LIVING

Why It's Important To Spend Time By Yourself In A Relationship

11/24/2015 09:51 EST | Updated 12/16/2015 07:59 EST

Even if you're deeply in love, that doesn't mean you and your partner want or need to spend every waking moment together.

In fact, there is an emerging body of evidence that says spending more time alone will actually make your relationship stronger.

"Co-puttering" is the term sex educator Debby Herbenick uses, which is when partners are able to connect with their individuality while connecting with each other.

For example, if one person wakes up early in the morning on a weekend, they may go for a walk and then meet up with friend. When they get home, they may find their partner doing something that interests them. They have both spent the morning doing something they love, but more importantly, they can share it with each other afterwards.

At least that's how it works for Canadian Olympian and relationship guru Brianne Theisen-Eaton, who married her best friend and fellow Olympian, Ashton Eaton.

"There are times when we need to get away from one another," says Theisen-Eaton. "We train together all the time, we spend 24 hours together, we eat together and there are times when we just need our own separate time."

But how do you tell your partner you need to be alone?

Theisen-Eaton shares her three tips on how to make sure you're getting the space you need, without hurting your partners feelings.

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