren’t. I am all for wanting time for yourself to take a second to refuel and readjust without any distractions. However, time is temporary. Space is a different story. When someone says they need space from you, they want distance that you may not recover from. My partner has never wanted space from me, but he often wants so much time for himself that I wonder if it’s only a matter of time before he DOES request “space.”
- I hate feeling like the uncool girl. I used to secretly battle myself with what I should say to him regarding our time apart and what I felt comfortable with. In retrospect, I was subconsciously worried about no longer being the “cool girl” — the one who didn’t notice he hadn’t called and was okay with it. I eventually accepted that I had to be real with him about how I felt when it came to the time we spent apart, but it wasn’t easy… and to be honest, it still isn’t.
- I’m not needy for wanting more time with him. In the past, I never had to ask to spend time with my significant other. I thought it was normal to want to spend time with your boyfriend and not have to ask for it. These days, it’s a completely different story. I kind of feel guilty about having to ask him to spend time with me. I know that I’m not clingy or desperate, but being the only person to make plans can make me feel that way.
- I refuse to live in fear. It all came down to speaking my mind, and it was scary. I was so worried about telling him how I felt. I thought it would destroy what we had, that he’d push me away even more because I was “clingy” or “needy.” But instead, the opposite happened. he was receptive to my concerns, and even though things still aren’t perfect, I learned how important it was to speak up about things like this.
- I accept what I need in a relationship. There are going to be guys that are completely unaware and unapologetic of the way they are when it comes to needing a lot of “alone time” even when they’re in a relationship. If they can find a girl who’s down with that, good for them. I need a bit more in my relationship, and even though it was scary to speak up about it at first, I’m never again going to keep my mouth shut when it comes to asking my boyfriend to actually make the effort to hang out with me.
If you struggle with your boyfriend needing time alone, here are my tips
While I feel like I’ve finally found a healthy balance in this regard, it’s very much still a work in progress. However, here are some things I recommend to help you get to a good place when your boyfriend needs a lot of alone time and you don’t.
- Find peace and comfort in your own company. This is the most important thing you can do not just in this relationship but in life in general. It’s vital that you practice self-love and develop a deep and special relationship with yourself that allows you not to feel uncomfortable or upset when you’re on your own. Learn to enjoy time and space to breathe, think, and just be. When you do, you’ll find it so much easier to be away from your partner on the occasions that you are.
- Get a hobby. Maybe one of the reasons you struggle with the fact that your boyfriend relishes his alone time is because you literally have nothing else going on in your life. That sounds harsh but think about it. When he’s doing his own thing, that’s when you should be doing yours. Don’t have your own “thing”? That means it’s time to get a hobby. Find something you’re passionate about or try something new. This will not only make your time away from him a bit less torturous but will also enrich you as a person, which is always a good thing.
- Nurture your relationships with friends and family. Your boyfriend isn’t the only valuable relationship in your life, nor should he be. You have a great friend group and family members that love you, so don’t forget those bonds while you’re head over heels in love. Make sure to take time away from your romantic relationship to hang out with the other people in your life. You’ll feel much better for it.
- Give some more structure to your time. When you have hobbies, are nurturing your other relationships, and have learned to enjoy your own company, structuring your time comes naturally. Maybe you know when your boyfriend is having alone time, that’s when you do a deep clean of your closet for stuff to donate and plan a girls’ night with your friends. Maybe it’s when you take a French class or work on your crafting. Having things to fill your time when you’re not together is a must.
- Recognize that alone time is healthy and vital. At the end of the day, even if it does kind of suck to be away from each other, it’s important that you recognize that spending time away from your significant other isn’t just okay, it’s absolutely vital for the long-term health of your relationship. Not only that, but having time apart means you’ll have that much more to talk about when you do hang out again. Try it – you might be shocked just how much you like it.