When Your Boyfriend or Girlfriend Needs Space

Human nature requires us to retreat alone from time to time to recuperate from life’s pressures, and find the strength to cope with each other’s demands. Having your partner around all the time can be boring and it’s worse if you are not getting along well. This could easily result in an outburst.

Needing space does not always signify there is an issue in the relationship. Partners in perfectly healthy relationships need space too. This is a time to recover, reset, and re-energize. Space often makes your partner better for you. Instead of looking at it suspiciously, be open to it. Be clear about your expectations, set boundaries, and timelines. This may be the fuel you need for the next level of your relationship.

How Much Time Should You Give Someone Who Needs Space

If you really care about the relationship, you need to discuss the timeframe of the ‘space’. Mostly, the partner who requests for space already has the time frame in mind. Ask her how much time she needs and if you can break the rules and see her if need be.

A lot of relationships fail because the partners are not transparent, if you are not comfortable, allow your partner to explain why they need that much time without making them feel guilty. Even if you disagree on the period you two will keep off each other, negotiate calmly until you get to a resolution.

Why Someone Needs Space After a Fight

Contrary to what people think, fights are a positive part of the relationship. They bring out our personalities and cause us to learn more about each other. Here are a few reasons why you need space after a fight.

1.     To kill the tension

You see, sometimes we engage in senseless fights that target the person instead of the issue at hand. When one feels like a target, they will most probably withdraw until you find the wisdom to fight in productive ways. At such times, tensions rise and result in awkward silence. The tension is so loud it’s almost tangible; taking some time off can help ease it.

2.     To cool off

Instead of ranging from anger to a point of blowing up, keep off! Space helps one to take a deep breath (away from the person aggravating you). It helps to assume goodwill in the heat of issues and appreciate the fight as a means to a stronger connection.

3.     To heal

Fights in most instances lead to bitterness, anger, and a wounded heart. Sometimes you engage in arguments to a point of being vulnerable. If the fight wasn’t fair, you may feel dejected and weak. Space can ease the journey to healing and enable you to feel positive again.

4.     To reevaluate the issues

When you fight with your partner, you may not admit their concerns just yet, but each party is fighting to bring out their truth and you could be wrong. Taking time away to listen to the voice within and gauge those truths helps you to acknowledge your shortcomings, admit to the wrongs, and accept to make amends.

How to Give Your Girlfriend Space without Losing Her

As earlier mentioned, a break does not have to end with a break-up. Here are a few ways you can ensure it serves its purpose.

1.     Validate her

By now, we are assuming that you have already discussed space timelines and expectations. The next aspect you need to discuss is where you are at in the relationship. You both need to remind each other what the relationship means to you.

Your girl needs to know where your heart is and what she means to you. Affirm her, let her know she is still your girl and the break does not mean you are ending the relationship. Remind her how special she is and let her walk out of that door confident.

2.     Set clear boundaries

Time apart is a ripe moment for making the worst mistakes in the relationship. You really don’t want to start solving new issues so, set boundaries. Agree on the extent to which one can go for the safety of the relationships.

Issues such as hooking up with her ex should be tabled, seeing other men, or getting intimate. You may not have control over what she does but at least let her know she still belongs to you and there are things you would appreciate if she didn’t indulge in.

3.     Express support in your absence

Has she mentioned she is looking for a certain item? Look for existing offers and forward them to her mail. Don’t explain, just type a few words, “hi, is this what you were looking for?” that’s enough. That’s just one example. You can also send her important reminders such as her appointments, she will most probably be remembering but she will appreciate the concern.

4.     Invest in yourself

Research shows it takes between 18 and 254 days to learn a new habit. It might even take less time if you are dedicated. Take the time away to start new self-propelling habits such as meditation, reading scriptures, exercising, or even journaling. Become better, not only for her, for you as well.

7 Crucial Signs You Need Space From Your Boyfriend/Girlfriend

Space is an essential part of the relationship and it shouldn’t sound an alarm in any way. All healthy relationships go through storms and getting time away from each other helps individuals to find perspective into the issues at hand. Here are some of the signs you need to watch out for.

1.     You feel uneasy or uninterested

When you first met your partner and everything was rosy, you would be eager and happy at the thought of meeting them.  Now that you are used to each other and you may have discovered a few ‘not so cool’ things, you feel reluctant to see them. It is at such times you find yourself saying the wrong things.

2.     You feel undervalued

The essence of being in a relationship is to get more, more love, more attention, more support, more of everything. If you are getting less instead and you are starting to lose your own value, taking a break will help you establish if that’s an issue you can correct or you need to separate.

