For BRIDES, by Jaimie Mackey.
Every relationship is a balancing act with personal space — between personalities, between wants and needs, and between spending time together and giving yourselves time apart. Once your relationship has gone through the honeymoon phase — you know, those weeks or months when all you want to do is spend time with each other — you’ll reach a point where all the attention, checking in, and one-on-one time can start to feel like too much. But don’t worry, your relationship isn’t doomed! You’ve just gotten to the point where your personal space has become a priority again. Our experts are here to break down just how important a little personal space can be.
Spending time away from your partner doesn’t mean you are no longer in love or that you shouldn’t get married. Instead, it means you’re taking time to put yourself first and do things that are just for you — choices that will make you feel great about yourself, putting you in a better mindset to take care of your relationship.
You and your partner may be a match made in heaven, but you’re not the same person. You are individuals with your own interests, dreams, and goals, and allowing a little personal space into your relationship will allow you each to pursue those, even if they aren’t the same for both of you. He may go for a bike ride while you head to yoga, or you may want to meet a friend for a cocktail while he’s watching Lebron dunk with his buddies. Having your own lives outside of your relationship will ensure that you don’t lose sight of your individual identities. Defining and staying true to who you are, in your own terms instead of within the context of your relationship, is vital to your personal happiness, and the happier you are with yourself, the happier you’ll be with your partner.
Think about both of your emotional needs; to some, constant contact can feel smothering instead of affectionate, and you or your partner might need a little quiet time to avoid getting emotionally exhausted. Knowing what you need personally (and being able to ask your partner for it) will help set your relationship up for continued strength and success.
Having your own lives outside of your relationship will ensure that you don’t lose sight of your individual identities.
Giving yourselves some personal space can also give you a better perspective on your relationship. Whether you have a conflict to deal with or are planning for the future, having time to yourself will enable you to think more critically about whatever it is the two of you might be going through. You may find inspiration elsewhere that could be useful in your marriage or simply benefit from a little time spent thinking about or doing something else.
Personal space can be anything from a quiet bath after a long day to a weekend away with your friends, so don’t be afraid to ask for some “me” time if you need it — and remember to offer it to your partner as well.