But the need for space doesn’t just divide along lines of extroversion or introversion; more often than not it comes down to a mix of personality, feeling secure in the relationship and in the opportunities for personal time.
In studies, women often tend to be the ones who complain about not having as much space or opportunity for solo time as men.
It’s another entirely when you’re now sharing a one-bedroom apartment and there’s no real sanctum sanctorum for you to decompress.
Or it may be that one person wants time to pursue interests that their partner doesn’t necessarily share or like; giving them their time alone lets them feel that they aren’t giving up something they love in the name of a relationship – a guaranteed recipe for resentment.
Or it just may be that they’re feeling suffocated and need time to blow off steam and come back after some time to remind themselves that they’re an individual as part of a couple.
In its own way, it’s not terribly surprising; on average, women tend still tend to shoulder the majority of the caregiving responsibilities with children.
Couple this with jobs and housework – even when household duties are split between partners – and there just tend to not be enough hours in the day to get everything done need for space may have anxiety around feeling abandoned.
This can be especially important if you’re dating an extrovert – the extroverted partner’s need for company can be exhausting for an introvert.
Just as important, however, it helps take the pressure off us and our partners to be the only source of each other’s emotional and social support.That is an intense amount of pressure to put on somebody, even somebody you love to distraction, and it can be being the sole pillar of support.Taking time to yourself allows you both to foster connections with other people and widen your base of emotional support – taking the weight off of one person’s shoulders and leaving them feeling less overwhelmed.One of the things that people often don’t understand about relationships is that – a gestalt entity forming feet and legs, arms and body that somehow still has a hard time agreeing on what to watch on Netflix, never mind agreeing which of you forms the head. You don’t subsume your identity into the collective Matrix that is your union, exchanging your sense of self for a cutesy portmanteau couple-name that even TMZ would gag over.This is especially true when you are young and/or new to relationships in general – spending every waking moment together is seen as proof of just how much you love one another and why you’re so together. Just because you love somebody doesn’t mean that your need for time to yourself goes away, and wanting time to do your own thing by yourself and with your friends doesn’t mean that your love is any less “real” or “true”.After all, as important as having your alone time can be, having couple time is just as important; too much space goes from needing personal time to “avoidance” and ends up weakening the relationship.