The Struggles Of Being In A Relationship When You Need A Lot Of Alone Time

Do you have a hard time wrapping your mind around those couples who spend every waking moment together? You know the ones — they’re attached at the hip in public, then they go home and probably sit on each other’s laps until bedtime when they proceed to spoon all night long. They can barely tolerate the time they have to be apart for work, and all they can think about is when they can be in each other’s presence again. You might have thought at some point that was what it meant to be in a relationship — constant, joyous togetherness. I know I did… until I realized I’m entitled to some me time. Lots of it, in fact. As much as I could possibly want. There is no one size fits all relationship model, which is a good sign for people who need a lot of alone time.

  1. It takes longer to really be comfortable around someone. You’re so used to having your mornings to yourself, that him being there when your alarm goes off really throws off your routine. What’s so wrong with wanting to keep some of your weird morning habits to yourself for a while.
  2. His family functions. Not that you don’t like his family, but it’s hard enough to fit your own family stuff in, let alone his. But now that you’re a couple, you’re expected to be at things like his niece’s first birthday party because that’s what girlfriends do, right?
  3. He asks you to go to everything. He probably thinks that girlfriends want to be invited to every little thing, so in his mind he’s just doing his good boyfriend duty. But in fact, you don’t want to go to his high school friend’s fiance’s bridal shower. You’ve never even met her!
  4. The whole sleeping dilemma. Sleeping should be a solitary activity, so why do couples feel the need to be on top of each other when they’re trying to catch some Z’s? Having the bed to yourself should be a right, not a rare privilege you might get once every few months when he goes on a business trip.
  5. The terror of moving in together. The thought of living with someone who you also go on dates with, spend holidays with, and tell all your secrets to is enough to send you into a panic. You’ve never met anyone you want to spend that much time with, what makes him so special? Good question…
  6. Making sure he knows it’s not him. The fact that you need solid me-time on the daily has nothing to do with him. You aren’t annoyed, or upset with him, or becoming distant just because you need a few hours away from him. It’s just how you are. If he doesn’t understand and accept that, it’ll never work out.
  7. You’re not big on sharing. It’s not just your bed you don’t want to share. It’s also your food, and your PVR, and your shower. You have your ways of doing things, and you don’t particularly enjoy having to adjust them for someone else. But of course, relationship are about compromise, right?
  8. You would much rather work out alone. You’re spending every last ounce of energy on working up a sweat, so it’s really not necessary for anyone else to be around. You’d like to just listen to your Janet Jackson in peace, thanks.
  9. Feeling overwhelmed by too many social commitments. Your ideal weekend involves not leaving the house for 48 hours straight while you lounge around braless, confident there will be no unexpected visitors. But then you realize you’re completely booked up socially for the next two months and the first thing you do start is coming up with strategies for backing out of a few of those things you probably didn’t want to go to even as you RSVP’d yes. Unfortunately, your boyfriend’s cousin’s baby shower is at the top of your cut list. Hopefully he understands.
  10. Finding someone who understands your need to be alone sometimes. Extroverts recharge their batteries by being around people, but introverts need to be alone for that. You don’t need to date someone who’s exactly the same as you, but it’s nice if you’re understanding of each other’s differences, and sometimes that’s easier said than done.
By day, Courtney is a digital marketing copywriter living in Toronto, Canada. By night, she's a freelance lifestyle writer who, in addition to, contributes regularly to, IN Magazine, and SheBlogs Canada. Want to chat about relationships, Stephen King or your favorite true crime podcast/documentary/book? She's on Twitter @courtooo.