Skip to main content
Tags: codependence | individuality | separation
OPINION

What Does It Mean When Your Partner Suddenly Needs Space?

What Does It Mean When Your Partner Suddenly Needs Space?
(Adonis 1969/Dreamstime.com)

Wendy L. Patrick By Friday, 05 May 2023 05:58 AM EDT Current | Bio | Archive

The significance of wanting to spend time solo

Healthy couples are better together.

But as pandemic lockdowns proved, that doesn’t mean all of the time.

Most couples recognize the value of enjoying treasured time together while also maintaining individuality and avoiding codependence.

But when one-half of a union suddenly wants to spend time solo, what does it mean?

One preliminary question is whether the desire to part company was prompted by conflict.

Withstanding Withdrawal

Eri Sasaki and Nickola Overall (2021) investigated the impact of a partner’s withdrawal on behavior and relationship satisfaction.

They began by recognizing that whether or not hostile or critical behavior damages relationships depends on a partner’s response.

They found that within relationships, partner withdrawal in response to destructive behavior signals partner unresponsiveness when individuals are "at their worst," and undermines relational satisfaction.

But many partners express a desire to have more time to themselves without being provoked by any type of conflict or disagreement.

What sudden withdrawal means in this scenario depends on what your partner wants to do.

Suddenly Solo in Social Settings

You may feel particularly threatened when your significant other seeks to spend time not alone, but with others — just without you.

Does this mean your partner is looking to meet your replacement?

It depends.

When your partner wants to socialize without you it’s important to figure out why, where, when, and with whom.

Working the room at a networking event passing out business cards is different than passing the time at a local dive bar.

But many partners are not seeking to meet new contacts, personally or professionally.

Consider the explanations and potential relational benefits of a partner who expresses a desire to become suddenly solo not to socialize, but to focus on faith, fitness, or family.

Solo Self-Improvement

Changing life circumstances prompt changing habits.

This is true with respect to practicing everything from faith to fitness.

Healthy self-improvement activities do not threaten relationships unless focus becomes fixation. Someone who suddenly spends all of his time at the gym or booking extreme sports ventures without his partner may be demonstrating a desire to fly solo.

On the other hand, wanting to grow and improve as an individual, mentally, physically, or spiritually, often benefits a relationship.

Focus on the Family

Especially in a new romance, a partner’s desire to reconnect with family, especially if they live out of state, may involve making plans that don’t include you.

Unless you are serious enough to be discussing heading down the altar, this temporary separation should not be relationship-threatening.

A sudden "family first" philosophy can stem from an illness or health scare suffered by one of your partner’s family members; this is especially true if you are dating someone with children from a past relationship.

Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

In most cases, a temporary separation does not signal relational dissolution.

Consider it an opportunity to reflect on the positive qualities that drew you and your partner together in the first place, take advantage of the opportunity to enjoy your own space, and prepare for a happy reunion.

This article was originally published in Psychology Today, and is used with the permission of the author.

Wendy L. Patrick, JD, MDiv, Ph.D., is an award-winning career trial attorney and media commentator. She is host of "Live with Dr. Wendy" on KCBQ, and a daily guest on other media outlets, delivering a lively mix of flash, substance, and style. Read Dr. Wendy L. Patrick's Reports — More Here.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


WendyLPatrick
In most cases, a temporary separation does not signal relational dissolution. Consider it an opportunity to reflect on the positive qualities that drew you and your partner together in the first place, prepare for a happy reunion.
codependence, individuality, separation
582
2023-58-05
Friday, 05 May 2023 05:58 AM
Newsmax Media, Inc.

Sign up for Newsmax’s Daily Newsletter

Receive breaking news and original analysis - sent right to your inbox.

(Optional for Local News)
Privacy: We never share your email address.
Join the Newsmax Community
Read and Post Comments
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
 
TOP

Interest-Based Advertising | Do not sell or share my personal information

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved
Download the NewsmaxTV App
Get the NewsmaxTV App for iOS Get the NewsmaxTV App for Android Scan QR code to get the NewsmaxTV App
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved