Spending Time on Your Own Makes You a Better Partner
You must embrace your core self before inviting others to love you.
Posted November 6, 2014
Introvert or Extrovert?
Whether you consider yourself an introvert or an extrovert, true well-being comes easier when you find yourself to be good enough company for yourself. While many of us might initially assume that being introverted means approximately the same thing as being “shy,” or that all “extroverts” have never met a stranger, there is actually a distinct difference between the introvert-extrovert scale and the measure of a person’s level of social ease among others. In fact, many extroverts are actually somewhat shy! Extroversion is about how you process information or how you best make decisions. When it is time to make a big decision, do you tend to “talk it out” with others – involved or not – or do you always feel the need to “think through things” before making a decision? This is probably one of the best and most simple barometers of where you, personally, fall on the introvert-extrovert scale.
Why do we need to be Alone?
So, regardless of whether you address problem-solving in different manners, with or without an audience, all of us still need to have a space and place in our lives where we be still, be alone, and be in communion with ourselves. It may also be true that our actions speak louder than words, but it is in that still place in life that we are best able to actually reflect on our actions, to sense and explore the consequences of our actions, and to acknowledge any discomfort or disappointment in ourselves as a result of our actions. Being alone with our thoughts, being open to our feelings, and being honest with ourselves can only happen when we create the space for these experiences.
"But I Want to Spend Every Waking Moment with my Beloved!"
When many people fall in love, they find that the company of a beloved may have the same pull as any other addictive substance! Spending every moment possible with your significant other or just your new flame can become your major objective and merging your sense of identity into a couple’s identity is pretty normal behavior at the start of a well-developing relationship. However, without providing yourself with the time to be alone with your thoughts, your feelings, your sense of personal, not merged, identity, you may lose an opportunity to explore and assess your satisfaction with how this new identity is developing.
Over the Long Haul, Togetherness endures where Separateness Can Exist
Research indicates that relationships in which individuals feel free to take time to explore their own interests, enjoy times of solitude and aloneness, and enjoy a sense of separation while still connected enhances the satisfaction and longevity of a relationship. As humans, we all struggle with the separation-connection continuum – we all need to feel a sense of belonging, to our romantic relationship, our family, our community, our metaphorical tribe. However, without taking the time necessary to explore and treasure our own individuality and sense of agency and sense of self, we bring less to any other relationships than we might.
Making time to be on your own within the safety net of community allows for both personal and relational growth that always being “one of the herd” might never allow.