How To Tell Your Partner You Need Time Alone

Alone time is important in any relationship, otherwise, you’ll start forgetting who you actually are. Here are a few ways you can ask for time to yourself without having him panic that a breakup is in the near future.

  1. Suggest a set day where you both do your own thing. Maybe you really want to binge Gilmore Girls in bed and paint your nails without any guilt. Your guy probably isn’t into these activities. (And if he is, consider yourself lucky.) There’s likely stuff he also wants to do, like maybe go get his car washed, grab a beer with an old friend, or just sit in a bar and watch a game. If you plan out this time in advance, like setting Sunday aside for individual activities, it’ll be beneficial to both of you. Sell him on it, and prove to him that it’ll also give him some time to breathe.
  2. Make sure you don’t suggest it when you’re in the middle of a fight. He may read “time alone” as “time apart,” and there’s a difference. You’re not breaking up with him, you’re just trying to get a little space. Timing is everything. Maybe suggest taking some alone time after you both had a crazy week at work. Just make sure you’re not tense or upset when it happens.
  3. Don’t think too hard about it. Again, you aren’t breaking up with him. If you come in with a script and a list of reasons why time alone would be good, he’s going to think you have ulterior motives. Something like, “Hey, I’m going to take a few hours to just read in bed” is good enough. If you find yourself making a pros and cons list, maybe your overall communication with your partner just isn’t as strong as it could be.
  4. Talk about it a few days in advance. Maybe there’s a museum exhibit you want to take in by yourself. A few days before, casually say something like, “I wanted to hit up the museum this Saturday, just to take a personal break.” That way, he won’t be blindsided on Saturday if he had other ideas for the two of you. If he wants to come along, offer up another time. Tell him your main goal is to clear your head, but when it comes to focusing on the exhibit itself, there’s nobody else you’d want to experience it with.
  5. Rephrase it as a “mental health day.” Because it is. Time by yourself is truly beneficial for your mental health. Even if it’s just taking a long, interrupted bath with a glass of wine, it’s important. By changing up the way you refer to it, he won’t feel slighted at all. He’ll know you’re doing this for you and that it’s not based on anything he did wrong.
  6. If you need more time by yourself, consider planning a vacation. Some people need more than a day. They need a week or two to just be on their own for a little bit. The best way to do this is with a solo vacation. Your guy may get a little suspicious, so know that some sort of compromise may need to take place without any hurt feelings. Maybe you’ll Facetime with him every other night just so he knows you’re OK and can feel looped into how things are going.
  7. Book a retreat or class for yourself. Part of spending time alone is spending time on your own interests and hobbies. Maybe there’s a great class being held the next state over that you’re interested in. Or, perhaps you just need time to unwind from a stressful situation and have found a spa retreat that’ll allow you to get away. These are both perfect opportunities where you can get some much-needed alone time while also working on self-improvement and self-love.
  8. Plan something fun for just the two of you afterward, and keep it on the schedule. If you want to go off and have your own adventure, you have that right. You’re part of a couple, but you’re also your own person. But in order to prove to your boyfriend that this isn’t personal, it’s important to book something special with him, as well. That’ll make him comfortable in knowing that by “I need some alone time,” you’re not really saying “I can’t stand being with you.”
Karen Belz is a New Jersey native who is currently living in Maryland. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Speech Communication with a focus in Broadcasting and Print Media Studies from Millersville University of Pennsylvania. Since graduating, she has written for sites like LittleThings, HelloGiggles, and Scary Mommy and is currently an e-commerce editor at Bustle.

When she's not writing, she enjoys making her phone run out of memory after taking too many photos of her dog. You can find her on Twitter @karenebelz or on Instagram @karenbelz.