Sometimes space away from a partner is necessary; time apart in a relationship to recognize what you need and identify the ideal way to take care of those needs for yourself separate from the partnership.
When conflicts reach a certain point where a solution is out of reach, time alone can help each person process what you’re feeling, decreasing the chance for negative communication or lashing out at the other person.
Space allows clarity in the thought process and the opportunity to focus on the individual’s motivation and reasoning to determine if there’s justification or an excuse.
In either case, it’s vital to decide if spending time apart in a marriage is a temporary situation or more beneficial in the long run as a permanent solution.
Psychotherapist Robert J. Buchicchio, in his book ‘Taking Space,’ discusses how time apart can be beneficial for individuals, as well as the relationship.
What does time apart mean in a partnership?
Taking time apart in a relationship is similar to hitting the “pause” button or saying “time out.”
It doesn’t necessarily mean the partnership is doomed or one is falling out of love with their mate. It’s taking space apart to explore individuality.
When there’s a crisis or a conflict where a solution is not visible to either partner, the goal of stepping away is to gather thoughts and consider what your needs genuinely are and how you prefer these to be met.
That can be whether you can do so sufficiently alone or if there is a resolution to where the relationship is what precisely you prefer.
Is time apart in a relationship beneficial
Spending time apart in relationships is normal and healthy. It can be good if each person is on board with it. The idea is to heal the partnership, especially if there are verbal attacks or toxicity.
The outcome will depend on how mates use the time away. When you walk away from the emotion and determine ways to cope more healthfully without that element, the space apart will have been constructive and perhaps valuable.
How much time apart is normal in a relationship
There are no hard and fast rules or regulations to how much time apart is healthy in a relationship. Each couple’s needs are different.
The suggestion is no longer than two weeks before sitting down and having a conversion. If it needs to be extended beyond that point, it’s important to set dates and times to meet and discuss where you each stand.
When one or the other continues to prolong the time apart in a relationship, it becomes evident that the individual is becoming independent and enjoying life in that capacity.
How to know if you should take time apart
When mates find themself in a pattern of consistent arguing that never gets resolved, it’s left to fester; spend some time away.
It’s the ideal way for each of you to break the constant banter, consider what is the root of the fighting, and if there are real solutions to the problems that are satisfactory to both.
When you come back together, compare notes. If you find there’s still a disagreement, you might realize the partnership is not for either person’s greatest good and choose to separate more permanently.
Why do you need time apart from your mate
Taking time apart to strengthen the relationship helps the couple come back together much healthier and capable of handling conflict and stressors more constructively.
Generally, when two people take space, it’s time for them to reflect and recharge. It’s not necessarily bad, especially if the mates are constantly together. That can create friction.
When you choose to step away to look at things with a fresh set of eyes, the problems are more evident, but so are the solutions.
Check out a few reasons why you should give your partner time apart – and yourself.
1. Recognize the problems
Not only can you recognize the root of the problems between you, but the solutions will become more evident. When you can resolve the issues, the partnership becomes more solid.
Every so often, life gets in the way dragging you down and, in turn, bringing the partnership with it. That can lead to needing alone time in a relationship.
After some time away, the renewal allows you to be healthily available instead of offering an attitude and intending to do battle whenever you’re spoken to.
21 signs you need time apart in a relationship
At some point, everyone needs some time apart in a relationship. The space allows mates to explore their individuality and possible problems happening in the partnership and the root cause.
It won’t be difficult to recognize signs it’s time to get away since one or both of you will probably become aggravated or frustrated more easily and ready to instigate an argument. Let’s look at a few of the red flags more closely.
1. Your partner is more agitated than normal
When anyone has a basic human need, the first indication is when they become short-tempered. The job of a mate is to determine what that need is. If your partner is snapping at you, suggest alone time in a relationship.
2. Conflicts are becoming more consistent
If the two of you are constantly bickering among yourselves with no real basis behind the fighting, it’s a sign that each person needs to step away.
Whether it’s a weekend or a week, you each need to have established a way to express needs more constructively when coming back together. Lashing out to get what you want is neither healthy nor beneficial to the partnership.
