"He and I have had the same conversation back and forth, briefly put: I express a wish for deeper connection with him, then he tells me he needs alone time. I say it's fine, but I still want the connection; then he wonders why I don't put more effort into learning how to enjoy myself on my own (which is not the point for me), why I can't be patient with him when he needs to be alone, etc. It can get pretty bad.
Lately though I've had to put my foot down and explain that I have my own wants and wishes for my life, and the only way I have found so that he can have his downtime and me my social time is... to let me have my social time.
I'm afraid that started his brain hamsters running... I don't think he'd ever truly considered the implications of ME wanting to meet people before he did."
Congratulations on figuring out that you need something, and asking for it! This is a prime poly survival tactic.
Also, it's occasionally amusing to watch someone when they realize that what they are asking for goes both ways. Poly? Sure you can go find someone, if I can as well. Vetoes? Are you sure? Because I might not like someone you like.