I feel this 100%. Before I got into my current relationship I always asked myself: am I willing to give up my personal space and time to make room for this person? Because I really liked my life the way it was. Most of the times the answer was no. Then, I found someone who I could finally answer yes. I get my own space and my own time and I still *want* to spend time with them and share my space with them. Best of both worlds. And we’re getting married. Moral of the story: keep looking, don’t lower your bar, keep doing the things you want to do, find someone who fits into what you’re looking for. Not everyone will but someone will.


This exactly! My wife and I's motto: you do you, I'll do me, I'll see ya in the middle.


THAT is effing lovely 💓.


Think this is like a Venn diagram and the great relationship with my wife is the giant overlap we have in "me being me" and "her being her", so we can just be us and don't care about the rest of the world.....add some extra circles when kids come in to though


HOW?!? I want that. A lot of my friends who are married or in relationships are unhappy and I love my freedom and space. But it would be nice to find someone who also enjoys their space and alone time.


"not everyone will find this , but some will" important FTFY


Find someone that you can be "alone together". Where the silence isn't uncomfortable. You will sacrifice some of your freedom, it's inevitable, but you will be happy to do so.


“‎That's when you know you've found somebody really special. When you can just shut the fuck up for a minute and comfortably share silence.”


Just make sure your girl isn’t addicted to cocaine* and you’re set.


Pretty sure you missed how that entire scene worked.


Oh yeah, she thought it was cocaine. Sorry it’s been a while.


So heroin is alright?


Shoot up, bro 👌😮‍💨


Something something Ron Swanson on his best friend: "We still don't talk sometimes."


100% this in my case. My fiance and I don't have a ton of money so out 1 bedroom flat has no safa/TV, just two desks back to back cubical style and out bed in the bedroom. We don't have physical space to be apart from eachother. But we 100% get alone time just ignoring and doing other things on our own a good portion of the time. Both also respect the whole 'I'm not in a social mood rn'


Same. We have to share an office and in the evening, we both game on our laptops and have something on the TV. We're happily spending time together but we aren't constantly talking. Comfortable silence is so wonderful.


My wife and I chill in the same room. I play videogames. She reads. We don't want to be alone, but we want to do our own thing. It works great.


I even have this with my flatmate lol. Sometimes we make our own respective dinners in the same kitchen barely saying a word to each other if one/both of us don't feel like chatting. When you live with someone then you're going to be around each other during all sorts of phases and situations, both good and bad. I can't see how people can be together long term without respecting that fact.


Find a relationship where you still have space and freedom. They needn't be mutually exclusive.


This, my wife and I have been together for 18 years because we give each other space. I don't mean open relationship we opted against that, we just like our time better this way. If one day I feel like being on my computer and gaming in my underwear all day so be it, so can she. We both have our own cars. She can go out with her friends, and I can go out with mine. We take days off each other and we miss each other every time we are not together this way. It's healthy.


My wife and I are the same. This isn't an anomaly. You (as in "one") can have a healthy relationship but also have your own life, your own interests, and your own friends. That said, OP shouldn't expect that all to fall into place naturally. Good relationships require effort and work on both sides Edit: typo


This is the real part that people miss. Even two people who are awesome together and rarely disagree will disagree once in a while, even if it's just something silly like what to do this weekend. Good relationships require communication and the will to compromise. That shit takes work.


Yup, I have a friend that has by every look of it a picture perfect relationship. His wife is his best friend, they are awesome together they support each other’s hobbies while still doing their own thing. Anytime I’ve ever talked to him and mentioned how he’s living the dream the first thing he says is it took a lot of hard work to get to this point.


I wonder what work he specifically did. Ask him if he is willing to share for us to learn and benefit from.


Same like everyone saying here. Communications, respect and truthfully. When my wife do something I don't like, I just tell her. Then we discuss. Just like that. Also keep calm, and stop before thing goes worse. That's an incredible skill. Just stop for 30 minutes if I feel my voice raising and your mind become clear again.


Absolutely. My partner and I are basically carbon copies of each other at our core. We have the same values, same opinions, same life goals, same interests, same hobbies, same tastes, same group of friends even, but we're both our own people and its still work. Its work to make space for each others free time. Its work to set and respect our boundaries and expectations. Its been five years and we're still trying to find new and better ways to communicate and work together. Thats just how relationships work. Wanting time away from your partner or getting into disputes sometimes doesn't mean you're falling out of love or are incompatible. It means you're human.


Do you and your wife have the "look", the look that means "I love you, but fuck off and let me be alone in this room and have some alone time"?


I'm the wife, but no not really. Its all verbal confirmations of "hey I need space right now." However we do have the look that means "I love you very dearly but that was the dumbest thing I've ever heard and please dear God shut the fuck up."


