As much as I love the intimacy of a stable, healthy romantic partnership, I’ve always been wary of my need for loneliness and private time. I brandish my introvert badge with chutzpah. But, deep inside, whenever I got with someone and I needed to take time off to replenish, I always felt guilty. I felt like I wasn’t ready . That if I really, really wanted a relationship, I would not have this need to be by myself.