How Much Alone Time Should You Have When You’re Attached? [He Said/She Said]

Okay readers, it’s time for some back-story up in here. I’m in a long-distance relationship. As in, he lives in America, I live in England. Because both of us are studying, and don’t have unlimited funds or a private jet, I get a LOT of physical time apart from my significant other. Over the summer, I got to spend 3 wonderful months with my boyfriend, and because I knew I wouldn’t be able to see him for a while, I wanted to make the most of the situation and spend as much time as possible with him. We quickly hit a roadblock. Why? Because no matter what the situation, no matter how much people love each other, everyone needs alone time.

I honestly believe, and have always believed, that being alone sometimes is essential for true happiness. You need time on your own to organize everything you need to do, to plan for the future, and to relax and do things you love. Alone time is the key to personal growth and development, which is key to success and happiness, which, in turn, is key to a happy and successful relationship. If you’re never apart from your boyfriend, your relationship will lack the kind of strength and comfort that comes with doing some things independently. Seriously, I can’t stress this enough, alone time is a must have. As in, if you do not have it, everything will suffer.

But even knowing how important being alone is, it can still be tough to: 1. Admit that you need some time alone, and 2. Hear that your boyfriend doesn’t want to spend as much time with you. For both situations, all you need is tact and maturity. Be honest the second it comes up. If your boyfriend asks you to a party you don’t really want to go to, tell him you’re not up for it, but that he should go. If he tries to tag along to a girls only movie night, just be nice and explain that this is something for just you and your friends. If, when it comes down to it, you would really like the whole of Sunday to get all your schoolwork done in peace, say so. The second you pretend you’re okay with the situation you’re just making yourself unhappy, and it will all just lead to an uncomfortable discussion further down the line.

If you’re a super cool, awesome girlfriend, your boyfriend will never have to ask for alone time. But seriously, no-one is that amazing and/or psychic enough to know exactly what their significant other needs. Before alone time becomes an issue, just be smart. Let your bf know that he can go hang out with the guys alone. Don’t be a b**** and get all emotional if he says he just wants to go for a drink with his friends. It’s awkward, and you’ll get a reputation as the needy, irritating girlfriend. Be cool, accept each other’s need for personal space, and get on with it. If you’re feeling smothered, or completely isolated, bring it up and discuss it like mature adults. Oh, and if your guy’s ideal alone time is 24/7 whereas you just need an hour here or there, it’s really not going to work out. Time apart and time together can be a serious dealbreaker. Be careful, and take it seriously.

How do you deal with spending time apart from your boyfriend? Leave a comment below and click here to see what He Said!

[Lead Image Via Tim Exam]



  1. poopti says:

    Preach girl!!

    1. Ellen - University of Manchester says:

      haha thanks!

  2. mary says:

    really insightful!

  3. SmokyApple says:

    A mature and thoughtful article Ellen. I agree completely – alone time is as precious in many ways as the time you spend with your significant other. I personally love the moments when I am able to spend time with myself or with my friends – it serves to enrich my well-being and, as you say, this in turn enhances the time I spend with my partner. Good luck with the long-distance relationship – you sound like you have the right approach.

  4. Rate My Exs says:

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  5. kofybean says:

    Sounds clingy.

    I am two seconds from breaking up with my gf cuz she absorbs every second of my free time. And she got a new job in my city and is moving closer to me too. She was bouncing around her apartment talking about all the stuff we are gonna do together, and planning out every second of my life with her.

    All i did was sat there and thing of how to break up with her. I hate that.

  6. Woodrow says:

    Why? Because no matter what the situation, no matter how much people love each other, everyone needs alone time.

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