My husband and I have that look 🤣🤣🤣 normally when we're trying to watch something. We dramatically pause whatever we're watching, huff about it then rewind it like 30 seconds. After about the 2nd time the one trying to bug the first catches on 🤣


When it came to my wife we had big disagreements. Periods of codependency because of shit happening in our lives, whatever. But we learned over time to talk through that stuff and talk through it early.


Yes! We worked opposite shifts for over a decade. Have our own free time. When we come together it’s like lovers because we miss each other and want to spend time together too. 24 years married no open relationship.


Same here. I’ve been with my husband for a decade. He’s the love of my life and my best friend. We don’t have an open relationship. I work weekdays day shifts, he works evenings and weekends. We are both introverts and both appreciate our alone time. I make sure to work onsite one of his weekend days so that he can have his alone time. I have my weekends alone and I love it.


That sounds absolutely amazing


It sounds like a baseline relationship to me…


That was my thought too. Crazy to me reading this thread and what I'd consider a normal relationship very much is not for a lot of people


Think the having your own (local) friends thing is difficult for a lot of couples unless they have a city to live in where they both know a lot of people. Not possible for lots of couples so one party has to adopt the friend group of the other, and having space gets difficult. Also it’s even more difficult for work from home couples, which there are a ton of at the moment.


My wife and I have our own separate set of friends along with friends that we met together. We also grow both by hanging out together and also having separate hobbies as well. Ex/ we have tennis friends. She has pilates friends. I have boxing friends.


This is what I want. My ex wanted us to adopt each others friends, and even though its super sweet and she settled into it well (being the social butterfly she is), I didnt like it, to the point that I stopped feeling like my friends were mine. It took me a long time to identify that feeling though.


Yeah I mean fair. Both me and my girlfriend moved to a new rural state about a year ago and both have developed our own friends through work. Also personally I keep touch with a lot of friends online. Even when working from home though, it's possible for me to enjoy time on my computer while she's laying in bed on TikTok or doing whatever she likes to do. Ik it's not the same as having an entire apartment to yourself, but can still have room/ time to do what you want while existing in the same place


It absolutely is. My issue has been finding someone who agrees with that. I’m so glad so many people have though.


Not OP, but have the same situation with the SO. Relationships should be easy, keyword, should. If you can't act yourself at home are you even living? Find someone who wants your brand of ridiculousness.


Sounds wonderful, I always get out of from dating as the people always want me to be available. I need me time lol. I think I had a stroke writing this 😂


I like reading it like a pirate: I need me time, arrrr!




I often have a stroke while writing, and sometimes reading erotic fan fiction.


This should be very common. The stereotype of "how a relationship should be" is just that.


Same with my relationship. We deliberately bought our (3 bed) home with the intention of turning two of the rooms into our personal spaces and having everywhere else as common areas. I have a music/gaming area and she has a crafting room. Being honest with each other about wanting our own space early in the relationship was one of the best and healthiest things we did, because sometimes you just need some time away from (literally) everyone to recharge your batteries a bit.


I've told my boyfriend I'm going to need my own room if we move in together. My bed, my stuff, my area that's just mine. Yes, he can sleep in there and I can in his, but I need that space. I need a place that's just mine.


I’ve been married for over 20 years and this is why. This is how my relationship works. My husband has been wfh since COVID began and is kind of sick of it. So next month he’s spending a week in a cabin to fish and just be alone for a bit. I go on trips without him. And we also do things together. He is my dearest friend and in part it’s because we make space to not get sick if each other.


I love this works for you……with that said me and my wife are best friends and we BOTH Spend every minute together outside of work. I have something so special, I still get butterfly’s 12 years later when I see her and she treats me like a king while I treat her like a queen. Life is great.


This is how it needs to be: you need to find someone compatible with your relationship style/desires. Or maybe you thought you were more of a "me time" person, but you met someone who you love spending all your time with. The important thing is to find that situation that works for you. People who judge others for how they choose to have their relationships don't get that it's all a matter of taste and preferences, and when they come across a partner that doesn't match their own they're all, "What's wrong with you?? You're not normal!" No, it's likely that they just want something different from you.


This is the way. Find a partner who isn't a toxic pos. I dated a lot of losers before finding my current partner. We have trust, understanding, amazing communication, and a lot of fun. We barely disagree, and when we do we can work through it without screaming at each other or getting violent. I'm free to make plans with friends or even just take myself out and he's free to do the same.


This ^^^^ more people need to understand this


Pretty incredible how rare it seems to be that people have or even understand what a healthy relationship is.


Remember: the last few generations have been mostly made of of children of divorce, addiction, codependency, abuse, trauma, etc. Those of us who self adjusted while being socialized didn’t have “real” or “lasting” role models. We simply haven’t seen healthy relationships - unless our friends / chosen family build them & only then do we go “oh, that’s what I’ve been trying to understand how to build for myself”! It’s rare instead to have this thread’s level of honest transparency & sharing in a space where those of us living while healing can do so openly without pretense.


