Were all sociable creatures to some degree, but not all to the
same degree. Some of us just like to spend time together, while
others like to live in their partners pocket. The odds are slim
that you and your partner will have exactly the same instincts on
this one.
There will be times when your partner wants to disappear and
go shopping, or play with their model railway, or dig in the
garden, or read a book, or organize their stamp collection, or go
surfing. It doesn’t mean they don’t want to be with you. It
simply means that they want to be alone. Some people need that
space and if you deny them it, they’ll start to feel trapped.
Maybe your partner needs space routinely, or maybe they only
want to be alone when things are going badly, or when they’re
worried, or busy, or tired. And that may not have anything to do
with you either. It’s just not about you at all. It’s about them, and
the way they tick.
I know one chap who spends three or four hours every evening
playing computer games. You might have thought his partner
would hate this, but in fact she says it gives her time to get on
with her own projects, or just to have a bit of time alone. It
wouldn’t suit me but that’s fine, because I don’t have to live with
either of them. It suits them very well. I know plenty of people
who confess to being over the moon when their beloved slopes
guiltily off to play golf or tennis or go fishing or whatever. Its
their special time too.
RULE 58
122
T H E R U L E S O F L O V E
Don’t be offended if
they want some space
RULE 58
123
R E L A T I O N S H I P R U L E S
Your partner might even like to do some of these things with
other people. Don’t panic. There can be a very good reason for
this. If they collect model trains, or are a keen gardener, and you
don’t share their interest, being followed around by someone
asking tedious questions (‘What does 00 gauge mean?’ ‘Why are
you cutting bits off that plant?’) isnt always their idea of fun. I
hope there’ll be times when you’ll get involved and they’ll enjoy
telling you all about it. But when they need a therapeutic immer-
sion in their trains or plants or whatever it is, they’ll want to do
it with people who know what they’re talking about. Again, it’s
not about you. It’s about losing themselves in an activity.
If your partner seems to need to spend several hours a day alone
and this really doesn’t suit you at all, you’re going to have to talk it
through. But for most of us it’s not a big problem to amuse our-
selves while our partner is doing their own thing. When there’s a
problem, it’s to do with worrying that our partner doesn’t want to
be with us. So the key thing to grasp is that it’s nothing to do with
you they’d be the same way with anyone else.
SOME PEOPLE NEED SPACE
AND IF YOU DENY THEM
IT, THEYLL START TO
FEEL TRAPPED

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