Stop Feeling Guilty About ‘Me Time’

UPDATED: May 21, 2024
PUBLISHED: July 15, 2014

Remember this the next time you need a relationship escape. No matter how great a relationship, it is still crucial for partners to take time for themselves. There is simply no way that a man or a woman can fulfill all of their partner’s needs; it’s just impossible to do.

Too often people give up a favorite pastime in the beginning of a relationship in order to devote more time and energy to making the relationship work. But what happens down the road when one or both partners realize that they are terribly out of balance and not taking that crucial time for themselves? Relationship stress, miscommunication or worse: resentment.

There is absolutely no need to feel guilty about spending time alone. Independence—and that quality relaxation—is good for men and women, no matter how close their connection.

While not every man and woman falls into these characteristics I’ve observed, I have found when one partner actively takes some alone time, the other usually feels encouraged to do the same. Here are ways men and women can take time for themselves in a healthy fashion:

What Men Need:

Men occasionally need to pull away. Remember, men are like rubber bands. It is his natural cycle to get close, pull away and get close again. It is important for men to feel their independence. Men automatically alternate between needing intimacy and autonomy. Give a man his space and he will be a better, more attentive partner. When a man gets too close and doesn’t pull away, he often experiences more moodiness, irritability, passivity and defensiveness.

When a man is in his “cave,” he wants to be left alone. He’s working out his problems and frustrations by doing something alone, like reading the paper or watching TV, or doing something active with his male friends.

And why not coordinate “me” times? Men are happy when their partner does something fun for themselves—it means that she isn’t sitting around waiting for him to come out of the cave. After both taking alone time, he will come out ready to talk and be intimate again, and she will have curbed any frustrations by being good to herself.

What Women Need:

It’s good for a woman’s self-esteem to take care of herself—to let go and have some fun. Always putting others first, she needs to enjoy time alone—to treat herself to a shopping spree, time in the garden, a class at the gym, the simple pleasure of soaking in a hot bath—or whatever infuses relaxation and balance into her busy schedule.

It is especially important for a woman to cultivate relationships with other women. Women need to talk about what’s happening in their lives. On Venus, this is an important part of relationship building. Since this is not the case on Mars, it is wonderful for a woman to get together with her girlfriends to talk about—and listen to—each other’s problems, without judgment or unsolicited advice.

After taking the time to do things that make them feel good—refreshed—both partners will come back feeling renewed… and lucky to be in a balanced and healthy relationship.

Jessica Krampe is the digital managing editor for A graduate of the Missouri School of Journalism, Jessica has worked for news, entertainment, business and lifestyle publications. Outside of the daily grind, she enjoys happy hours, live music and traveling.