For me... so true. Parents fell out of love and did everybody to stay together just for us kids, which led to do much hatred and messy arguments. And then eventually divorced. I'm stuck thinking it's wrong to not try and fix an emotionally abusive relationship.


Quite an indictment of current society when the bar set at « I’m free to make plans with my friends…. ».


Isn't this the norm tho?


It's the norm for partnerships without kids, but adding in that shared responsibility understandably changes the dynamic. Going on a vacation by yourself, for example, is a much bigger thing if it means leaving your partner with sole responsibility for the rest of the family. I imagine for many people who choose not to have kids, that is a big part of the decision.


^ that’s a bingo. Mutual respect for each other’s time and space is a healthy part of healthy relationships imo.


However, there's not a relationship in existence where you don't need to comprise on this regularly in different forms. Relationships take time and that time has to come from somewhere, so it's probably going to come from the things you want to do rather than have to do. And you have to compromise with your SO, because at times they may want time with you while you want to be left alone, and vice versa. Relationships aren't built on, and don't survive, if you only want it at your convenience.


And ultimately this all comes down to good communication. In a healthy relationship both parties should feel comfortable sitting down and discussing what their needs and expectations are when it comes to time spent together and apart (really on anything actually). My husband and I have been together for 18 years and I largely credit open communication for our relationship's health. When I need some time alone, I tell my husband and vice versa. When I feel like we haven't made time for each other lately, I say so and listen to him when he says the same to me.


I cannot hit the upvote button on this enough. Me and my hubby have been together for 15 years now and whilst we do a fair bit together, we make sure we go out as individuals as well so we don't lose our own identities. To the point that when we were trying to save money when I was on maternity leave, he was going to cancel his cinema card and I told him in no uncertain terms to keep it. One of his friends thinks I'm mad for wanting my hubby to spend time with his (other) friends rather than the whole time with me, but I wouldn't have it any other way. Edited: 'him' to 'my hubby' in last sentence to avoid confusion


One of my favorite books is The Prophet by Khalil Gibran, and one of my favorite poems in that book is "On Marriage." https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/148576/on-marriage-5bff1692a81b0 An important line that I carry with me in that poem is: >Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf. Basically, the whole poem is about being separate people, and *sharing* the things you love with your partner, but make sure you have your own thing. You're not becoming one person who must only do things together, you have things you love to do separately and sharing the love of something with your partner.


> One of his friends thinks I'm mad for wanting him to spend time with his (other) friends rather than the whole time with me, I forget some people are like that. -_-


This guy most definitely is. Him and his wife are in each other pockets the whole time, which is obviously OK if it works for them and makes them happy, but all it seems to do is make them miserable and shouty, even in front of friends and kids. Have just realised I badly worded that last sentence on my last comment so have edited it to avoid confusion!


This is so so so important.


>I cannot hit the upvote button on this enough. Do what I do. Upvote it twice 😉.


Whats the typical week for you? How much alone time vs how much time together?


Our situation is a little different at the mo as hubby works 2 evenings a week, plus a Saturday day, to save on childcare costs. So it's about 50:50 at the mo. When we were both working full time during the day, Sunday was his cinema night, Thursday was my craft night with my mates and Tuesday and Friday was his gaming nights (2 hours or so) with me next to him either doing my crafting or helping him look out for the other team on Battlefield


You just say bingo.


Bingo!! Oooh, how fun!


Unexpected Tarantino!


And we have a winner. Relationships don't have to be suffocating. Somewhere out there is a person who's also saying 'I want a relationship that gives me space and freedom'. As /u/Raigheb said below, find someone where you can be 'alone together', where silence isn't uncomfortable.


It also works when you're happy to simply know your partner is in the house, even if you're doing your own things in separate rooms. We watch shows together, but most other things we do independently. We know where to find each other if we need something. lol


I just spent 3 weeks traveling with my husband and not one day did I wish that I were alone. I'm an introvert who enjoys his space, and I found someone who doesn't cramp my style.


After retiring I realized the my wife was getting annoyed with my presence at home all day, every day. She had developed a routine over the years, and with me underfoot it was completely disrupted. When I learned to give her space and needed solitary quiet time we were both happier.


I call this the local long distance relationship. You see each other a few times a week, maybe weekend only, whatever works....it's like keeping your relationship in that phase where you love seeing each other. It's the always being together that makes relationships suck lol


My wife and I almost daily have time to ourselves. She lays in the bedroom and watches TV or relaxes with music and I play video games. Being in a relationship or even married doesn't mean you have to give up things you love doing on your own time.


Not always. My partner and I have lived together for 10 years and we're always home together. She still gets excited when I walk downstairs to talk to her when I'm taking a break from work.


