Your partner's once soothing humming has now become the incessant sound of nails on a chalkboard.

People covering their ears while boy says

How you can tell your partner you need space in a healthy way?

Keep In Mind

Needing space isn't necessarily a signal that there's any problem with the relationship!

Everyone needs some "me time" from time to time.

Cat in a bathtub with text that reads

But telling someone you want to spend less time with them can make them feel hurt.

It's not your fault for needing space. Likewise, if your partners has feelings when you ask for space, that isn't their fault either.

Take Some Time To Think About It

Examine your feelings.

Try to put what you've been feeling into words.

Consider your needs, but also remember that you want to minimize the hurt your partner might feel.

Boy contemplating deeply

Do:

  • Take ownership of how you feel

  • Think about how to say what you feel in a respectful way

Don't:

  • Avoid or minimize how you really feel

  • Lash out at your partner or yourself

Choose The Right Time

Guy giving a thumbs up

Bring it up...

  • when you have time to talk

  • when you're both relaxed and open

Guying giving a thumbs down

Don't bring it up...

  • right before a stressful event

  • right before bed or going out

Use "I" Language Instead Of "You" Language

Tell your partner how you've been feeling.

Be direct and clear.

Avoid accusing them or blaming them for how you feel.

Woman saying

I've been feeling tense and impatient lately and realized I haven't been spending much time on my own to recenter. I love spending time with you, and in order for me to be my best self with you, I'm going to start blocking off one day a week for "me time."

Quiz

Maria and her partner both work from home. She wants to tell him that she needs space because his presence can sometimes be distracting or overwhelming. What are the best ways for her to explain this to him?

"I feel like I need more me time."

"You always distract me."

"You're driving me crazy."

"I need some space to concentrate."

Come Up With A Solution

Talk it through with your partner and see how they feel.

Come up with a practical way for you to get more space in the relationship.

Couple talking with eachother

For example, you could:

  • Make a certain day each week a "me day"

  • Agree to set times as "alone hours"

  • Take breaks from each other to recharge

Take Action

Guy saying

The next time you need to tell your partner you need space:

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This Byte has been authored by

PB

Paul Borkowski

Helping to make learning easy, accessible, and fun