How To Say No To Seeing Your Partner Without Sounding Like An Assh*le
Even the most loved-up couples need time apart, because spending 24/7 with another person is not good for any two people. Too much time together can make one or both of you irritable and in need of some distance. And yes, while absence does make the heart grow fonder, there are other reasons you might need to spend some occasional time apart. Whether you need to hole up in your bedroom and read a new book, or have a night out with some other friends, how to say no to seeing your partner is essential to leading a life outside of your relationship. Remember, it's healthy to spend time apart from each other.
I spoke with therapist Nicole Richardson on what you should do in this situation. There are many things to consider: Do you need alone time? Are the activities and dates you do together only fun for your partner? Do you not see your other friends enough? Are you avoiding your partner for reasons you should definitely evaluate? After you've figured out why you don't want to hang out with your significant other on a particular day, determine the best way to let them know. Here are Richardson's best tips to, well, not be an assh*le.
Make sure you're completely honest.
First off, tell your partner why you don't want to see them. Be honest, but keep your SO's feelings in mind. If they want to get dinner every night, but you can't keep up with that schedule or would like to have night plans with other friends every so often, let them know that instead of faking sick or pretending you have to work late.
"I'm of the mind that honesty is the best policy," Richardson tells Elite Daily. "When we lie, we damage the relationship, even if our partner doesn’t find out. If you have plans, tell your partner you have plans and offer another time you would like to hang out."
Tell them you need to recharge.
Even if you're more of a chill couple that spends free time watching TV or reading books together, it's totally understood if you need to take a night to relax on your own.
"Tell your partner you need downtime to yourself and offer to set up a different time to spend time together," Richardson says. "It can be really destructive if the other person feels like you are just putting them off, [and] the other person can get the wrong idea, so it can be really helpful to come up with a time you can schedule."
Do what they want to do, even if you don't love it, every once in a while.
If your partner plans date activities that they like a lot more than you do, be upfront that it isn't your cup of tea.
"If you go and you are feeling resentful about being there, it can be destructive to your relationship," Richardson says. "If your partner really loves something and wants to share it with you, it can be important to do it from time to time as that is a way to get to know them better."
Of course, only do this activity with your partner if it isn't completely opposed to your morals. Does your partner enjoy fishing but you're a vegetarian? Probably best for your SO to do that with some carnivores.
If you're avoiding your partner, it's time to look into that.
"If you are not interested in making time for your partner it is probably time to look at what is going on for you," says Richardson. "Are you not prioritizing the relationship? Are you intentionally making it difficult to spend time together (if so, why)? It could be that you need to work through some life balance stuff or that you are putting up road blocks in the relationship."
Figure out how many times a week you want to see each other.
"Every person has different needs and different ideas of what the 'ideal' amount of time is, so each person needs to really hear the other person’s need and you can work together to negotiate a workable solution," says Richardson.
Plan what works for both of you, and compromise if you're on opposite ends of the spectrum. Be clear about what you want from the relationship, and upfront if you're not feeling something 100 percent – but remember, don't be an assh*le.
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