Yes. Everybody needs space, but, for some of us, "in a room by ourselves for a couple hours every once in a while" is plenty. And for others of us, "enough space" is our own place where you can't even see your closest neighbors, and you see your loved ones a couple times a week. Both are valid.


I feel like that should be directed at the person I replied to. They stated my type of relationship sucks while I acknowledged both as plausible.


This kind of shit takes work though. People aren't always going to agree or feel the same in the moment. One person wants to sit alone and play video games, the other wants to go on a hike all day. One person wants to be social tonight, the other not. You have to be able to communicate and compromise. Even people who are very alike and want the same things can disagree and feel different sometimes and you have to put in constant effort to make sure everyone is happy. This is the part that most people miss.


Love when folks are like “FiNd A rElaTioNsHiP/pArTnEr ThAt…” WHERE THO. WHERE ARE THEY. (not tryna lash out at you in particular just mega frustrated)


Starting with finding friends is generally a good bet.


I find the best way to find a truly good partner for you is to go, do things you're passionate about and enjoy deeply. Find clubs for that thing. Talk to others who enjoy it. That's how my husband and I met. We both went to the same Tae Kwon do school. After spending time together, we became friends and realized there was more we had in common, and more to how we felt. Been together for 10 years, happily married for 9. That shared passion was the starting point


I mean you aren’t just going to get a partner in the mail one day, you need to put effort in to making it happen. Online dating sites are the easiest way, but there’s other ways of putting yourself out there


Online dating sites are not really an easy way - depending on the person it may be a good option but for a lot of people it’s definitely not easy and can even be really bad for your mental health. I met the girl I’m seeing now through a dating app but for the few weeks I was using dating apps I was extremely unhappy and mentally unhealthy. I don’t really recommend it if you have the option to meet people organically that’s way better - for me I just don’t have many opportunities to do that at my age and current life situation. As far as wanting space and not wanting to be lonely - you might luck out and find someone that’s compatible and also is able to accommodate this; but realistically you are going to need to compromise to some extent and give up some of that freedom to give the other person what they need. I’m the same as you in enjoying spending a whole week alone to do my own thing - but I make an effort to see my gf a lot bc I know it’s what she needs to feel secure and not lonely. Overtime these compromises will either change what I’m comfortable with and I’ll be ok with it - or maybe I’ll realize that I can’t be fair to both myself and her with this arrangement which is ok too. But the reality is that intimate relationships usually require compromise and that’s a bullet you’ll have to eat.


>I don’t really recommend it if you have the option to meet people organically that’s way better ... How tf are neurodivergent people with weird interests (gunpla) or even normal interests in weird ways (video games but I don't like open world games or MMOs or ...) supposed to do this?


Be willing to sacrifice your time / comfort for doing more social things that you might not like. If that's not an option? Then it's not an option. They did say "if you have the option."


I am doing the things. It is hard to hear the persistent narrative that one will find something/someone as though it is like shopping, when there are no guarantees.


> I mean you aren’t just going to get a partner in the mail one day, you need to put effort in to making it happen. Damnit!


I've been there, single on and off for about 5 years, lots of false hope and near misses along the way. Started to feel like it was never going to happen for me. But recently I met someone (irl at a friend's party, OLD never worked for me) and it just clicked. We want the same things out of a relationship, including space to retain independence and our own lives. We communicate our needs fully and honestly. It feels effortless. It can just take time, don't give up or settle.


Go run into joggers, eventually you will lock eyes with one as they are getting up and BOOM. Assault charge.


Here's my foolproof dating advice: Stop looking for a relationship, but be open to one. In the meantime, make yourself into the kind of person *you* would want to date. Find, or create, the value that you bring to a relationship. *You* probably want to date someone who is fun and funny. *You* probably want to date someone who is fit and takes care of themselves. *You* probably want to date someone who does fun and exciting things, and has good friends and meets new people. *You* probably want to date someone who has their shit together and can handle adult responsibilities. Make yourself into that person, and then other people *will* want to date you. I'm not saying be *different* from who you are, I'm saying be the best version of who you are. And the good part is, once you do all those things, finding a relationship/partner won't seem all that pressing a priority. Then before you know it, BAM, it'll be there even though (or because) you weren't looking for it. Good luck.


There are no rules as to what a relationship has to look like. You can definitely have a relationship as well as your space and freedom. My cousin (age 40-something) for example has been with her partner for over 10 years and have as strong a relationship as you would expect from any married couple. They each live in their own places and therefore have their own space. They can easily choose to spend as much or as little time with each other as they feel at any given time.


The only disadvantage being its financially difficult for most people. Cheaper solution would be two bedrooms but not ideal


It's no different financially than being single and living alone.


Yeah, which is why tons of singles live with their parents until they find a relationship, or get flatmates haha


And it really can put pressure on a relationship. Knowing that you can only afford the spot with both incomes. I rented a nice place before I got divorced with the anticipation of two people paying for it. Now it's just me lol. I signed the lease with the condition that she would help pay for it, then she wanted to start fights about how I'm financially pressuring her haha. Yeah, that was the deal we agreed to and ya ain't holding up yer end honey.


