You’re working from home, and so is your partner. Neither of you are going anywhere due to shelter-in-place orders and social distancing. So, how can you carve out some personal time?
The pandemic has forced couples to spend pretty much all their time together, whether they’re used to it or not. Even though it’s nice to always have someone to talk to, it’s also important to have some personal space (even if it’s just the other side of the couch).
Wanting time for yourself can easily be misinterpreted, so tread lightly when addressing this topic. Still, you can let your partner know you need personal time as part of your own self-care routine, without making him think you just want him to go away.
Conversations like these are never easy, but good communication is the key to any successful relationship. By preparing what you plan to say in advance, you’ll be one step closer to success, rather than just jumping into it when you’re feeling stressed out.
Be Honest and Positive
Before you present this to your partner, make sure you’re in the right mindset. Stay positive and light. Keep a smile on your face, as you explain how everyone needs some time for themselves, including your partner.
Help her understand how wonderful it would be if both of you could have some personal space. Normally, you’re probably apart at least sometimes because you’re hanging out with friends or going to the office. Just because you’re stuck at home right now doesn’t mean you constantly have to be right next to each other.
Personal time doesn’t mean you don’t want to spend time with your partner, but he or she might perceive it that way—especially if they don’t feel the need to take some alone time for themselves.
This is where a positive mindset and smart way of presenting the whole deal comes into play. How you talk about it will greatly affect the outcome.
Create a Schedule
Sit down together and take out your calendar for the week. Plan out your days and jot down every activity and chore you have to do together or individually. Figure out where your “me time” would fit best.
Don’t take away from any time you’ve already scheduled to spend together. Rather, carve out some time elsewhere. This way, no one will feel like they’re having to sacrifice or miss out on anything. Plus, figuring it out together turns this into something positive and fun, as you get to give each other exactly what you need.
Once your schedule is ready, try it out for a week and see if it works for both of you. If not, go back to the drawing board and try again.
Honor Your Personal Time
Establishing a schedule and respecting each other’s personal time and space creates a great foundation for your relationship. But learning how to honor it, day in, and day out, is how you nurture it.
If you agree to take Monday afternoons for yourselves, don’t guilt your partner if he wants to meet his friends or play an Xbox game. These are the situations you’re trying to avoid.
Don’t turn it into something it isn’t, and expect your partner to do the same. If a problem arises, sit down and talk it through. There’s no point in having the same fight over and over again.
Personal space is important for your health and wellbeing. Everyone needs to spend some time doing things he or she enjoys. Whether it’s going for a bike ride, taking a bath, reading a book, or watching your favorite movie for the 700th time, as long as it helps you de-stress and relax, it’s worth it.
For many people, when they’re in a relationship, they want to be with that person all the time. “Me time” often turns into “we” time. Maintaining your personal space can become a challenge, but it’s extremely important to do so. This is especially true now, as most of us are constantly running around, with little opportunity to stop and reset.
Once you and your partner decide on a schedule, enjoy your personal time. Don’t worry about what the other person is doing, how he or she might be feeling, or whether this was a good idea. (It was!)
Enjoy your massage, yoga class, audiobook, or trip to the movies. You’ll return home feeling relaxed and ready to spend some quality time with your partner once again.
With some honest communication, a lot of respect, and some understanding, you can once again enjoy some personal time—and your partner can, as well.