Why Having Alone Time Is Vital In Any Relationship- And How Online Counseling Can Help

I am an introvert. It took me until I was in my 20's to realize this trait about myself. I always assumed that because I enjoy talking and interacting with people most of the time that this put me squarely in the extrovert camp. But over-socialization left me feeling overstimulated and anxious and I struggled to understand why. After reading more, doing research, and speaking to a counselor, I discovered that I am indeed an introvert, through and through. To me, this means that I am a happier and healthier human when I can take breaks to recharge and spend some time alone to decompress after social interaction. This includes after time spent with my partner.

Thankfully, my husband is the same way. We both get a little "peopled out" and really crave time alone, away from friends, family, and even each other. To me, this looks like spending time in my library reading, or in my bedroom with the door closed. This time is vital to my mental well being. My husband, on the other hand, prefers time in his office, browsing his favorite websites on his computer, or playing a video game. Since we are both so understanding of this need, we are respectful of it and give each other that space that is so necessary without question.

Sometimes, we are content to spend time together but separately. This means that we can share our space but each focused on an independent activity. Often, this looks like sitting on the same couch, or being in the same room, not touching, not carrying on a conversation. He is usually surfing on his laptop and I am curled up with a book. This allows us to feel that physical intimacy and closeness without having to expend precious social energy.

Isolation is often portrayed as a negative thing and it doesn't have to be. For many, it's a necessary part of the day and serves as a coping skill for when you may be feeling heightened anxiety and over-stimulation in response to a social trigger. For more information on how a mental health counselor can during this (or any time), check out this amazing article from BetterHelp. There are so many aspects of what good mental health looks like, and it's my hope for you that you are able to find the right resources to get the help you desire.

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