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Independent Gal

Ideal_Rock
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As I just posted in LiW, I just returned from a long trip visiting family with M. Due to some complications of timing, I stayed at his place for a week or so on either end of that too. That meant that we spent the better part of a month together pretty much 24 hours a day. He was over at my place this afternoon and I said ''Hey! I need some time on my own!'' and he pouted a little. But I REALLY feel like I need a day or two alone. Or three.

So, my question is this: Is ''needing space'' a bad sign? Or does everyone feel like this, even when they''re really in love? I''ve always needed to be alone a lot and really enjoyed my time alone, but thought that maybe that would be different with someone I''d want to spend the rest of my life with.
 

poptart

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Well... your name on this forum IS Independent gal, so it seems kind of obvious to me that you like to spend some time to yourself, which is completely normal. I think it just depends on the type of person you are. DH and I really don''t mind being alone, but we are weird and like to be alone only when we are in the same house... so kind of like we don''t like to be apart, if that makes sense. I will do something in the kitchen by myself and he will do something in the living room by himself, but technically we''re still together. But it''s completely normal to want some space and time alone, and even when you love someone deeply, there are times when you just want to be left alone for a bit. Now if you wanted to be alone because you couldn''t stand M anymore, then THAT would be an issue you might want to address. But after spending almost a month together for 24 hours a day it seems normal that you''d want some YOU time.

*M*
 

firebirdgold

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How much space did you have? Were you usually in the same room together? Did you ever have a chance to read or do something else by yourself in another room? How good are you guys at being companionable? You know, each doing their own thing but in proximity to each other.

I don''t think any couple could stand being together all the time. For instance, DH gets twitchy before travel and the last time he went on a business trip he asked me to go to bed early so he could be totally by himself downstairs. Both of us enjoys a little quiet time in another room sometimes. Everyone needs a little space, but I can''t imagine anyone I''d rather spend time with than my DH.
 

Fancy605

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I am definately the type who needs my time with no one else around. I love being around people, but every once in a while enough is enough and I want to be alone and maybe have a chance to read, sit around and watch America''s Next Top Model marathons, organize my socks, whatever (with no one hovering around).

Luckily my Fiance is pretty much the same way. I figure there will be times when we''re married when I go stay with friends/family just so he can have some time to himself and vice versa.

So, I think it''s perfectly normal, and not a bad sign at all. If anything, it''s a good sign that you were able to hang around him for a solid MONTH without going nuts.
 

curlygirl

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I think it''s totally normal. My DH is away this weekend and I have to say, it''s been great! I love him to pieces but I was really happy to have a few days to myself. I''m also 34 weeks pregnant so my nesting instincts are kicking in so it was good to be able to be at home cleaning and organizing things without having him hover over me. I got to eat cereal for dinner, watched what I wanted to on tv, went to sleep early. Don''t get me wrong, I''ll be super happy when he gets home tomorrow but it''s always nice for us independent chicks to have some time to ourselves. You''re not alone!!
 

Independent Gal

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Thanks ladies. It's good to get different perspectives. We spent some time doing things in other rooms but both in the same house, but mostly we were together the whole time. And M can't get enough and never seems to need time on his own. I joked with him that he should be enjoying his last months of freedom if we're going to get engaged and move in together and he put on his cutest most mournful face and said 'Freedom? No! No! It's Loneliness!' Poor cutie. But to me, it's freedom.

Curlygirl: those are EXACTLY the kinds of things I was looking forward to... organizing my closet, fixing a few things around the house, and now I've got half an eye on PS, and half an eye on 'Star Wars: Attack of the Clones'. Plus, I'm eating a big delicious SALAD for dinner (M is a super-carnivore) and what's even better, I'm eating it with my fingers! I don't know why, but to me, salad always tastes better when I eat it with my fingers. Weird, eh?
 

Kaleigh

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It''s totally normal IMHO. We have been married for 20 years and yes I need my alone time. At first when DH traveled a lot it kind of bugged me, but got used to it over time. Then there are times when I know he is going away and I can do stuff I want on my own, and think woohoo, a week to myself. But am always happy to have him come home. We have a nice balance.
 

poptart

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Date: 3/25/2007 8:07:44 PM
Author: Independent Gal
Thanks ladies. It''s good to get different perspectives. We spent some time doing things in other rooms but both in the same house, but mostly we were together the whole time. And M can''t get enough and never seems to need time on his own. I joked with him that he should be enjoying his last months of freedom if we''re going to get engaged and move in together and he put on his cutest most mournful face and said ''Freedom? No! No! It''s Loneliness!'' Poor cutie. But to me, it''s freedom.


