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How to Give Space in a Relationship

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Love is a strange emotion. It can bring us close and yet, at times it can push us further away. Balancing togetherness and space perfectly is not easy, but it’s worth the effort. Find out how to give space in a relationship and live happier.

how to give space in a relationship

Relationships can be confusing.

Sometimes it needs a lot of togetherness. And at some other times, relationships need space to grow.

Knowing how to give space in a relationship, and yet stay together is an art that every couple needs to learn.

Managing these perfectly is the difference between a perfect relationship and an imperfect one.

How to give space in a relationship

Happily ever after… This is where the story ends, the curtain comes down, the screen flickers and the credits roll.

But where the fairytale ends, life begins.

But seriously how happy is ‘happily ever after’? How real is the reel life that glorifies just attaining the girl or the guy? Life is so much more. It is also about keeping it together.

So you’ve found your prince charming, or won the hand of the lovely maiden.

But continuing to live happily after the fairy tale ends is another story.

And unless you pay attention to your relationship, you’ll realize that there’s a thin line that prevents a happy fairy tale from becoming a tragic tale.

Why do we need space in a relationship?

The best moments of our lives are the ones we’ve shared with someone special. Some of the happiest memories you may have usually involves a loved one. Life is always great if you have a special someone to share it with. But then again, too much togetherness can ruin a perfect relationship too. Keeping a relationship alive needs memories and special moments. As much as it may be a couple thing, you need individual memories and special moments too. To keep a relationship fresh and exciting, you need to experience things separately and then come together. This can certainly make you relish your togetherness more. [Read: Cute pet names for lovers]

Everybody needs space, and you need to know how to give space in a relationship and accept space, even if only to take a breath. You can’t be locked in a kiss forever. You have to come up for air. Love needs space to grow.

Even saplings have to be planted with adequate space between them if they have to take a firm root and grow strong. And when they grow, their branches may intermingle to provide shade and beauty, but their roots still need space.

The need for space in love

To have a perfect relationship with your partner, you and your partner need to understand how to give space in a relationship.

By doing that, you can also avoid the pain of having to hear your loved one say the words that seem to ring like the death knell to your relationship, “I want my space!”

But even if you ever heard your partner say that, don’t press the panic button yet. “I want some time alone”, or “I need some space”, or “I need to focus on my career”, are normal and valid cries for help and not cries of rejection.

Your partner may be screaming for space in a relationship, even if they don’t say it out loud. Does your partner enjoying doing things by themselves, or do they prefer doing something together, with you? That could reveal a lot about your partner’s personality and how independent they are. [Read: How to be happy in life]

Balancing and giving space in a relationship

If you are in a relationship where both of your needs for intimacy are at different levels, you’ve got some serious balancing to do. Increasing intimacy in the relationship is necessary, but when a man and a woman come together in a relationship and start a life together, they give up their single lives as they have known it and start a new life where they are no more separate but one in the eyes of everyone, including the law.

During the honeymoon period of a relationship, the couple can insulate themselves from the world and cozy up together. But they have to come back to the real world and deal with their own issues and lives soon. And this time, they have a partner around them all the time. [Read: Love at first sight – How it works]

Moreover, no two people share the same need for togetherness. Neither would they require the same levels or intensity of intimacy. Balancing space in a relationship is an art, as fostering intimacy requires both togetherness as well as separateness.

Knowing how to give space may be extremely difficult, especially at the beginning. But considering the stakes and what you may stand to lose, you should train yourself to become adept at this art. If this is not rightly balanced out, one person becomes uncaring or unemotional and the other person becomes needy or clingy in love.

Being close to each other and spending time is important, but to come closer and become better individuals, you have to understand that relationships need space to grow and bloom. [Read: Cheating in a relationship]

Giving space and living better lives

We love spending time with our partners, but there are always times in every relationship when we just need to give some space to help each other grow as individuals.

As close as both of you may be, sometimes too much of a good thing isn’t such a great thing. The first step in learning to step back is to remind oneself what we stand to lose, our own individuality. Knowing how to give space in a relationship can help you balance your together time and your own individuality.

