When you start a relationship, you are agreeing to worry and care for only someone other than yourself. Many times in a relationship people think that this is a 24/7 job, and then they lose their individuality. Being in a relationship does not mean becoming consumed by that person, and losing a part of yourself. It means that you are agreeing to share part of your life with someone while also maintaining your own sense of self.
Contrary to popular belief, alone time is great for any relationship. Spending time by yourselves can actually make relationships stronger. When I first got into my relationship with my current partner, I thought that to be a strong relationship we had to spend a majority of our days together. Over the past almost 2 years I have learned that spending time alone while also maintaining time together has actually strengthened our relationship and brought us closer.
Just because you are dating someone does not mean you need to have all the same exact interests. While some can be shared, it is okay for each of you to have and pursue your own hobbies. Having your own interests allows for alone time and the ability to make friends who share those interests. Friends outside of your relationship are always important to have.
While it is always important to have open and honest communication with your partner, alone time can help each person sit back and think for a little bit. Having your own space to think can offer unique clarity on situations and allow you to truly recognize your emotions before talking to your partner. When you do not leave space for personal reflection, it is possible for there to be miscommunication that can lead to hurtful conversations.
Being comfortable by yourself is the most important aspect of a relationship. You should never get into a relationship because you are lonely or need someone to fill an empty void in your life. When you are not comfortable being alone, you are putting unrealistic expectations on your partner by depending on them for your happiness. When you lose your sense of independence you also lose the ability to create boundaries with your partner.
When each partner is allowed to grow into their individual dreams and desires, there is less of that grey line of not knowing if you are chasing your own dreams or your partner’s dreams. I have always seen alone time as being the most important aspect of healthy mental health and overall well-being. Being open to your partner about when you need space is important, and there should be clear communication as to when you need to be left alone. You should never lose your sense of self in order to be with somebody else.
Written by: Sydney Karlos