Curlygirl: those are EXACTLY the kinds of things I was looking forward to... organizing my closet, fixing a few things around the house, and now I''ve got half an eye on PS, and half an eye on ''Star Wars: Attack of the Clones''. Plus, I''m eating a big delicious SALAD for dinner (M is a super-carnivore) and what''s even better, I''m eating it with my fingers! I don''t know why, but to me, salad always tastes better when I eat it with my fingers. Weird, eh?
Haha, your BF sounds just like me and DH, haha. But some people are more independent than others, and that needs to be respected. Just make sure M understands that it''s not you trying to get away from him or something. Once you move in together, might I suggest you having a separate room that is JUST yours, so you can have alone time whenever you need it, without it seeming like you are trying to get away, lol.

*M*
 

Independent Gal

Ideal_Rock
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Hey Poptart, that''s a great idea. And in fact, it''s SUCH a great idea that M (darling that he is) thought of it too. When we first talked about marriage and moving in together he said ''You should always have your own room in a house that we share, in case you feel like a hedgehog and want time to yourself.'' He still pouts, but I think he understands.

Now if only we could move somewhere where we could AFFORD an extra room.
 

poptart

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Date: 3/25/2007 8:19:40 PM
Author: Independent Gal
Hey Poptart, that''s a great idea. And in fact, it''s SUCH a great idea that M (darling that he is) thought of it too. When we first talked about marriage and moving in together he said ''You should always have your own room in a house that we share, in case you feel like a hedgehog and want time to yourself.'' He still pouts, but I think he understands.


Now if only we could move somewhere where we could AFFORD an extra room.
Well, if you could move somewhere that had a big living room, perhaps you could section part of it off with one of those pretty screens (love those!) or something, and it would at least KIND of be like your own room... until you are able to afford a place with the extra room. Or maybe just tell him that when you get home every night you need X amount of time to yourself and once you''ve had that time you are all his... but it sounds like although he doesn''t really understand it, he''s respecting your needs, and that''s what''s most important.

*M*
 

Moosejaw

Shiny_Rock
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Needing space is a bad sign. Especially if you are asking the question.
 

Gypsy

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DF was gone for a week this month and it was lovely. I realized that it had been the longest I''ve ever been alone since we met moved in together... eight years ago.

I got to do what I wanted, when I wanted, and how I wanted. And there was silence. Real silence.

I''m glad he''s back now though.


Nothing wrong with it. IMO.
 

neatfreak

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Needing space in and of itself is certainly not a bad sign as long as it is needing alone time and NOT screaming "Get me away from him!". I agree with many others here and I also love a few hours alone. BF and I live in a teeeeensy apartment, so when we are home, we''re together. I am so happy to be moving to a bigger place soon that will allow us both to have our private nooks to spend some alone time in.

BUT...if you''re asking and are genuinely concerned, that is another thing. If you are just asking because you were curious if others felt the same way, I assure you that you are normal! I wouldn''t worry about it unless you are constantly thinking that you want to get away or you aren''t enjoying time together anymore.
 

Mara

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I think it's totally normal to need your own space! We are born alone and many times we die alone...I think it's important for people to be 'okay' with being alone sometimes and maybe even learn to appreciate it. The people we choose to surround ourselves with, we are lucky to have them but in no way do I think that I can spend 24/7 all the time with anyone! Even my beloved husband. Both of us like our own space sometimes...even if it's just an hour in the car on the way to and from work or whatever. Greg takes boy ski trips with his friends once a year and I go to dinner with my girlfriends or go into another state for a weekend to visit girlfriends or whatever. It really makes you appreciate having the other around when you do have spaces of time when you are able to be alone. Once a week Greg has a late night rehearsal and I love watching my crap TV and reality shows and eating something bad for me or making my own dinner of cereal or eggs or whatever because it's just about 'me' and not 'us' all the time.

Overall I would say that needing space, especially after a really long intense period of time together like travel or similar is totally normal and does not bode ill for either of you. Actually when we were first dating, after a year we ended up inadvertently living together for a month at his place while mine was being remodeled. It was kind of a make it or break it time for us...we ended up taking a break after that because it was TOO intense and we just weren't ready but didn't know it at the time, but then after some time apart...we realized we really wanted to be together and a year and a half later we were living together and engaged.That was 6 years ago and we have been married for 3 now. So I don't think it's an all or nothing kinda thing. You can adore someone and love them and not need to be with them all the time OR relish having alone time in my opinion. And sometimes it's more of a gradual thing...you may need to do shorter bouts of time together 24/7 so you can work out your own issues and figure out how to best make your two lives 'mesh' together in the best way.
 

justjulia

Ideal_Rock
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I think it''s healthy that you are talking about it openly with each other. Dh and I have been married over 20 years, and what helps is his commute. No kidding. he commutes an hour into the city and that gives a) me time to be home earlier and doodle around as I please and b) him time to do a book on tape or meditate or whatever in the car by himself on the way home. Then, we always feel better when the weather gets warmer and we get out in the yard and work on our independent projects and are not cooped up inside. You tend to work out the kinks as you live longer together. Keep a lively sense of humor.
 