Spending all the time together can bring both of you close, but can damage your individuality. By sharing all the activities, you don’t really know what you or your partner enjoys doing, nor can you both evolve in your own paths as better lovers and people. You may not be trapped in love, but you’d stagnate and have nothing new to offer.

True love is blind, some say, but true love too can get boring over the years if neither of the partners have nothing new or unique to share. And the closer you get to your partner, the more of your individuality you will lose. Spend every single day with your lover, but spare a day or a few hours for yourself in a week, and do what you enjoy doing. [Read: What matters most in long term relationships?]

Giving too much space in a relationship

Can there be something as giving too much space in relationships? Definitely! The dangers of too much space cannot be highlighted enough. Too much space would entail both or one partner filling their lives to the brim with other things and not maintaining a sense of connection.

This is a relationship that would soon be devoid of emotional intimacy, or this would leave one partner with feelings of being taken for granted and not cherished enough.

By understanding how to give space, beware of doing things that will destroy the relationship, like forgetting important dates, coming home late often, or ignoring your partner’s plea to spend time and hold the relationship together.

So what’s the perfect balance in giving space?

There is no perfect formula here. But the idea is simple, spend as much time as you want with your partner and let your partner do the same. But at the same time, ask yourself what you’ve done by yourself during the week. As long as you still have your own individuality and don’t need your partner around all the time to help you or keep you occupied, life is good. [Read: Dating facts]

Let go of that tightening hold on your partner who may be gasping for space in the relationship, and focus on strengthening yourself. Learn to find your happiness within you, because ultimately you are responsible for finding your own happiness.

By learning how to give space in a relationship, you’d learn to keep the excitement alive by becoming a better individual with your own special qualities and memories. And as long as you have something new to share with your lover, your relationship will stay happy and exciting!


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Have your say!
  • Janet
    July 30, 2012 | Permalink |

    Wow, thank you! I’ve been with my boyfriend for almost two years now, and the whole space-issue is what we struggle the most with. I want to be with him all the time, while he needs his space. Reading this (and thinking alot) made me realise that after all, even if I don’t know it all the time, I actually need some space too. Thanks!

  • chelsea
    October 29, 2012 | Permalink |

    This really helped my boyfriend of 3 years and I resolve our issues. Thank you so much

  • Christy
    November 8, 2012 | Permalink |

    This is so helpful! Me and my bf har been dating for 2 years and have recently been struggling with this space issue. I love him and ik he doesnt wanna break up but he needs space. Im going todeffinatly try to do this! I hope it brings us back to happiness.

  • lauren
    November 29, 2012 | Permalink |

    Thank you. This has opened my eyes. My partner wants space and now I can see my part in the cause. He needs it and its healthy to want it.

  • Azeem
    November 29, 2012 | Permalink |

    I have learned my mistake too. I am very controlling and possessive and sometimes they need space and at times i do too. We need to make our own memories :)
    xoxo

  • jane
    December 3, 2012 | Permalink |

    I am with my bf for 2 yrs and we went through a lot. We overcame a lot of issues after issues and we now live together. We used to spend all the time together and then recently he had brought up to have more time for himself. The article says it right: to find the balance between love and space is a crucial key to lasting relationship. It hurts me in the beginning when he wants more time for himself. But I have allow that and recently started to think for myself more. What can I do for myself to make myself grow and be a happier person.
    Individual growth is so important, so is balancing the everything else.

  • Meagan
    December 4, 2012 | Permalink |

    Hi, me and my boyfriend have been together for 5 years. I have been struggling to addapt to the thought of having space seeing that the only thing I know is “HIM”….After reading this article I have realised that me too have become needy and feeling as though he doesnt want to be with me. But I will def try this out, the space thing and see what becomes of it.

  • Mike
    December 22, 2012 | Permalink |

    What about attachment styles like in this article http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303836404577474460720719018.html
    My girlfriend of 5 years is avoidant and I am anxious. It’s really hard to resolve day to day issues around the house because she wants space every time she’s stressed. How do we work as a team when she wants to be by herself. We have many money challenged and it’s stressful to talk about – so she wants to not talk or go and get space (also not talk). But how can we agree when all stressful challenges end in space before closure?

