“I need space”. What exactly is that supposed to mean? Does it mean that he is tired of you and the relationship and is trying to break up, but thinks of doing it a bit later?
It’s easy to freak out, when you hear that phrase, because it always means that your partner is not quite comfortable or happy in the relationship. But when he says he needs space, it doesn’t automatically mean he wants a break up. It is a sign that you need to look at your relationship with a critical eye and evaluate a few things.
Space in a relationship is a very relative thing. We all need different amount of space, depending on our personalities and habits, so very often we just have to compromise and adjust to our partner, to make both of us feel comfortable.
Here is a list of questions that will help you find areas you can focus on, in order to give your partner more space and keep the relationship happy.
Do I have my own hobbies and interests?
Building your relationship should never be the only thing that interests you or keeps your mind busy. Sharing hobbies and interests with your partner is amazing too, but make sure that you have at least one hobby, which you enjoy without them. It will help you to build your own personal space and give more of the same to your partner.
Do I have my own friends?
It’s great to be able to share all your thoughts and feelings with the love of your life. But it’s also necessary to have your own social circle you can talk to on a regular basis. Your partner can become overloaded, if he is the only one who is supposed to meet all your communication needs. One or two close friends can help you feel happier and provide more relationship space to your partner.
Am I progressing in achieving my personal goals?
If you decided to put all your personal goals on a back-burner because of your relationship, it’s time to reconsider. Common relationship goals are important too, but if you were focusing on them too much recently, try to pull back a bit. It makes you only more interesting as a partner, if you have your own achievements to work towards. Pour your energy there to see, if it helps your partner to feel better.
Do I keep my healthy boundaries up?
Sometimes, asking for more space in a relationship can be a sign that you dissolved too much in your partner. Make a check – do you follow your core values when you are with that person? Or did you sacrifice everything that was important to you, just to be with them and make them love you?
Do I invade my partner’s privacy?
Like I said before, space in a relationship is a very tricky thing. Some people need more space and personal privacy even when they are together with someone. Ask your partner if there is anything particular that makes him feel that you are invading his territory, but don’t get upset if he answers positively. Maybe he just needs more time to allow you fully in his space. And even if it’s not a question of time, respecting his boundaries will make your relationship only better.
How can I make our time together more valuable for both of us?
Try thinking of the ways to make your time together more valuable. If you replace a few hours of TV-time together with going for a 30-minute walk and quality talk, for example, you might feel more fulfilled by your relationship in less amount of time. So the rest of the time you normally spent in front of TV you can both spend doing something on your own, creating more space in a relationship, but still feeling close to each other.
I hope you find this helpful. Did you have your own experience with this kind of situation? How did you manage it? Would love to hear your story! Feel free to share in the comments below.