In some situations, when anger and conflict grow out of hand, counseling can help you reach common ground when you find it difficult to do so on your own.
3. One or both of you have stopped sharing opinions
Being apart from someone you love becomes necessary when you find that you’ve lost yourself along the way. It’s vital to use the opportunity to look back to who you were before the relationship, re-learn that person, become independent again, and gain a sense of individuality.
While away, you get to decide where you’ll have a meal, what you’ll do for entertainment or your responsibilities around the place you’re staying without feedback or opinions.
That will send you home with a whole new sense of self with a mate who will probably appreciate the change.
4. A partner without a life
When a partner relies heavily on you to determine their interests and hobbies, they must be encouraged to take time apart in a relationship sort of in the same vein as learning themself but more along the lines of developing a life of their own.
Perhaps, your mate never really had many interests when they came into the partnership, deciding to assume yours.
The space that the two of you agree to should be used wisely with their seeing friends or making some new connections and learning hobbies that establish a sense of individuality.
5. You don’t want to be bothered
You might not understand why you’re turning away from your mate or ignoring them when in the same room, but it appears you’ve become burned out and are reflecting it onto your partner.
Instead of fighting or causing a rift, you’ve shut down, a cry for some alone time. Take some time to recharge, but don’t take on such a load in the future.
6. They create space
If time apart in a relationship doesn’t come to them, they will create the space. You might notice that a mate has started to come home from work later than usual or perhaps gets up and leaves a bit earlier. Because you typically spend much time together, there is implicit trust.
You think that your partner has found a way to have some time alone. In doing so, that allows you to have some space as well. Instead of being angry, enjoy the quality time and allow your significant other the same respect.
7. The mate is protective of their privacy
When a mate has become protective of their social circle, programs on the screen, interests, and hobbies, with no desire to share these, it’s indicative of a desire to have individual time but the uncertainty of how to request this.
Communication is critical in this case. Shutting a partner out is not okay. Letting you know there’s a need so it can be satisfied is vital without pushing you away, and that needs to be expressed.
When trying to discern is time apart good for a relationship, there are instances where it is crucial. For instance, when you have specific life circumstances, perhaps a family loss, financial situation, or health concerns, these require the need to gather thoughts to figure out a good solution.
While talking to a mate can help, first, you need to come through your thought process, and time away can help. A partner will surely understand there’s a need to concentrate on something aside from the partnership for a bit.
You can then come back to further work through it together.
9. Patterns will help determine time apart in a relationship
Mates have individual personalities in a partnership to where one might be a homebody. At the same time, the other could be exceptionally social, or perhaps one will close off on the weeknights after work and liven up on the weekend.
Once you learn the pattern of your partner, you’ll recognize when you can have some alone time to enjoy personal space. Maybe throughout the week, you can enjoy a nice bath with some soft music and candles each evening.
10. Work anxieties are causing issues
Work pressure can often create anxiety, making it necessary for a partner to need more space than is typical in a relationship. Is time apart in a relationship good? In this instance, it’s healthy for a mate to get away and relax as much as possible.
It’s also essential to voice your support for your mate, plus pay attention to ensure the anxiety doesn’t reach unhealthy levels. It is important not to let the work stress negatively impact the relationship.
11. The connection is off
When you find the connection between the two of you is not balanced, it’s off, but you can’t determine the problem; you’re not syncing and haven’t been for some time; it’s wise to take a bit of a break.
Does taking time apart in a relationship work? The idea for stepping away sometimes is to strengthen the partnership. When you have a rough patch happening, especially when you’re uncertain for a reason, space can help you look at the situation from a different view.
You can also appreciate the other person and the relationship much more with the connection reestablished, not ever realizing what the bad vibe was about; perhaps just a need for some time.
When a partner indicates they have a need, it’s vital to pay attention and vice versa. If you’re facing conflict and a mate asks to hold off for a second while taking a break, do that.
This person is asking to let them cool off for a second. They need to step away to avoid lashing out because they have come to the brink of their patience with the situation.
When you allow the space, it shows respect, and the two of you can come back together in a more healthy way.