  • Paige
    January 13, 2013 | Permalink |

    I’ve been with my boyfriend for over 2 years and I’m starting to feel doubt (I read a previous article I’m in stage 7 of love) and I’ve come to realize this doubt is due to the fact that we never have space. When I’m away at school it’s much easier because the space is automatic but when I’m home we never leave each others sides and that’s not healthy. I’ve been contemplating ending the relationship but this article and others helped me realize what I’m feeling is natural and they say how to fix them i.e space and “me time”. Thank you, this helped a lot.

  • tommy
    February 8, 2013 | Permalink |

    Hi,I need some advice!! I’m 37 in a 3 year relationship that’s had some problems,different than most.I met a beautiful.woman 36 single mother of one.Six months into our relationship I was severely injured at work with a neck injury and shoulder injury I had to move to my parents due to my multiple surgeries that I was almost paralized from.My girlfriend bought a new set of mattresses for her home pillows and things to make me comfortable at her house I honestly couldn’t put the burdon of caring for me and her trying to maintain a home and she works along with being a mom so I went to my parents haven’t lived at home in twenty years .So she was upset about that then I had to heal and still am two years later along with 16 months of therapy It emotionaly and mentally took a toll on me and because I was at my parents more often than her house healing now there is accusations and trust issues thrown in where god knowsi was injured and healing I’m not a social butterfly a bar person nor am I a drinker or a drug user Now here six months ago I’m feeling better more mobile and functioning so I furnished her home tottaly anddecorated it three months ago end of Oct getting it ready for me to finally go there and fulfill our journey to finally be reality right after Xmas.Well now she has very high cholesterol levels,she had a stress test and a irregular Electrocardiogram she’s been having chest pains as well along with numbness in her finger tips and some knee issues she’s been seeing all these drs and being put on medications and still waiting for results I PRAY EVERYTHING IS OK!!! SO since New years we see each other for dinner at her house or out to eat once a week talk or text short conversations nothing intimate is going on She is telling me she needs time to get her thoughts together and her health in order and its like I’m being pushed away she says she needs to do it on her own when I should be there for her I care about her and love her more then anything I know she’s scared about her heath but why push me away When I should be her shoulder to cry on and her ear to listen too she says she deals with this kind of stuff better on her own I would not be able to live with myself if something traumatic happened to her I can’t sleep hardly eat I wake up crying I’m a grown man but love this woman with every ounce of my heart she’s everything to me why is she being like this emotionaly and mentally I’m a wreck.PLEASE SOMEBODY GUIDE ME!!!

  • Rico mundo
    February 27, 2013 | Permalink |

    Firstly im 23, my girlfriend of 5 months is 18 turning 19 in May. She is a very matured lady who is practicing medicine, prioritized, understanding, loving and kind, I really cannot say anything bad about her. I being inexperienced and so is she was smothering daily with compliments and such and a few days ago I noticed she was being a bit distant, so I asked what was wrong, in response she said she is feeling a bit overwhelmed by me and I understood that because I wqs always on her I felt like I needed to compliement her and tell her how deep my love runs for her. The funny thing is at the very beginning of the relationship that is fine but too much of it can completely ruin something brilliant so now im trying to do things differently convey my strong love but toning down a loy on the compliments and such, ive signed up for tennis to have some me time but giving space is a bit of a challenge for me I dont want to give her too much space nor too little buthhow do I go about doing that properly, thats the challenge

  • nicole
    April 27, 2013 | Permalink |

    Extremely helpful for anyone in a long term relationship. Thank you for this.

  • Jason
    April 28, 2013 | Permalink |

    I have the same issue in my relantionship. How can you keep another person from giving attention to your partner if you are not giving them the same attention like before?

  • Francis
    June 8, 2013 | Permalink |

    Thanks! My girlfriend and I were dating for 6 years and 6/12 months now. She wants some space and time because of my attitude that easily becomes hot tempered even in public places. Which I think it is not right already. I think I am just afraid of losing her. Can you give me more advise on how I can handle our relationship in a better way? I want to change my attitude and I want a happy ending on our relationship. Anyway, I already accepted the time and space she asked from me since last January for almost 12 hours now.