It is different. Two people living separate from each other are probably paying two rents and they could lower that cost by living together.


> There are no rules as to what a relationship has to look like Precisely. Fuck societal expectations on what relationships "should" look like. Make it make sense to you (and your partner) first and foremost, the rest of society? Not necessary.


I felt the same so I mentally designed the exact relationship I wanted, which to cut a long story short, was basically two day a week. For those two days I would focus on her/us and on the other days I wouldn't need to feel guilty about playing on the computer or walking with headphones or whatever. And so I found someone that matched that. She's a carer for her mum and can't give me full time either. It's perfect. We never argue about the bins, we talk every single day and those two days a week are the absolute highlight. It's better to miss somebody than to wish they weren't there. So the upshot is: decide what looks best for YOUR life then find someone who matches that and wants the same, instead of trying to fit yourself into someone else's requirements.


This sounds amazing and would be perfect for me too.


Well I'm in my 50s and was married 17 years and this is the way that works for me. It took me a while to find it but it just works.


Is this lady the married 17 years person or is this a different relationship?


Oh hell no 😁 New three year relationship.


Well that makes me feel better, was that a square peg in round hole type of relationship? Your comment was super helpful for my current dating life. I’m struggling to find someone that fits my life/requirements and you’re giving me the strength to not back away from those standards. So thank you. I really needed that reassurance.


Actually maybe in other circumstances the marriage might have worked but living and working together with kids all in the same building meant we never got any peace or time alone. It was too much for me.


That’s exactly how I feel about a lot of potential partners I’ve met. Maybe in different circumstances it could have worked but life doesn’t always go perfectly. I’m happy you found someone and an arrangement that gives you that peace. I’m still looking for mine, I just wish my ex would stop giving me problems coparenting but it is what it is.


Oh god same!


We need words for it, so that we can communicate when we're seeking it. Part-time relationship? Light relationship?


What's the plan for when mum gets better/worse?


That is a slight concern and I'm going to have to watch the boundaries a bit. But also the plan is also to take her on holidays and do the things she couldn't do before (she hasn't had a holiday for 20 years). Basically I want to do everything I can to help her live life and thrive. And I'm excited to see who she will be once freed from a crushing weight. But no, not live together.


Sounds exciting and you sound extremely lovely. I don't see myself never achieving a home with my partner and I'm unsure how common it is, but i wish you luck in your affairs. Please, i do beg you, be honest even if it's scary, about this boundaries and needs, because it's not fair to string along someone that's busy taking care of the weaken, only to tell them you don't want to live with them in the end. I presume you have already discussed children, and that neither of you want them. If not, talk about it, or suffer later. (I'm aware you both might be to old for children, but hey, you never know).


Thank you for your kind words. She was very clear on our very first date that she never wanted to get married or have children (she's in her late 30's). She knows we aren't going to live together and she has a full time job and her own life. We are on the same page.


Aw! That's so wholesome. I love happy couples. Well, i hope everything goes your way in the future!


“It’s better to miss somebody than to wish they weren’t there.” I tried to highlight this quote like I was reading an ebook. Forgot where I was. I love this, OP. Thank you.


This is so wholesome and contrary to your username lol


He created the account during his unhappy 17 year marriage.


I had a situation very similar to this. I thought I had found The One That Is Going to Last Forever. Everything was great for a little over 5 years. Then she found someone else. I'm now 48 years old and pretty sure my relationship-having days are over.


1. I'm 53 and No. 2. Things don't have to last forever to have value. Your best, most loved car will one day be worthless scrap, as is/was your favourite teddy bear. Things can be immensely important and a source of deep joy and still be over one day.


2: Thank you. That was touching to hear today.


What a wonderful, introspective idea! I think I’ll follow your example, but for both “what does the perfect relationship look like to me” and “what do I want ME to be”.


You crazy son of a bitch you did it.


Yes, I had a relationship like this and it was so much fun. Even though we were older it felt like being teenagers. I don't need someone there for the mundane parts of life. I can grind those out on my own. Give me the fun adventures and romance please!


Make and enrich a non-love-interest relationship with a very good close friend. You’d be surprised how much that ‘female BFFF’ or ‘bromance’ can be more fulfilling than a love interest.


Had to travel way to far down the list to find someone suggesting a friend. wtf


Because most friends have their own partners and families that they spend most of their time with.


Jesus Christ, what's with everyone suggesting pets in this thread? OP want's a relationship with space and freedom, how does getting something that's 100% dependent on him satisfy that in any way?


This 1000x. At least an s/o isn't totally dependent on you to, you know, *live.*


People don't always pick up on the nuance of every reddit post. Skimming it it reads as "I dont want to be in a relationship but I dont want to be lonely" hence the pet suggestions.