3.     You communicate less

Your call time is becoming shorter by the day, you send fewer messages and even those special body language messages are no longer there. Every time you want to communicate, you feel like postponing it for later. If communication had become more of a task then you need some space to find out why.

4.     You talk too often

This might sound like a conflict to the previous point – it’s not. In a healthy relationship, there is usually a pattern, even when you talk often, you don’t spend all your time on the phone. If you find yourself desperately seeking audience with your partner, frantic about short periods of silence, this could mean you are codependent.

A healthy relationship allows two independent individuals to love each other without losing their individuality.

5.     You no longer enjoy their company

Previously, you would go anywhere together. Whenever you got an invite, he was the first to know and the only option. Now you want to go out alone or with other friends. You even forget to mention you are going out. That’s a red flag; take a break before things get awry.

6.     You work more

You have started filling your calendar with activity after activity such that there is little or no room left for your partner. Whenever you have extra time, you quickly find errands to run. That’s not dedication; you are running away from him.

7.     You are losing your confidence

Must you get approval for everything you do? If you feel like that is a necessity, then there is a challenge. Being aware of what you want and going for it is essential in a relationship. Although it’s important to seek a second opinion, always defend your individuality.

If you lose yourself in your partner, your confidence diminishes and you cannot sustain a relationship that way.

 What to Do After a Fight with Your Boyfriend

Everyone hates fights because they bring terrible tensions and can literally give you sleepless nights. If it’s any comforting, fights happen in all relationships and you will find the strength to face another day. Here are a few thoughts on what to do after a fight with your boyfriend.  

1.     Forgive him

Forget about revenge for broken promises and infringed rights, forgiveness benefits you the most. You gain peace of mind and emotional stability. Holding on to grudges has been proven to be one of the major causes of stress and depression. Choose to let go.

Most women block their boyfriends after a fight. Some go to the extent of deleting all contacts and memories. Does this really solve anything? I’m not sure. What I’m sure of is that a fight doesn’t always signify the end of the relationship. So, instead of cutting off all communication, leave a safe space for communication.

2.     Refrain from spreading negative energy

Even when they take part in a fight, women often fight back by recruiting haters so that they all gang against the opponent. Before long, her boyfriend realizes her sisters, her close friends and colleagues are his enemies. Unfortunately, this worsens the fight instead of bringing amicable solutions.

3.     Mind your words

Hurtful feelings easily cause damage if left uncontrolled. The noblest way to deal with them is by shedding them to a safe environment. You can do this by journaling or sharing with a close friend. Avoid hurling insults at him, sending abusive messages, or shaming him on social media. Remember, words have power and once they are spoken, you can never take them back.

4.     Evaluate the relationship

Now that you have more time alone, self-examine your motives, actions, and contributions to the relationship. Don’t justify your mistakes; instead, find the forte to acknowledge your role in the fight and think of possible solutions.

Also, dig, dig, dig, and try as much as you can to find out more about him. Probably he has unresolved past issues – this means he could be dragging his past into your relationship. Find out if there are issues he is hiding from you

5.     Give them time to recover

We do understand that moments after a fight might be emotionally draining. They are typically characterized by guilt, shame, confusion, and sometimes missing the person. As a result, women tend to push for communication, resolve, or intimacy.

However, this isn’t the time to make endless calls and send uncountable messages. Perhaps you will be saying the wrong things. Take a breather, you both need it.

6.     Use the break for self-love

I believe a break should leave you re-energized. Use the time away to pamper yourself. Go get the much-needed spa experience. Read an inspiring book, learn from podcasts, and watch great movies. Self-love will repair your wounded soul and gives you stamina for the next step.

7.     Allow yourself to move on

Maybe you have fought like this over and over and no matter how much you want to keep the relationship, you feel it’s not worth it. Thinking of the future, you don’t see how the two of you will be happier together. This is the time to prepare for the breakup. Use this time to start your journey to life apart from each other. Also, allow room for healing and move on.

Final Note

When your lover needs space, it doesn’t mean you are breaking up. Just sit with your partner and outline your expectations and share clearly what you aim to achieve during the time out. You also need to agree on a timeline – how long you will keep off each other, whether it’s a day, a week, or a month. Most importantly, you need to be clear why you need the break or else you won’t accomplish anything.

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Am a graduate sociologist and a regular contributor to national publications such as the American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Journal of Applied Social Science and the Annual Review of Sociology.

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