Why Accepting Solitude Is a Requirement For Healthy Relationships.

Why Accepting Solitude Is a Requirement For Healthy Relationships.

One of the most painful experiences in intimate relationships is when one lover wants to take distance while the other one wants to spend time together.

The situation can become so entrenched that none of the partners wants to accept a compromise. You want to leave for a few days, and I want to spend these days with you. What shall we do?

Most interpretations on this difficult conundrum suggest that the solution lies somewhere in the middle. Instead of taking seven days by yourself, you may take only two. But here I’m going to argue something much less politically correct. If the two lovers cannot find a working compromise, then the one who needs space “wins.” Let me explain why.

First of all, let’s acknowledge that both asking for distance and asking for company can be difficult. When our lover wants to take distance from us, this can trigger our fear of abandonment. When our lover prevents us from taking distance, this can trigger our fears of being invaded and losing our personal space and identity.

Usually, in a couple, we tend to adopt either of these two “roles”: the one who fears abandonment and asks for company, or the one who fears invasion and asks for solitude. It’s easy to see how this ends up in a vicious circle: the more one partner feels invaded and pulls away, the more the other feels abandoned and closes in, and vice-versa.

Let’s also mention here a popular stereotype according to which women would tend to fear abandonment and ask for company, while men would fear invasion and ask for solitude. This is a superficial reading that doesn’t take into account the complexity of reality.

For instance, think about “stalking,” which most of the time involves men refusing to grant personal space to women that are asking for it. Unpredictable, sometimes terrible things may happen when a woman walks away from a relationship and the man doesn’t want to allow that to happen. Fear of abandonment can trigger a blind rage that becomes poisonous and dangerous, and men are just as subject to it as women.

But let’s come back to the vicious circle of asking for solitude and asking for company. How can we break this vicious circle? What about those cases in which no one wants to yield? I want to invite you to reflect on something: asking for personal space and asking for company are not exactly at the same level. Why?

Read the full article on the Elephant Journal.

 

Photo: Alex Jones/Unsplash

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  • Pam
    Reply

    I can’t get over this rejection
    We are both married
    He began and ended emotional long distant affair
    I’m faithful 20 years to husband I do not love but will stay
    He the affair says Gods will
    I say OK
    But cannot still crying
    I’m love sick five months useless fatigue sick
    Lonely
    And yes emprty
    Never have I thought I needed man to be complete
    Very independent
    But I’m mad literally insane over him
    Any advice

    • Raffaello Manacorda
      Reply

      Hello Pamela, thank you for sharing your story. I really feel your pain. It is a very difficult moment and you cannot face it alone. I would look for help in the form of Yoga, meditation, coaching… as you say, this is a bit like a sickness and it needs to be cured. Approach it in this way, just as if you had a strong fever and you need to do something about it. I am sure you will make it, and life will look beautiful once again. You have all my support.

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