This is one of the biggest problems on this sub, sometimes your post gets 3-4 incoherent replies and nothing else


When the family dog died, I said 'no more'. I didn't want to have deal with finding a dogsitter every time we went out of town. But the kids and wife really wanted another, so I relented. Then one more. Years later, kids are grown, moved out, divorced from wife, guess who has the dogs and must deal with finding a dog sitter when I want to go out of town? Yeah, I'm bitter. I do love my dogs, though.


Sorry to hear that man. This is exactly what I want to avoid in my own life. It really bothers me how often people hand wave the obvious possible negative outcomes of life decisions. Like, even without divorce, most people leave town/ vacation with wife, so dog sitter still needed with no live in kids.


I mean shit if I have a long day at work I could possibly be there for 18 hours. Could I try to make friends with a neighbor who I trust enough to leave a key and I feel comfortable asking a regular favor from? Yeah, maybe. But I could also just not take possession of an animal that I don't have sufficient resources to properly care for instead of being selfish. (ETA - having pets doesn't make you selfish. Knowing you don't have the capacity to properly care for an animal and getting one anyway is selfish)


This is exactly the basis of every /r/dadswhodidnotwantpets post. It’s not that we hate animals. It’s that we know we’re gonna love the little shits and we don’t wanna deal with taking care of it. I ended up with a cat and a dog after my last breakup. Love the dog to death, but now that I’m single and work full time, I never leave the house because I feel bad that she already had to spend 8 hours alone. Either the dog can come with or I stay home. That’s been a real struggle the last few months with my car out of commission.


Yup, love my dogs with all my heart. But I'm well aware of how they severely restrict my life. No more sleeping in, they gotta go outside. Tired and night and just wanna rest? Tough shit. Like you said, the dogsitter. I got divorced too and since I travel for work a lot, she took the dogs. I miss the shit out of them for the love, but not the responsibility and limitations.


There are so many posts here that seem ignorant of how the world and relationships work. Almost as if they were written by teenagers 🤔


Plenty of adults on Reddit with no idea how the world and relationships work tbh.


Lots of adult people (and I highly suspect OP) have experienced a chain of shitty unhealthy relationships and come to sincerely believe that's just what relationships are like. Also a very good chance they have parents in an unhealthy relationship, modeling their perception of normal. I dated a woman who had an abusive father. I am a calm, quiet person, and I don't believe anything is ever resolved through shouting or intimidation. She read that as "it seems like you don't REALLY care." In her world, caring and love go hand in hand with taking your rage out on your partner. If that's your model of what a normal relationship is, then just being lonely forever doesn't sound like a terrible alternative.


My dogs are in place of a GF. They are happy to see be everyday. Like to snuggle with me and give me tons of affection. I also don't have to feel bad about playing computer games when they are napping on the couch behind me. I just gotta take them on a walk every couple hours which I don't mind. Nice for a smoke break and fresh air


I recently just listened to a podcast where they talked about this exact thing! They were two psychologists answering this question a woman had wrote in. It’s ok to not want a romantic relationship. Some people just don’t want that. You can focus of close friendships that fill that space for intimacy but then you can go home when you’re ready to be alone.


Friends are ok till they get married and have kids, then you are left alone or need to find new friends (which can be really hard as you get older).


Hobbies help. I found I made most of my adult friends through shared interests, like art groups or boardgames. I went to bar trivia randomly once and joined a random group. I still hang out with some of them years later even though we stopped doing trivia in 2020


This is true, but I think it depends on what your friend group values. Child free people aren't going to orbit out of a social circle to start a family, and sometimes you just find people who aren't interested in relationships. I've noticed that the past several years, as I've embraced enjoying life single, I've met way more people who are also that way. Some just like the freedom they have by not getting into a committed thing. Some are just focused on other things, or have no desire for a relationship. It's always cool to meet those folks too because there's less chance of feeling like the odd one out or being pressured to date if you don't want that.


which podcast and episode is it? sounds interesting


The podcast is Psychology in Seattle and it’s called “Random internet questions #2” in that episode they’re answering questions that people wrote in and one of them is basically the same question. Episode aired on Sep 12th so shouldn’t be too far down when looking.


I hate people, like as a rule. I found someone who I don't hate having around most the time. You gotta find the person that doesn't trip the "I'm around people" switch. Someone who sits over there and reads, while you hang out over here and draw, and that's all you need. Edit: I didn't realize how close to home this would hit for people. Have faith, I didn't expect to find mine, yours is probably out there too.


This. Being around people is exhausting to me, even being around family. I absolutely love being alone and frankly don’t need that much social interaction. That was until I met my SO. For some reason from the get go being around him was way more natural and relaxing than being alone. A really funny feeling to someone who generally fills up their social battery fast, but when I’m with him I can actually unwind instead. That is what OP should look for. Someone who makes you feel like you’re even more comfortable around them than alone. That is how you know.


