If you have any unresolved attachment issues from childhood, your partner’s request for space can make you really anxious. But it’s important to remember that having some time alone is healthy. “While it may be normal to be stressed when giving each other a little more free time, there’s a difference between rational and irrational worry,” Nalin says. “A strong, healthy relationship that includes personal time should feel safe and secure. Let go of the worry and enjoy some personal space that will most likely serve to strengthen your relationship.” At the end of the day, you’ll be fine.
It isn’t easy to hear that your partner needs some time apart. But it doesn’t mean that they don’t love you or that your relationship is headed for a breakup. In fact, how you respond to their request is key. If you follow these things, you can give your partner the space they need while never losing your connection.
Stephanie Wijkstrom, certified counselor
Dr. Roxy Zarrabi, Psy.D
Dr. Jeff Nalin, Psy.D., licensed clinical psychologist
Jude Treder-Wolff, licensed clinical social worker
Dr. Jaclyn Lopez Witmer, PsyD, licensed clinical psychologist
Janna Koretz, Psy.D., licensed psychologist
Lapierre, Matthew & Custer, Benjamin. (2020). Testing relationships between smartphone engagement, romantic partner communication, and relationship satisfaction. Mobile Media & Communication. 9. 205015792093516. 10.1177/2050157920935163.