“Distance makes the heart grow fonder.” While too much space—physically or emotionally—can be tough on a partnership, there may be times when you crave a little time alone.
And if you’ve been feeling that craving lately, don’t feel bad—there’s nothing wrong with you or your relationship. Being partners doesn’t mean you have to—or even should—do everything together. Needing space does not necessarily mean your relationship is doomed.
In fact, it can be a healthy sign that you’re prioritizing yourself as an individual both inside and outside of your relationship.
Here are just five of the signs that you may need more time spent in solitude;
1. You’re fighting about inconsequential things Conflict is normal and can even be healthy in relationships.
But if you find that you and your partner are often bickering over things that don’t matter—whose turn it is to take out the trash or what to have for dinner, for example—that might be a sign that you need some space.
It’s only natural to get a little prickly while in close proximity with another person all the time. If you both take a little breathing room, you might find that you can get back to focusing on the things that matter.
2. You’re bored It’s all too easy to fall into a routine in your relationship. And routines can get pretty boring pretty quickly.
If you find that you’re getting bored with your partner—you keep doing and talking about the same things, or you’re running out of things to talk about completely—try taking a step back.
There’s not necessarily anything wrong with your partner or with your relationship.
You may just need an opportunity to view both with fresh eyes.
3. You never see your friends While it’s important that your partner complement and support you, it’s also helpful to remember that your partner can’t be everything to you. And your friends and family make up the difference.
They are the ones you can rely on to fill any voids your partner just may not be able to fill—or even some they can— supporting you through a conflict at work or encouraging you to pursue your long-term goals. Having a diversity of perspectives and voices in your life helps you see your experiences from all vantage points and can help widen your lens on life; only hearing two people’s points of view (yours and your partner’s) may end up limiting you and facilitating blind spots.
4. You’re avoiding the things you like to do When’s the last time you went to yoga class? Or read a book? Or took a photography class? These are just examples, of course—whatever your thing is that you love to do (and loved to do even before you were in a relationship ), when’s the last time you took time for that? If you’re no longer doing the things you’ve always loved to do—whether you’re actively avoiding them because your partner isn’t into them, or you’ve just let them fall off your radar because you never have time on your own—it might be time to reevaluate the time you have to yourself and how you’re spending it.
Don’t let what you love to do slip because of time spent with who you love.
5. You don’t feel like yourself This last point is probably the most important sign that you need some space. If you no longer feel like yourself—but rather, like one-half of a partnership— then you likely need some time alone.
While connectedness, compromise, and commitment are crucial to any relationship , it’s never healthy to lose sight of who you are outside of it.
If you don’t feel like yourself anymore, then consider how you can take the space to reconnect to you, and allow that person to show up as their whole self in your relationship .
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