  • kayla
    August 19, 2013 | Permalink |

    My boyfriend works out of town Monday through Friday and I am at home then. I can see my friends and I feel like I want to be with him every moment hes home but I forget that he doesn’t get the time with his friends that I get. I am really struggling with this. Anyone have any advice to help me through this?

  • Rebeccah
    September 10, 2013 | Permalink |

    Thnx a lot for dis article. I once fummed wen my man said i should not push too hard,that i should allow things be, that we should stop acting as thou we are married,i was hurt as i ddnt knw wat he meant. But after reading this article,i am grateful that i will be giving him the space he needs, i just hope it doesnt lead to break up i love him so much.

  • Anna
    September 16, 2013 | Permalink |

    Im so in love with my husband and i have a problem i get real possesive that mekes me think that he doesnt love me anymore that he said he does love me that he might not show it to me but he does but that my actitud just not help that there is times that he doesnt want to be around me anymore that i just nag i dnt knw what to do im so afraid to loose him that i become possesive and overcare about him because i dont want to loose him and he said that we are ok and with just a simple question about what does he feels for me , why he cares about somebody else more than me, why he doents have same details towards me, that he doesnt do anything but love me that why do i complain that he gets tired of tht nd mekes him not want to be aound me … What do i do if him is all i want how can i work that out…..

  • oren
    February 19, 2014 | Permalink |

    Thank you for the wonderful article.I have been in a relationship with this guy for 5 yrs whom I truly love and I was totally losing it when my he asked for some time on his own, I thought he was officially breaking up with me and was acting like one, though he said he doesn’t mean that way.. but after reading this article, I understand why he needed it.. I hope he will come back. Thank you:-)

  • Brooke
    April 15, 2014 | Permalink |

    My boyfriend and I have been together for 5 months. We also work together but not in the same department. the first 3 months of our relationship were great. until i realized tht it was the honeymoon period and i didnt want it to end.. but it did. Im at his house every single day sometimes i only go home once a week and most times i dont even stay overnight… i hate being without him. But i also hate being at home, to me it isnt really home, i dont have my own space there i dont even have my own room. its really hard. About a month ago ive noticed my boyfriend isnt the same and now ive realized i need to give him his space.. and not be around him all the time… but im stuck.. i really want to do that.. but i also dont want to go back to my own house… its really hard.. i dont have many friends either so going there is a problem… i feel like being around my boy makes me happy… but only if hes happy. and by me being around 24/7 i feel like its pushing him away.. i need help someone please reply..

  • Busayo
    April 29, 2014 | Permalink |

    my bf and I have been dating for almost 6 months. And I love spending time with him. at first I didn’t but after a Month of dating I became attached to him and I was at his house almost everyday and with him almost everyday .we also had issues with me being jealous and insecurity of his female friends and it has happened 3 times now. But this time, it is really bad. He told me he need space but he would come back when I try to avoid him. But last night he started talking about him getting fed up with the issues and when he is fed up he tends to walk away. But he also said he doesn’t want to because he loves what we have . He is my first and so am I .. please somebody help me I don’t want to push him away anymore . I love him and I want it to work out.

