How To Tell Your Partner You Need Time To Yourself Without Hurting Them

The pandemic has forced us all to spend more time with our loved ones. Whether we are working from home or still hesitant to go out into the public arena with big crowds, we've seen a lot of our family over these last two years. This fact has many people seeking a bit more alone time — and that's a good thing. Time alone with yourself has tons of benefits, including helping with empathy, creativity, and productivity, according to Forbes. Being cooped up with the same person for an extended time could make us irritable and desiring a Netflix show on our own or a night out of the house by ourselves. On the other hand, if your partner has a love language of quality time or doesn't seem to be bothered by how much together time you're having, it could come as a shock to them that you are needing some time by yourself.


You may be wondering how to break this news without being rude or offending your significant other. The good news is that desiring more time alone is a completely normal request. There are ways to tell your partner you need time by yourself without hurting them.

How to ease their worries

If you are feeling overwhelmed with the amount of time you are spending with your partner, you are not alone. It's completely natural (and actually healthy) to want alone time. It's quite normal to lose yourself in a partnership. You become invested in your significant other's interests and stop paying attention to your own (via MindBodyGreen). To prevent this, expressing the need for alone time to your partner is actually a great idea for a long-lasting, healthy relationship. Just make sure you're clear about what you need. Most people who desire a little alone time are not talking about a big, long break or a hall pass; it simply means you need to regroup so you can be your best self.


If your partner is one who might have anxiety about this or question how much you care about them, be specific about what alone time looks like for you. Maybe you need to physically leave your shared space for a bit to collect yourself. Perhaps all you are looking for is some time with a Netflix series you want to watch on your own. No matter what this looks like for you, let your partner know what you're thinking specifically. Better Help even encourages suggesting they do the same. Being specific will make it so they will be less likely to feel rejected or cast aside.

Make coming back together a great experience

When you leave for your alone time, think about coming home in a creative way. You'll probably be recharged from an afternoon or evening of filling up your empty cup, so bring them flowers, dinner, or good conversation. Let them know how much you appreciate them listening to your needs and respecting the boundaries you need to feel safe and loved – Psychology Today points out the importance of boundaries in all relationship types, including marriage. By making homecoming special, you'll let them know in more ways than one how much you appreciate them listening to you and honoring your request. If your partner continues to struggle with allowing you the requested space, it may be a sign of an unresolved issue in your relationship. Good Therapy also says that those issues could cause you to look for time away as an escape. If this is the case, couples counseling may be a viable option to sort things out with a third party.


If you find yourself being irritable with your partner or wishing you had a moment alone, it's a good idea to express your feelings. By explaining what that looks like for you and being specific about your plans, you can put their worries at ease. In addition, by returning home refreshed, thankful, and recharged, you can reinforce your gratitude for their understanding and help them see how you can both grow in your relationship.