8 signs you’re someone who needs alone time in their relationship

You know where I am right now?

On the roof.

I’m not kidding. It’s a beautiful day, and I’m out sitting on the roof. 

As a freelancer, I have the incredible fortune to work when and where I like.

I could sit in our home office, lie on that shaggy rug over there, or even work in the bath if we had a bath.

But when my partner is home, I sometimes feel the need for some more space to be alone with my thoughts so I can get them down more easily.

And as long as the weather is nice, the roof is where I like to go.

It’s not that I’m sick of my partner or anything – far from it! I just need space sometimes to keep me feeling mentally healthy.

If you’re like me, you can probably relate to many of these other eight signs you’re someone who needs alone time in their relationship.

1) You’re easily agitated.

The number one sign that lets you know something is not going smoothly in a relationship is when you start to get more and more agitated by your partner.

Sure, things are lovely at the beginning.

You can’t spend enough time together, and you have intense chemistry together.

But once that promotional period ends, you might find yourself being bothered by the things your partner does.

Did his nose always whistle like that when he breathes?

Didn’t she used to put her bras in the laundry basket and not hang them on the bathroom door handle?

You know, little things.

They were always there, of course, but now they start to feel a lot more noticeable and more grating, too.


It may be because you need some personal time and space

I’m not talking about a break, just some alone time so that you can be your own person for a while and not have to always feel like you’re one of two peas sealed in a pod.

2) You’ve stopped doing many of the things that make you happy.

Relationships are about compromise, so it’s no surprise that each partner in even the healthiest of relationships might give up or at least reduce doing some of the activities that used to take up their time when they were single.

You might play Xbox a few hours less each week, or you might watch fewer reruns of Sex and the City.

But do you find that you’ve given up a lot of the things you used to love to do?

I used to play in a band with a great bass player. Let’s call him Rudy because that was his name.

Rudy moved to a new city and got into a serious relationship, and when I called him up a year later, he said he didn’t really play bass anymore at all.

I couldn’t believe that he was willing to give up something that he clearly found so fulfilling!

If he had more alone time in the relationship, I’m sure he would have gotten back to slapping the bass and enjoyed life more.

3) You don’t share your opinions like you used to.

If you don’t talk anymore like you used to do, it might be a sign that you need more alone time in your relationship.

It’s funny because you’d think that you’d talk more when there is always someone else around to talk to.

But for people who need alone time to recharge, the opposite can be true.

They stop sharing their opinions so freely, generally because they are the type of people who try to find the middle ground and compromise a lot.

But in doing this, they start to lose track of themselves a bit. 

They forget that you still need at least two people in a relationship with their own preferences and opinions, not just a single person shared across two bodies.

4) You’re starting to look like each other.

Don’t get me wrong – couple shirts and matching apparel are super cute.

But what about your own personal style?

Do you feel like maybe it’s getting lost in the mix?

If you do, you might be someone who needs more alone time. 

I had a girlfriend years ago who always wanted us to match when we went out. We didn’t wear the exact same outfit, but we’d end up wearing the same color scheme and general style.

If she wore jeans, I had to wear jeans.

If she wanted to wear a floral print dress, I was in a Hawaiian shirt.

At first, I didn’t really think much about it, but it slowly crept in and was soon the rule in our relationship.

But after a while, it really made me feel stifled.

I found I was always second-guessing myself when I tried to buy new clothes or when I put something on.

Eventually, I realized I was feeling smothered, and I needed more space to do my own thing and be my own person.

Sound familiar?

5) You feel like you don’t have space for you.

Many people don’t have a strong need for alone time. Others get a lot but wish they had a lot less!

But some people find they need more time and space to themselves than others.

In relationships, though, it nearly always happens that the amount of alone time each person needs is unequal.

So one partner ends up wanting more alone time than the other is giving, and that can lead to tension and feelings of being out of sync.

It’s definitely not easy to ask for more alone time.

It can make you feel like a jerk for telling the other person you want to have more time to yourself because this is going to mean spending less time with them.

But if you feel like your time is taken up by work time and partner time, you can really start to feel like there’s not enough time for you in the equation.

You might start to feel like you’re not spending enough tie thinking about your own ideas and issues, and this can end up being really unhealthy.

6) You’re always tired.

I mentioned earlier that some people need to be alone to recharge. 

Actually, this is a classic definition of an introvert, someone who prefers less social stimulation and more personal time to help them recharge. 

Does this sound like you?

Introverts tend to need a lot more alone time than extroverts to feel balanced. So if you’re an introvert in a relationship with an extravert, it’s likely you’ll find it hard to get the amount of alone time you need to feel energized.

Social situations can drain you while they energize your partner, so it can be hard for them to understand what’s going on. What can you do? 

If you’re feeling worn out because you’re not getting the time you need to be alone and relax, you’re going to have to talk to your partner about it.

This is the way you are, and if you can express that clearly and positively, I hope your partner will be able to give you the personal time you need.

7) You’re falling behind on your personal projects.

So many of us have projects that we’re working on in addition to the normal routines of work and life.

Maybe you’re knitting a sweater for one of your friend’s kids.

You could be slowly putting together a mixtape, writing the next great American novel, or working through an online course.

But if you feel yourself getting way behind in one of your personal projects, it’s probably because you’re not getting the amount of alone time you need to keep things moving along.

This can be frustrating because it slows down your work on something you’re working hard to achieve.

To make things better, you’re going to have to try to adjust your work-life balance.

8) You’re bored.

This is a big sign that something is wrong in your relationship.

It doesn’t necessarily have to mean that you’re feeling bored with your partner, though that could be part of it. It might just mean that you’re feeling bored in general.

And here’s why…

If you’re used to having a lot of alone time, you’re probably a person who is quite self-contained. 

You might enjoy exploring the world, reading, listening to interesting music, or watching videos that stimulate you.

The activities that you like to do in your own time might be the things you really find the most engaging and entertaining, and if you’re not doing them because you haven’t got enough alone time, you might find the world starts to lose some of its color.

So how much alone time is enough? The only answer is as much as you need to feel happy, healthy, balanced, and energized. I hope you’re getting your fill!

If you’re not very likable, these 9 personality traits could be why

6 unique struggles that highly sensitive people deal with every day