  • roem
    September 8, 2014 | Permalink |

    hi everyone , like all of you here who read and commented to this article , somehow or let me say that this one helped me a lot to understand why we need some space in our self or specially in a relationship. let me share my story a week ago, but before that let me share my story about what happened in my previous relationships that it keeps on going and going with the same issues just like a pattern , I’m already 32 and by nov turning 33, i started to have a relationship when i was 14yrs old but nothing more serious about it, years have passed till i finally reached the stage where i need to find that special someone to settled with,well i can say that theres a lot of man who came along then didn’t stay for that long,i’ve been wondering and keep on asking my self why is it always happening to me ? some of them cheated on me which really hurts me a lot that i came to a point that i promised to my self that “this time i would just play around and do the same thing that they did to me” …yes i did it so many times , seeing them them crying over me gives me more satisfaction and it made me feel better , until one day i met a guy that i thought i could play with my card , but i was wrong that was 9 years ago , our relationship only lasted for 4 and half years,why? because i was so selfish , i never listened to my partner i was always jealous with all and believe it or not even in our pillows i got jealous its really weird though, we never even had any talks or some space those years that were together coz i always want to be with him even after my school and his work , we never even had this “space” coz i didn’t want to and i never believed in this ,not even considering what my partner wants, for years that we’ve been together theres no any week that we never fight almost a day theres a lot of issues coming from me , until one day he he begged and pleased me not to have fight for this coming week, but then i failed many times that he tried to change changed me but but nothing happened then until one day we both realised that its no longer healthy to stay with each other, then we both decided to end up the story , i loved this guy and i almost gave my life to him , but then giving everything to your partner is not really an answer to a healthy relationship , again years have passed and again i found someone, but not to elaborate but again it was the same issue ,and still can’t really figure out to my self why ? i always question my self , why is this happening is it because of karma? i did my best but why it would always end up to break ups and i always end my self hurting over and over again…still can’t find the answer… two months ago july 5th 2014 i tried again my luck i told my self that i should not loose hope maybe there is someone out there who is really meant for me and who will stay with me…that day i tried to download “TINDER” its an application where it will match you to the person who has a same interest but in this app regardless if how you really like the person but if tinder will not match you it won’t really allow you to send messages to that person , 11 years ago i met a guy when i was in my last year in high school and this guy was in his 2nd year in university but before i met this guy originally i was courting his batch mate then , but i am a type of person with no patience at all i don’t want to wait and i really hate waiting…so i still continue courting this guy , then while waiting inside the campus i guy passed by in front of me ,well it was love at first sight , so heres what happened after i saw this guy ,then right away i already stopped courting the guy that was supposed to be the one, really funny here was the following that i came to university again that day was the day that he was supposed to answer me yes ..this guy really like me a lot and i knew it, but i changed my mind when i saw this other guy, yes it really a love at first sight , i will never deny that I’m a person with no good reputation when it comes to love coz as have mentioned earlier i just love to play around , but no one ever knew whats really on my mind and what i really felt for this guy ,months have passed again i still continue to see this guy even if we don’t much have time to talk but i told him that I’m really happy just to see you , i never stop and still continue to visit him , honestly when i saw this guy and when i got the chance to know him that day i started to build my dreams and even wished that someday we will be together , but i failed those days coz he fell in love with another guy , so it was 11years ago….2 months earlier destiny gave us another chance to meet again , oh my things happened so quickly ,and yes we both decided to continue the story , 1st month went really well but like any other relationship theres was some petty issues but we still managed it , days have passed and our relationship keeps deeper and deeper , like with my previous i noticed that its like the same story again, i am being so jealous , selfish , not understanding him not even listening to him and again not believing that he really love me…since then i always keep on asking him that “do you really love me? or are you gonna cheat on me like my exs did to me? yes i admit its still me the same me as before , for less than 2months that were together he really showed me how sincerley he loves me , no one ever cooked for my lunch and dinner nor even planning for our future , i am not numbed for me not to feel all of those cares and importance that he showed me, the problem is me , i always look back at my past about what happened to me i was so negative and always thinking of what if he will do the same , what if he will just play with me , i was so scared yes i am , i always want an answer to my questions even if i already knew it , i never got contented with all the things that i have in my life , until one night because of too much thinking and wanting to let my self that i was wrong with all the accusations to him , i went to his house without him knowing it i was under the influenced of alcohol , i just stayed in the stairs near to his window , he was only there with a girlfriend playing with pep, but then i was wrong again with all my thinking that maybe theres a guys coz that night he never knew that i will not show up to work, so it was a chance for me to catch fish… but theres non , i keep on texting him that night and telling him that i am now going to work , but he never replied but prior to that the reason why he was not replying to my text was again i misunderstood him , when he already reached home that monday night i called him after 10 mins well the usual thing just to say hi and ask about what happened to him the whole day, just only like 3mins when he told me that the food was ready and he wanted to eat , but the way he was telling me was a bit loud, but i really didn’t noticed that there was something wrong with the signal , thats why his voice was a bit loud when he was telling me that,so after we still continue to chat and i just replied “okay” , well knowing me and he knows me that there is something wrong again , then again we started to argue with this, but that night i was calm i was just trying to explain it to him that please don’t yell at me ,but he also explained his side, this kind of issue keeps on repeating and repeating again but with a difference scenario, many times that we had compromised but i never listened i follow what i want , which is not really good, i never gave him any space since then , i always want him to be with me even if he is going to toilet i was so paranoid that maybe he is chatting with another guy, i always accused him with so many things that he never did to me even once , the same night last week after that conversation he never replied because he just wanted to relax , but again i never stopped to argue, until i decided not to go to work and just drink with friends and when i finally reached my alcohol level i asked a favor to my friends if they can drive me to his house just to dropped off the computer, so they said yes , but my intention was different , again i just want to surprised my self if what will i see if i will go there without him knowing it , i was thinking that night that maybe someones gonna go or might sleep with him while i am not there, so i was just at the stairs and listening to their conversation while they were playing games, then i tried to text her girlfriend just only to say good night , she reply right away and she told me “oh his already sleeping” … then timing when i received the message my partner looked at his window and saw me there, then the girl was really shocked , i never heard my partner that just reply i am already sleeping, then i went in front of them , in front the girl i told her that she was a liar , how long you guys been doing this to me , again the past flashed back again with my previous exs that i found out that they were lying to me those days, that night i was really out of control and i almost killed him and my self as well, that fight lasted for 10 mins , yes i admit i was so aggressive that night and never think of anything , i was so fucked up with all negative emotions , i was so scandalous that night i never carted of what i am doing and never even showed him any respect , things happened so quickly and in one click our relationship almost end up in a tragic way, i love him so much and still wanting to continue my life and grow old with this guy, i begged so many times to please forgive me and i will change , he asked for space he told me that what i have done to him was not just a simple thing, yes i almost killed him with a knife, i know that up until know he is still traumatised with this and still not ready to face me yet , this time we both need our space to reflect and think thighs over, I’ve never done such things before , it was really hard on his part but i have to give time to heal the pain I’ve caused him, and after reading this now i understand why we really need a space , for us to be able to learn things , think , relax our mind from all the stress that we have….im still hoping and positively thinking that things we’ll get better soon….