Independent Gal

Ideal_Rock
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It''s a relief to hear that this seems to be normal! It definitely wasn''t a ''thank heavens I can get away from him!'' type needing to be alone. Much more a deep breath, unwind, eat salad with my fingers and watch bad movies kind of thing. And sleep in the middle of the bed type thing too.

I guess I asked because some of my friends say ''I could spend every minute with him / her for the rest of my life!'' as does M himself. And I just don''t feel that way. But I suspect I would never feel that way about anyone and it sounds like that''s not uncommon. Phew! I love M but I love being alone too.

Luckily, we do have amazing communication. I always feel I can tell him what I''m thinking or feeling and he does too, and we try to listen, understand, and respond. So, I think we''re doing OK!
 

Skippy123

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Okay, when my hubby and I first got married it was hard for me because he loves alone time. I realized I wasn''t okay being alone. He got me reading books and I realized we don''t always have to talk none stop. It took a while to get use to it, but now I crave it. I think the more people are comfortable with themselves the easier it is for them to be alone, but that is only my opinion.
 

onedrop

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Alone time is a good thing...at least it is in our house. FI and are both the type that need time to think and clear our heads and sometimes just do nothing. It was something we talked a lot about before we moved in together because we both cherish solo time. I haven't had as much alone time as I'd like since we started co-habitating, but I carve out my time! And surprisingly, I find I don't need to be apart from him as much as I thought I would.
 

firebirdgold

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Date: 3/25/2007 8:19:40 PM
Author: Independent Gal
Hey Poptart, that''s a great idea. And in fact, it''s SUCH a great idea that M (darling that he is) thought of it too. When we first talked about marriage and moving in together he said ''You should always have your own room in a house that we share, in case you feel like a hedgehog and want time to yourself.'' He still pouts, but I think he understands.

ROFLMA
I''m laughing so hard I''m crying! My DH can be such a hedgehog! Don''t poke the hedgehog and it''ll eventually uncurl and you can pet it again.
He has his ''fortress of solitude'' in his office.
Besides after living together for awhile and now being married, his hedgehog-ness is diminishing around me. It''ll probably happen with the two of you.

The thing is, when you''re married and living together you are together all the time. Sure needing a little alone time every now and then is totally normal. However I seem to remember that this is still a somewhat new relationship. Needing 2 or 3 days alone might not be such a good sign. I remember dropping an old live-in bf off at the airport and feeling relieved. That was not a good sign. Hopefully this isn''t a similar situation.
 

diamondseeker2006

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Over time I think most couples become less clingy, or at least I hope so because it would spell trouble if they don''t! We work apart all day, spend a little time together around dinner, and then we each kind of do our own thing...he watches TV and plays on ebay or in his workshop outside, and I go in the other room and read and play on my computer, etc. Neither of us is extremely dependent on the other for entertainment, yet we get along well and rarely fight. I think that may be because we each have our own interests! Even if we were together 24/7 as we would be on vacation, we''d each do what we wanted a good deal of the time, but go out to dinner together, sit by the pool some, etc.
 

aljdewey

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Date: 3/25/2007 8:44:24 PM
Author: Moosejaw
Needing space is a bad sign. Especially if you are asking the question.
Emphatically disagree with this.

Needing space is not a bad sign, in my opinion. Being joined at the hip 24/7 is a much more telling recipe for discord.

Asking the question, by the way, is normal, too.
Some people need less ''alone'' time; others more. It''s natural to wonder if you''re the anomaly, and the way to find out is to ask.
 

justjulia

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Date: 3/25/2007 10:07:44 PM
Author: Independent Gal
It''s a relief to hear that this seems to be normal! It definitely wasn''t a ''thank heavens I can get away from him!'' type needing to be alone. Much more a deep breath, unwind, eat salad with my fingers and watch bad movies kind of thing. And sleep in the middle of the bed type thing too.

I guess I asked because some of my friends say ''I could spend every minute with him / her for the rest of my life!'' as does M himself. And I just don''t feel that way. But I suspect I would never feel that way about anyone and it sounds like that''s not uncommon. Phew! I love M but I love being alone too.

Luckily, we do have amazing communication. I always feel I can tell him what I''m thinking or feeling and he does too, and we try to listen, understand, and respond. So, I think we''re doing OK!
LOL, you sound just like me when we were engaged. I broke down and told him that I needed my time because I didn''t want him to see me do things like clip my toenails or hear conversations with my best friend. He was a little confused about that at the time, but boy have we changed! Eventually having children changed a lot in terms of personal space and down time. Our guards dropped and we allowed for things like speghetti stuck to the walls, walking IN to the bathroom to deliver a new roll of tp, etc. The key is a bigger bed (lol). You sound normal to me!
 
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