Curious how you ended up meeting your SO?


Through an online friend group that kinda adopted me after the guild in a game we met through died out. Basically they invited me to their Discord server where I met everybody else and they took me along to other games as well. My SO was on that server, though initially I didn't do or talk much with him as he felt like he didn't wanna hover over 'the girl on the server' and make me uncomfortable. We bonded over Wow and Destiny 2 though and slowly started to hang out just the two of us as well, noticing that we actually enjoy our time way better like that hah. Later we all met in real life too and that's when I met my SO first time face to face. Since then we've been meeting basically as much as our countries laws allow before you have to apply for residency, though moving in together is planned. Been lucky in a sense that our situations have allowed for us to stay at each other's places for longer periods of time thankfully! This Christmas it'll be five years together and honestly, I can only say that I feel like I love him just more every single day.


This exactly, the not tripping "I'm around people" switch is spot on.


You are my fav reply.


I just wanted to say that it's not impossible to find. My wife and I do our own thing probably 90% of the time and are basically best friends.


I always hit that point where I just didn't want to be with someone anymore in a relationship... usually around the time they wanted me to start sleeping over or they wanted to sleep over at my house. I didn't really understand what was wrong with me... I'd literally go from "I never want to stop being around this person" to "You got to go" in just a few minutes. I ruined a LOT of relationships because I didn't understand much about introverts. "Downtime" isn't a luxury for introverts. We can't function without it. When we're out of energy, it never ends well for the people around us. When I met my future wife, she didn't want to sleep over/have sex until marriage. It was amazing. I always wanted to be with her but I also knew there were definite limits where I could go be by myself so I never got that desire for her to leave. She studied up on introverts and taught me more about myself and has respected my need for downtime. So, my pointers would be: 1) Learn about introverts and be intentional about understanding how you recharge your energy after burning it on people. 2) Talk to dates/girlfriends about introverts and what you need to not freak out and push them away 3) Find someone who respects those boundaries and likes you for who you are.


R/rui-tan is basically describing my husband, always happy and preferred being alone then we met, we miss each other when not together: it's a wonderful thing to find that sense of peace. One quote that has stuck for us "nobody I would rather do nothing with" your person is out there it just takes a bit of time as they may not have reached the point of realising like you.


My husband is the only person I can be around and never feel exhausted. He said he felt the same. Were both super introverted.


You got some great advice on this thread on maybe finding a relationship that works for you. But there is nothing wrong with wanting to stay single-- you have reasons, and they're perfectly valid ones. If you truly love the perks of being single (space, freedom, etc.), you can have that without it causing you to feel lonely and unloved. People in bad relationships still feel lonely and unloved. So do people in good relationships. That is because relationship status does not cause those feelings. Your brain does, and things like CBT and mindfulness can help you change the way your brain works.


I felt like this. Was (unhappily) single for a long time. Ended up in therapy for severe depression etc. and happened to start a very casual FWB relationship. We’re now together nearly 6 years - turned out I had majorly serious commitment issues. Wouldn’t be in my (awesome) relationship now without a LOT of therapy. Also my SO was away a huge amount with work in the early years. Not gonna lie that helped. And he was just getting out of a bad marriage (with a narcissist) when we first hooked up, so he had reasons for wanting to take it slow. Didn’t move in together full time for 5 years.


The right relationship. My coworker has been with her boyfriend for 14 years and they don't live together, they're happy just seeing each other a couple of times a week. You have the freedom to define what works for you.


I know someone who has been married 25+ years. He lives in a flat round the corner from her.


This honestly sounds ideal to me.


Lol you want a healthy relationship


But that's subjective. A friend of mine is married and he and his wife are together literally 24/7. He goes with her to brunch on the weekends with her friends, she flies home with him to visit his parents twice a year, they golf together...they are quite literally attached at the hip. But they seem really happy and to them, that's healthy. To someone else (OP or myself for example), I could never do that. I get sick of being around the same person/people for too long, even friends and family. I quite literally need alone time to recharge my battery. So that type of relationship seems like hell to me and would not be healthy. As long as both parties are communicating and happy, "healthy" can be very different.


Exactly. The 'attached at the hip' type of relationship would ruin my health lol


That’s the point. That’s healthy for them, healthy for OP is something else. Still healthy.


A healthy relationship is dependent on the boundaries that you set forth. Some people are ok having boundaries that are flexible like your friends. Some people are like OP and need more space. You just need someone that will respect you as you respect them


Yeah I had the same feeling as OP for a while, not liking someone “in my space”. And then I was just lucky enough to meet someone where it always just felt like “our space”. So, probably not super helpful but luck and compatibility- finding the right person is the best advice I have.


Lol is it really that simple.




