How to Gently Tell Your S.O. You Need Some Alone Time

Being in a relationship is, like, cool and all, but what if you're starting to feel a little suffocated by your S.O.?

It's not that your feelings have changed or that you're angry with them, it's just that you really want to buy a pint of ice cream, sit in your sweatpants and happily binge-watch old episodes of The Vampire Diaries without having to worry if they're entertained or not. That's a very specific example, but you get the point—sometimes you just want to be alone.

The problem is, how do you explain to your S.O. that your desire for a little peace and quiet doesn't reflect on who they are or how healthy your relationship is? We might be able to help.

Keep scrolling for our best tips on how to gently tell your S.O. you need some alone time.

Be Direct

Dropping hints and avoiding hangouts might seem like the best way to get your alone time without having to hurt your partner's feelings, but it's actually bound to be more painful in the long run. Dancing around the situation will come across as passive aggressive and dodgy, which will surely send your partner into an emotional tailspin while they try to figure out what they did wrong. The direct approach is always the way to go, as it allows you to have full control of the situation. You can state exactly what you want and why you want it, instead of leaving your actions up to your S.O.'s interpretation. It eliminates unnecessary worry, and it will probably be much more effective in actually getting the alone time you crave.

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina: Sabrina Spellman and Harvey Kinkle walking together

(Chilling Adventures of Sabrina via Netflix)


Explain Fully

Being direct in asking for time alone won't be effective unless you also explain your feelings. Tell your partner why you need some space and solitude. Some people are introverts who desperately need alone time to recharge their batteries. Other people just want some space to focus on their hobbies and explore their own interests. Whatever your reasoning might be, tell your S.O. If they really care about you, they'll be able to understand, and it will curb a lot of unnecessary worry on their end.


Watch Your Words

Asking for time alone in a relationship can easily be misconstrued as prepping your partner for a breakup, especially if you don't use the right language. Phrases like "I need some space," "I think we've been spending too much together" or "I need to take a step back" all imply that you're unhappy with the relationship, rather than hitting on what's really wrong—that you just need some time alone. Be sure to steer clear of those trigger words, and instead try to focus on yourself and what you gain out of solitude, instead of talking specifically about your relationship. It switches the conversation from relationship needs to personal needs, which is what you really want to be focusing on, anyway.

Lara Jean and Peter laying on the floor in her room in To All the Boys I've Loved Before

(To All the Boys I've Loved Before via Netflix)


Be Open to Compromise

Even though you've realized that you need space within your relationship, you shouldn't demand alone time without considering your partner's feelings. If they don't value solitude the same way you do, they're going to feel nervous and worried about your request, so you have to be open to compromise. Maybe you'd prefer to take an entire Saturday for yourself, but your S.O. really values the time you spend together on the weekends. Therefore, in the spirit of cooperation, you could plan to take most of the day for yourself and meet up with them for a fun activity in the evening.

Finding a way to meet in the middle of two opposing sides is crucial for the health of any relationship, so try to think of your latest request as just one more instance where you and your partner can work together to find a solution that meets both your needs.


Find the Balance

Asking for alone time isn't the end of the struggle—you still have to find the right balance between spending time with your partner and spending time by yourself. If your alone time starts to outweigh the time you spend with your S.O., you've probably slipped too far into the other end of the spectrum. There's no perfect measurement that decides how much time you should be taking for yourself, but try to remember that engaging with your partner is still incredibly important. You need to spend time together to expand and strengthen your relationship, so don't let your solitude interfere with the health of your romance.

Riverdale: Jughead and Betty prepare to go to school dance in the rain

(Riverdale via The CW)


Make Up for It

Relationships are all about give and take. If your partner is going to give you the space you desperately need, you should try to give them something in return. Take a whole day to lounge by yourself, but plan a cute date for you and your partner that night. Ignore their messages for a few hours, but tell them how much they mean to you when your self-care is over. Not only will these little actions help reassure your partner that your romance is still going strong, they're also a good way to work a little selflessness into your relationship and show that you can give just as much as you take.


Looking for more dating advice? Click HERE For five subtle signs the honeymoon phase of your relationship is coming to an end.