Give each other some space in your relationship can sound dramatic. It may sound like your relationship is struggling or you just can’t stand each other anymore, but that’s really not the case. Enjoying some alone time is a normal part of a healthy relationship.
I laugh when some women say that they don’t give their boyfriends and husbands space to enjoy themselves outside their relationships. These women don’t know that they are actually creating problems for themselves.
You had a life before you met this man and you think that suffocating him with your presence, disturbing him with unending calls and bombarding his phones with constant messages will keep him by your side for life? You are on a long thing.
And men who think that monitoring every movement their girlfriends and wives is the right thing to do are just giving themselves high blood pressure for nothing. If your woman wants to cheat on you or deceive you, she will do it effortlessly under your nose without you suspecting a thing.
Men and women in relationships need some space. They need time alone to rejuvenate and have fun. If couples learn to give each other space, they will become emotionally close.
And because they spend plenty of time together, creating intentional periods of space makes their relationship and marriage healthy. Spending time with your partner all the time may make your relationship boring and monotonous.
While it is important for couples to spend quality time together to strengthen their bond, it is equally important for them to spend time apart to do their own thing and enjoy some alone time. Giving your partner some space is key to a lasting relationship.
Giving your partner space helps you maintain your individuality. Some couples who drop their separate friends and separate interests become grumpy and bored in the long run. You don’t need to spend time away from the things you love just because you are in a relationship now. Doing that will create sudden loss of an identity that was very important to you.
There’s no need to lose that identity, whether you are just dating, in a long-term relationship, or married. By spending time apart and keeping up the things you love, you can still be the person you always were.
It is important for both partners to maintain a sense of independence outside of their relationship. By engaging in activities independent of each other, couples are better able to maintain their sense of self and bring diverse experiences to their relationship.
Another reason you must give your partner some space is that you must care for yourself to care for others. You simply cannot be a good caretaker to others, listening to their problems and engaging in their stories if you don’t take care of yourself first.
And you need alone time to care for yourself. Take time apart from your partner so you can do things like attend a yoga class, go for a quiet walk in nature, meditate, have drinks with friends, or just watch a movie you love that he or she doesn’t like.
You must nourish yourself if you are going to really participate in conversations about your partner’s life and problems. If you don’t care for yourself, you won’t really listen when your partner talks to you, and they will feel that.
Some bad moods just have to pass. Sometimes, people get into a bad mood. No one thing caused it, and no one thing will fix it except for the passing of time. You know it’s true. Sometimes you just need to be cranky for a while.
If you are insistent on being around your partner when he or she is cranky, they are bound to lash out at you. If you won’t take time alone when you are cranky, you will lash out at them too. You don’t need to see each other this way. It’s okay to sometimes say, “I’m in a bad mood. Can we just talk tomorrow?”
Remember that you fell in love with an individual—a person with his own friends, hobbies, passions, interests, and goals. You fell in love with a man or woman who had a life of his or her own, so you have to let them have their independent life as well.
If you become one of those couples attached at the hips, the individuality of each of you will cease to exist. The person you fell in love with will fade away. You need to give your partner space to continue to be the individual you fell for, as they do with you.
Couples should know that not all thoughts should be expressed. We all have thoughts that we aren’t proud of. When left alone, they come and go. We have things we worry about that we shouldn’t worry about. We have nasty thoughts that aren’t very nice. We don’t entertain or express them all.
If you are never away from your partner, then they will want to know what’s on your mind any time you get a weird look on your face. You probably were thinking one of those thoughts that don’t need to be expressed.
But if you say nothing is wrong, they may feel like you are hiding something. And if you are honest, you can get into a silly fight over something you didn’t even want to say. It is important for couples to take time apart when they are in weird head space and this just doesn’t happen.
Yearning after your partner is an important part of keeping that excitement alive for years to come. A tiny bit of inaccessibility, sometimes, is important to missing and craving your partner. And there can be none if you’re always together.
If you are always together, you won’t give yourselves the chance to miss each other. You may even begin to take one another for granted, and not be as loving as you would like to be.
Part of the reasons couples are good to each other is that they want to make sure they keep each other. But, if there is no worry over that because you are literally always together, those acts of kindness can die off.
Couples should give each other some space because some emotional growth that can only happen when they are away from their partners. Doing things like traveling alone or with friends lets you reconnect to yourself, to reflect, and to grow. You can only do that when you are free of worrying about the happiness and needs of your partner.
Without spending some alone time, you will feel stifled. If you don’t take time apart, and do things like travel separately, hang out with friends and spend some time taking care of yourself, your personal growth may become stifled, and then you will feel it’s your partner’s fault.
You don’t have to schedule designated times for alone time. You don’t need to make a big deal about it. You can simply cultivate an environment that feels safe to ask for alone time, knowing it won’t cause a fight as doing this will be very healthy for your relationship.
Re: How parents can protect their children from sexual abuse
I tell you, rapists are beasts. It’s not even about indecent dressing or dressing conservatively. My baby sister was fingered when she was five years old. I was molested at church by pastor’s son. A baby of few months died because of taking in so much sperm from a rapist and she was fingered too by a neighbor who her mum asked to look after her. So people should stop saying it is because of indecent dressing because most of the victims are not even adults or teenagers, most of them are girls, some even babies. Please parents and elder sisters should educate their younger ones from a young age about the antics of rapists and pedophiles. I support that all rapists should be prosecuted.
I am not surprised that some Nigerian men are supporting rapists and blaming victims of these animals. Who are these rapists? Are they not all around us pretending to be good men? The ones who sent you those messages blaming indecent dressing for rape are closet rapists themselves. They are just afraid that their victims might start speaking up. I agree with everything you outlined in your column. Keep on standing on the side of truth. You are liberating many women with eye opening articles. Thank you, Kate.
–Mrs. Lawal, Abuja
Kate, I have so much respect for your articles. You spend time explaining your readers’ reactions. I don’t encourage rape but your suggestion as the way forward is not the solution. Arresting and punishing rapists is not the answer. Our ladies should dress with respect. You suggested sex education for children and that is good, but what of ladies that expose their breasts and laps? Ladies that go half naked should be blamed for the increase in rape cases.
–Fr. James Ekpeh, Lagos
Kate, no matter how your habitual critics may react, sex education by parents as you suggested will certainly contribute towards rape reduction in our sex crazy society today. In fact, complacency or considering it a taboo should not be encouraged. If parents don’t work hard towards the protection and good upbringing of their children, sex maniacs, predators and perverts around them and on social media etc are readily out there to destroy the lives of innocent children. Mass enlightenment and criminalization of rape are also other imperatives that we need to urgently put in place.
– Chioma Papa
Kate, the frustrated old maid who keeps painting Nigerian men black because they refused to marry her, what do you know about the sufferings of rape victims? You are just a bitter old maid who is using her column to destroy good relationships. If you are a victim of rape, seek professional help instead transferring your aggression on innocent men who don’t even know you exist.
Kate, thank you for lending your voice to this important subject. Considering everything you wrote in your column last week, I will also add that parents need to continue pray for their children and dispatch angels to protect them from these sexual predators. I believe that prayers work too. Don’t stop writing. I am your fan.