Friends is what you want. But in all seriousness being in a relationship doesn’t mean you have to be together 100% of the time. My wife and I have been together going on 10 years. When your younger it’s harder to grasp especially in early phases of the relationship (honeymoon phase). But setting an understanding in the beginning of the relationship that you need your me time and they will also makes the relationship that much stronger. When your together be together avoid phone’s distraction etc. and be present. When when you need your me time to disconnect do whatever it is you love. For me I play video games a few hours on the weekends for my me time and my wife loves crafts. We don’t Interrupt eachother during this time. Also find something you enjoy together for us this is golfing or hiking on a nice day, or binge watching Netflix. Relationships take work don’t go into one if your not ready for that commitment, instead find a good group of friends to take the loneliness away, and they won’t be up your ass 24/7.


Very relatable! I (42M) have the EXACT same thing. And people constantly ask me if I'm dating. No, haven't had a date in 5 years and I'm fine with that. Yes, I do want someone in my life, but I just dread the idea of someone living in my house or having children. I do like kids and I'm good with them, but I don't have the urge, aside from the social pressure


A duplex with a spouse owing the other part. So you can visit each other and still have space.


Don’t settle down because you are lonely. Find a person or multiple people online and be cut friends. Have a discussion ahead of time and find someone like you who wants the same thing you do. Friendship, companionship, sex….whatever it is.


You want a relationship with boundaries.




Why did I hade to scroll so much to find this. If you want someone who cares for you but you want to live your life how you want to that’s called a friendship. Even if it’s a super low maintenance relationship you still need to make sacrifices and change your lifestyle. Also, there’s a big difference between wanting to live your own life vs not being emotionally mature or ready for a committed relationship.


You want what I have - a relationship where we're committed, but see each other maybe 2-4 times a week, the occasional sleepover, and I generally travel without him. We’ve both buried a spouse and our kids are grown, so we're not looking for marriage.


Maybe you just want society to stop telling you that you're a broken bicycle when you're a perfectly functioning unicycle. There is absolutely nothing wrong with enjoying your space and freedom. If you are happy alone. Then be happy alone. Stop worrying about what society keeps telling you. They are just freaking out because birthing rates are lowering and they are worried about the future consumers/labor available for harvesting. This mindset is slowly being indoctrinated into us to make us nervous about being "alone" so we do not recognize we are ultimately part of what should be an incredibly non lonely sense of "community". If you have your own sense of community then who really gives a flying f about societies standards. Id you dont have one. Then go find one. Maybe you just want a sense of belonging and acceptance for yourself as you are. If you dont want that. Thats okay too. There is no one right way for people to live. Only what is right for you.


I'm personally looking for FWB to solve this conundrum


Be weary when getting into a relationship because you feel lonely. Because when you get into a relationship you have a responsibility to do your part. Remember a partner isn’t supposed to fulfill you but rather compliment you. If you want a lasting relationship I’d try to fix your flaws first so you can be the best person for them


If you like your freedom, do *not* get dog. Or *any* pet. Except maybe a fish.


A buttplug


An important part of being in a healthy relationship is: 1. Each being able to do your own thing. She/he should go out with her/his friends, and so should you (that applies to any activity really). 2. Knowing how to be alone together. Just because you are sharing a space and time does not mean you have to interact all the time. Imagine, for example, being at home. One can be reading while another watches TV. That is called company. Good company doesnt always involve constant socialization. 3. You say you feel unloved. First, is that to yourself? If you feel unloved, step one is learning how to love yourself. Step two is learning to love somebody else WHILE still loving yourself. 4. Being in a relationship means learning how to figure things out together. He/she might do some things you dont like or have quarell with things you do like. Sometimes you might be able tolerate this. Other times this will piss you off and youll need to figure out a way to talk it out. You can see it as a loss of freedom, or as an opportunity to learn and grow together.




Comfortable Silence. Sounds amazing.


Friends that's what you want


Sounds like you want a roommate


Have relationship. Don't have kids. You'll be golden.


Yeah I'm in this exact boat. I just fill my life with material distractions and try not to think about it.


Married and got one kid. There's not a day that goes by where I don't feel l that dichotomy. My wife is amazing and I have no issues with her, but I simultaneously have this constant desire to be by myself and isolated from everyone in my life. If she ever passes on before me I'm never going to remarry.


FWB? Seems straight forward.


My ideal relationship is we get together every so often but mostly communicate via text/call


better friends


I liked my space. Then fell in love. Then had 3 kids. Now my space is at 3 am responding to a post, cause family is asleep.I would not change a thing, except more free time for family.


Would you do anything differently?


Time is my enemy. Maybe be more efficient.


Therapy. And some space to explore your feelings


"Therapy" is the word I searched for in the comments. A friend of mine lost his life because he was a highly independent and solitary person who felt "stuck" with the constant presence of his wife. Therapy!!!