If you are wondering how to be a better listener, watch this video that offers some tips:
13. Red flags are your only indication
A partner might not be someone who comes out and makes a request, as in the last scene. Sometimes their only indication that they need time apart in a relationship is hinted that you need to be able to pick up on.
Some of us are not that capable of reading hints. To accommodate a person who leaves clues is to allot a specific amount of time.
That can be each day, maybe every week, on weekends, even throughout the month, that each of you can have time away individually without anyone needing to ask.
14. A mate has become anxious to run any errand possible
If you’re wondering how to take time apart in a relationship, walk the dog three times within the hour. Some partners will do anything to get the personal space they long for, including taking any available errand to get out of the house.
Instead of seeing your significant other running themself ragged outside the house every five minutes, take an opportunity to leave periodically to give them some time at home alone.
15. A critical and complaining partner is craving time away
When you can do nothing right in a partner’s eyes, it’s time for them to get a break. Constant bickering and complaining mean they’re tired of being in the same space, or they’ve been in the same space for too long.
While it’s the wrong approach, try not to take it personally but instead enjoy a breakaway for a while with newly placed boundaries that criticism is off-limits from this point.
16. Your partner’s flaws and quirks are becoming annoying
Generally speaking, you love your partner and all their quirks and flaws, but because you see them so much lately, the typical cute quirks are starting to bother you, and the flaws are grating your nerves.
Instead of taking it out on your mate, it’s vital to step away, maybe schedule a friends’ night or even a weekend getaway to put some space between you. If that’s not enough time, you might need to take a break, perhaps a week or two, to get your perspective back to the right.
How much time apart is too much? Each partnership is different. You don’t want to keep prolonging it because that will indicate you’re enjoying your independence and likely not wanting to go back to couplehood.
17. One or both of you is getting bored
Sometimes when couples do the same things constantly, life can become routine, or a rut can develop, causing them to grow bored with each other. Relationships take work, but people lose sight of how to do that after some time.
You can consider ways to reignite the spark or think about life without the person by stepping away from the partnership. It will either help move things in a more positive and healthy direction for the two of you or you as an individual living independently.
18. You need to remember the goals you once had for yourself
When moving into a partnership with someone, often goals get intermingled, and individuals forget the things they had intended to work towards as a singleton with their career path.
It might not have aligned with the other person’s goals, or it didn’t fit with the lifestyle the two of you were considering; at some point, that might bring a sense of resentment if you don’t revisit those dreams.
That’s a reason to take time apart in a relationship to consider if the goals you once had are still a part of who you are now and how you can make those dreams a reality. Coming back together, you can discuss these possibilities together and how you can realize them.
19. Perhaps you have grown silent
When partners lose the ability to talk to each other, conversations become a challenge, or there’s awkwardness with attempts, rejuvenation is definitely in order.
You might have mutual friends and go out with other people as a couple, but you must have your mindset, opinions, and thought processes separate and apart from your mate.
If you can’t differentiate yourself from the “we” mentality, you need to break away from the partnership for some independent time to focus on what those opinions and thoughts might be. That way, you can carry a conversation solely on your own.
21. You hope to appreciate the romance more
When you take time away from seeing your partner constantly, you can appreciate them more romantically.
It can be challenging if you see your mate all the time to take away the day-to-day familiarity and comfortability to view the individual then as the person you were once infatuated with.
While love takes considerable effort, time, energy, and work, some of that involves taking time apart from each other so that you can miss the other person and appreciate them as the person you fell in love with.
Is it okay to take time apart in a relationship? It’s vital to have individual time, healthy and normal. If you don’t have space apart, you can’t miss the other person or appreciate what you grew to love and respect about that individual.
You also can’t keep connected to your roots, who you are, what you’re about, and where you hope to go. That’s crucial to the success of your partnership. When you’re unhappy within yourself, a relationship will be challenging.
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
Sylvia Smith loves to share insights on how couples can revitalize their love lives in and out of the bedroom. As a writer at Marriage.com, she is a big believer in living consciously and encourages couples to adopt this principle in their lives too. Sylvia believes that every couple can transform their relationship into a happier, healthier one by taking purposeful and wholehearted action.