“Leave my partner alone? What the hell does that even mean? What the actual hell has gotten into you, NLv? Why in the world should I leave my beautiful, loving, adorable partner alone?”
— to show them how much I love and care for them? to show them I trust and cherish them and want them to be as moderately self-sufficient and independent as possible? to focus on my own self and improve myself in the process so that we can have an even healthier relationship?
Oh look, we got the why out of the way already. Bravo.
Now when we say leave your partner alone of course we don’t mean you should blatantly break things off with them out of the blue. We mean that it is of great advantage for you and your partner if you were to learn and master that great art which has kept relationships strengthened and unbreakable since the beginning of time: The Great Art of Space.
The What Now?
Is there even any sense to it? Leave my partner alone when all I want to do is be with them and cuddle them and show them just how much I love them and how much they mean the world to me? Isn’t this the most twisted and screwed up ideology ever? Leave my partner alone? yeah right.
And then you scoff. But before you make your final walk-away all we ask is that you hear us out for a few.
See, it’s perfectly normal to think this way. After all isn’t the point of being in a relationship the joy of companionship? Isn’t the actual obvious point of being together with someone the being together part?
Of course. But you see, life isn’t all one-directional, and this, in fact, is the beauty of it. Yes, companionship is essential in a relationship; might even be the entire reason you’re in it. But one of the greatest ironies of life is that having too much of everything you want, is actually quite bad for you.
Yes, we all need companionship. Yes we all want to be with our partners all the time. But doing that every single minute of every single day can get very tiring and worrisome, because pleasure palls.
No matter how sweet an endeavor is, doing it time after time without break has a way of scraping off the joy in it, bit by bit till we find out in a shocking moment of revelation: the magic is all gone.
Preserving the Magic
It’s hard to look your partner in the eye and tell them you need space without mincing words. You think of the implications: what if they think this means I’m not invested in the relationship? What if they think I meant to say they’re boring? What if they think this means I don’t love them enough even though I do so much?
So we make up excuses and take impromptu make-believe trips, which of course, leads to suspicions and rifts in the relationship.
And then again, even if somehow we find it easy to unequivocally tell our partners we need to be alone, sometimes we don’t feel this need as a crystal clear urge, which means it is indeed possible that there might be a need for space in the relationship but neither of the partners know it yet.
Which, then, necessitates that all parties in a relationship should learn the great art of space; the great art of knowing when to leave your partner alone and how.
Again on the topic of whether or not it really does make sense to leave your partner alone as a means of solidifying relationship bonds, another answer lies in the unity of opposites.
Sometimes to arrive at a solution, you must move away from the question. It sounds like some complicated Zen exercise but you don’t have to be a Buddhist monk to master this one.
To bring your relationship closer, sometimes the thing to do is step away for a while. Leave room for both of your souls to yearn for each other. Leave room for them to miss you and you to miss them.
Without these occasional longings, the relationship is as good as dead and even more extreme measures might be needed to bring it back to life.
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When You Need It
1. Mild Tension
So when do you need to leave your partner alone?
Well first of all you know you need space when things start to get mildly tense between you and your partner.
Perhaps you both have started to react to things more violently than before. Little things irritate you more than they used to and you find you can’t help cursing at the slightest thing.
Of course at this stage it’s all mild and you both apologize when it happens, or forget it and never let it escalate. But at that time is the best time to take that break and get away for a few days.
Relax. Breathe in fresh air. Watch the birds in the sky and sip aome margaritas. It works wonders.
2. Pretty Low Tension
Another time you need to take a break is when there is nothing happening at all. You’re both lethargic and drag out even the most enthusiastic of chores.
Conversations are active, but doesn’t quite flow as much as they used to. You know then that it is time for you to practice your knowledge of the great art. Leave your partner alone.
Another time you should leave your partner alone is when you feel extremely disconnected from the life around you; from the life apart from you.
Being madly in love sometimes also means being blindly in love. Which is great, to an extent. You get to get engrossed in you — in your own happiness and your own feelings and everything else cease to matter.
But sometimes it does get too much. You get too blind of the outside world, and even of yourself. During this time you should take the time to get away and enjoy the world. See the life out there and even reflect and work on your own self without being hedonistically engrossed in it.
When You Need it Badly
1. Really High Tension
This is when the tension has gotten to an almost unhealthy level. There is yelling and there is probably throwing. Now is the time to get on your own as fast as possible without packing a ounce of belongings.
2. Really Low Tension
This is when the conversations stop altogether. You seemingly run out of things to talk about and the conversations stop after the greetings.
Don’t panic, there’s nothing irrevocably wrong with your relationship. It doesn’t necessarily mean you’re incompatible or falling out of love. Maybe all you need is a little space. Take a few days or even weeks if necessary. The relationship will emerge like a new born with fresh life.
When You Don’t Need It
When You’re Scared
We had to bring this up because there are certain times when we convince ourselves of the need for space when really what we’re doing is running away because of our fears, among which are:
The Fear of Commitment: where we’re scared of what happens if we stay; where we’re afraid we’re not ready; that we’re only going to screw things up should we continue, because that’s what happens. We fear that if it all goes south we’d have missed out on a lot. So we don’t.
Another is the Fear of Getting Hurt, where we’re scared we’re falling more deeply in love than we planned. It’s happened before and we ended up getting hurt but we don’t want it to happen again.
And then the The Fear of Losing the Spark, where we think we’re getting too close with our partners and the relationship is about to become vapid. Even though there’s no evidence to support it, we believe the spark might soon go out and it’s just so beautiful we seriously don’t want it to leave, and we’d do anything to keep it, including leave ourselves.
So because of any of this, we decide to go away, which is not necessarily the best way to go.
Most times our fears are just obstacles in the way of our happiness. Yes, what if we fail, but what if — oh what if — we succeed and things do end up beautifully?
What if there was nothing to be scared of in the first place. What if the joy really is as beautiful as they say and we don’t get to experience it? The joy that you deserve. So why not face your fears and just go for it!?
How to Do it and How to Overdo It
The way to get an alone time might be tricky and dependent upon your partner. Like we said some of us are cool with it while some of us might consider it a bruise on our egos.
For most, however, a shrewd explanation of the need to get away and catch up with other aspects of life might be enough. In the cases where it isn’t, you might need to get more innovative.
The only caveat is to not lie or go about it in a suspicious manner. You will still be telling the truth about getting away for your personal space, you’d just have to be more innovative and persuasive about that.
How hard could that be right?
Another related caveat is to not go away for years in the name of personal space. You may be surprised there’s nobody to come back to.
Also, do not go on exotic trips with funds you don’t have, or cheat or do things your partners wouldn’t approve of — all for personal space. These are all HOW TO OVERDO it.
Congratulations, if you have read this article in its entirety, you are now a Zen master in The Great Art of Space. Now go out there and make your relationship kick-ass again!
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