Is your partner asking for “Space”?
Space in a relationship is often a critical issue, many times making or breaking the partnership. If your partner starts asking for “some space,” you instinctively think whether you have done something wrong to make them want to far away from you—but this is really not the case. Asking for space in a relationship most of the time has nothing to do with how your relationship is going.
As the famous Chicago song says, “Even lovers need a holiday far away from each other.”
Asking for space is also not an automatic indication of a problem in a relationship. There are instances when this becomes a necessity for reasons that are rooted on an individual level.
For a couple who has just started out their relationship, it is normal to want to spend a lot of time together. They plan out their schedules so that a week won’t pass without them seeing each other. A new couple is always excited to do things together because it is only the first time that they are going to do it.
On the flipside, a couple who has spent quite some time together may want to have a breather in the relationship. This does not mean that love and affection is gone; in some instances, this could only be a signal that the relationship is getting suffocated. A relationship can also grow away from each other, and it needs other people for it to flourish.
A couple’s entire life cannot revolve around each other all the time. A couple is composed of individuals who have different social circles and pursuits. Sometimes, it is more rewarding to a couple if the individual pursuits are met. The morale is getting a boost and the individual mood becomes better.
How to respond to a partner who asks you for space in a relationship
The entire process can sometimes be very dramatic especially if it is the first time ever that the topic was brought up. It doesn’t matter whether it was you or your partner who initiated the talk, different emotions will be at play the moment you open it up. No matter what, it is important that you handle this emotionally-charged situation the best you can.
Here are some tips on how to handle the conversation well:
It is, no doubt, one of the most stress-inducing conversations that you will have with your partner. Nevertheless, you need to calm down. Take a deep breath and always look your partner in the eye and let them know that you understand how they feel without saying a word.
Staying calm will also prevent you from saying unnecessary words that can hurt the feelings of your partner. Once these words are said, it is hard to take them back so have utmost self-discipline during the conversation.
Choose your words carefully when responding
Do not let your emotions drive you. Stop for a moment to think the best words to say. Let them finish what they are saying and do not antagonize your partner’s words.
Remember to let them know that you always respect their decision
Show them in action, and in words, that you will always respect their decision no matter what. Their words should have weight in your relationship and remember to let them know about it.
You need to face this decision in your life in a mature manner, and you can only do that by respecting your partner. Support them in their endeavors and it will be rewarding in the end.
Respect is aways that should always be present in a relationship no matter the situation is; whether you are doing fine or having a bit of a problem.
Stand by your words
Do not give them what they want right away only to change your mind after a few days. Your partner will appreciate it if you stand by your words and not act differently than what you have agreed upon.
How to open up to your partner about space in a relationship
In the early stages, it is pretty normal for two people to want to spend a lot of time together. As the relationship gets more into the long-term, you might like to have a night out with pals, or join some activity that your partner doesn’t necessarily enjoy. If you feel like you are being caught up in a bump such as this, then you should definitely open up to your partner about it.
Here are some tips on how you can properly bring up the conversation with your partner:
It doesn’t matter which side of the fence you are in; the immediate thing to do is to stay calm.
You may have a lot of reasons why you came up with the decision, but make sure that you have a clear head when you tell these to your partner. Doing this will help you structure your thoughts first in your head before you say it to your partner.
Breathe and let your thoughts pour out without failing to be kind and respectful. Nothing bad comes out of any conversation, as long as you have respect and the ability to stay calm.
Your points should be clear
Reaching the point where you need to ask for space was not only driven by a single reason but a whole lot of complicated things that you realized after they happened. Make sure that you will make a clear point during the actual conversation. Write a list if you can so you can reflect before talking about it with your partner.
Let your partner know about the why’s and how’s
Do not leave your partner hanging and explain right away the why’s and how’s. Don’t wait for them to ask about it. These things should come from you since it is you who initiated having the conversation about change.
Explain these things in a clear manner. Write it in bullet points to rehearse before leaving the house if you can. The last thing that you want to happen now is to bring in confusion and more pain.
If you let your partner know about the why’s and how’s, you are sparing your relationship from getting into a worse situation than it already is.
Avoid negative emotions during the conversation
If ever you have a reason to be angry, and this reason has pushed you to ask for that space, you still need to avoid getting all riled up and getting angry while talking to your partner. Negative emotions are highly-volatile and you might end up breaking the relationship instead of letting it breathe when you let it drive you.
How much space in a relationship is needed
While some people need a good deal of space, others prefer to be around their partner all the time and do everything with him or her. If you and your partner have similar space requirements, things should go very smoothly. But if there is a big gap in that department, it can set you up for many arguments and a good deal of hurt. It’s also important to note that space requirements can change as the relationship evolves.
The conflict can start to arise when one party decides that he or she would now like a little more space since you’ve been together for a while, but the other party still wants to spend the majority of his or her time with his/her partner. This can make the latter feel rejected, and insulted, which can actually make them get even more clingy and resentful of the space you are requesting.
There is so much emotion involved when one party decides that it’s time to discuss the issue of space. Going with the flow is an option, but best face it with a clear head. This is not yet the end of your relationship; this is just a milestone that you need to face as a couple.
When it comes to this, it`s hard to find a good compromise. As one person becomes more insistent of having space in a relationship, the other begins to feel threatened and possibly thinks that his or her partner has fallen out of love, or is with someone else, or just prefers to spend time with his or her friends. As with anything, communication is the key to resolving this kind of issue.
Take a look at your space in a relationship and where you are at in the space spectrum.
If you are the person who needs a lot of space, make sure that you also tell your partner how much you love them and how much you like to spend time with them. Tell them that space has nothing to do with any negative feelings towards him or her. It`s just a part of your personality.
On the flip side, if you are the person who doesn`t particularly want to ever be too far away from your partner, you can also express this to him or her.
Nonetheless, you may also try going out for a night with friends while your partner is out with his or hers. Whatever you decide to do, do not sit at home or do nothing when your partner is out with friends or fishing on his own.
And, no matter how you feel, you will need to accept the fact that your partner needs space in order for your relationship to work. If you can`t accept it, you may need to go elsewhere. This goes for the space-seeker as well. If you do not like the fact that your partner requires too much time of you, then it may be time to re-evaluate the relationship.