  • Maly
    November 1, 2014 | Permalink |

    Hi everyone

    I need a bit of help on this one.I get that a relationship needs space so that a partner won’t feel suffocated.But what about if you are kinda in a long distance relationship.Me and partner live in different cities 2 hours away from each other.We see each other at least twice a month during the weekends mostly because he works I’m doing my post graduate education.How do you apply this to a relationship like ours?
    HELP!!

  • sanal kumar
    November 2, 2014 | Permalink |

    This article is well articulated , and i think the art of knowing each other is to understand the better half’s mind perfectly, what she wants and whats her likes and dislikes then act according to it.. knowing the mind of our partner will solve 100 percentage of relationship issues, I also believe when we love a person we are not just loving the flesh and mind of the very person, but the circumstances of her, character, the environment she is dealing with , the work she is doing, the space she is creating , the friends and people she is dealing with above all her family and relatives… balancing the life means living a life with out losing our individuality , and this individuality will come from a well regulated mindset… know your partner and love her with out expectations! om namah sivaya

  • Kristine
    November 24, 2014 | Permalink |

    Ok here in comments i read- 2,or more years dating- then i understand that having some feelinf for space, but i just met guy, we are together and want smth serious. and we are together for like 2 weeks, and before we knew each other for 2-3 more weeks. And now he splitted up he needs more space, but we are already barely talking, or meeting.. how much space he needs? is it coz of his stressful work? but i m just trying to cheer him up :( do i need to break up with him? i don’t know what to do. at the same time he s telling me that he loves me :/ so i really dont know

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