Most serious relationships will need a break every so often. And by break, I mean some serious soul-searching time apart like sleeping in separate rooms, taking a solo trip abroad, or moving out completely.
Many people look at this as the worst thing that could possibly happen to a couple. On the contrary, you should look at this as a way for both parties to gain some perspective and re-center yourselves.
There is nothing wrong with taking a breather. Spending some time apart will give you time to focus on what is important, while allowing you to miss each other again. Rekindling the flames of passion is just as important to a relationship as it is to be in each other’s faces all the time. More often than not, it is the man who initiates the need to spend some time apart.
Needing space does not necessarily mean that he’s cheating. It could simply mean that he needs some time off to think about stuff. Perhaps the relationship is moving too quickly for him. Perhaps he is under a lot of pressure from work. Perhaps he has unresolved family drama that needs his attention. Perhaps he just wants to zone out and catch up on video games.
How can you know if your man want some space?
Whatever his reasons are for wanting some space away from you, you need to respect his wishes if you want to keep him. No woman wants to initiate the space-giving conversation, and it is completely normal to not pay any attention to the signs that he gives off. Try not to make that mistake and just listen to what he says and does. If you have no idea what to look out for, here are 10 hints that he needs more space.
#1 He falls off the grid. Once a man falls off the grid, you know that he needs time away from you. Whether it’s not picking up your calls or ignoring your text messages, no communication is the clearest hint that you could get. This usually happens when men feel trapped.
Men can be pussies in the sense that they would rather disappear than confront you head on. This disappearing act of his may mean that he wants to leave for good, so how you react to this will greatly determine whether he stays or goes.
If you throw a hissy fit and come down hard on him, you make his decision that much easier. Try to practice understanding and empathy if this happens, and he will realize what a catch you are. Use this time away from each other to reflect on your relationship or to have some “me time.” [Read: 20 things guys wish women knew about men]
#2 He makes his own plans. Once your guy starts making his own plans and doesn’t confer with you, take it as a clear sign that he needs some space. When couples are in a happy and healthy relationship, there is usually no question about what is going to happen over the weekend.
It is a given that you are going to spend time together, whether it’s zoning out on the couch or heading off to the beach. When he makes his own plans, don’t go on a stalking rampage, because that’s just going to push him further away from you. [Read: 12 things you do that would make a guy think you’re a stalking]
#3 He feeds you bullshit. Not literally. But like a mushroom, he feeds you shit and keeps you in the dark. Many men resort to this tactic to get their way. Whether it is lying to you and saying that he has to spend time with his mother who is visiting or that he has a ton of work to do and cannot meet up with you for the next few weeks, it is not uncommon for men to lie.
Many men do this just so they don’t have to explain the why, where, when and how to you. It is simpler to feed you a bunch of lies than to handle all your questions. If you find out that he lied to you, confront him but give him the space that he asks for. The last thing you want to do is give him a rough time right before he’s scheduled to spend time away from you.
#4 He mentions taking a break. Once your guy starts talking about the possibility of taking a break from the relationship, he is already at his wits ends and really needs space away from you. Although most men would rather resort to falling off the grid or lying to you, so that he does not have to deal with all the questions, others may just nip the problem in the bud and ask for an official break from the relationship.
Don’t panic if this happens. It doesn’t necessarily mean that he wants to leave you, it could just mean that he is feeling overwhelmed and needs a time out. Give him some time off on the condition that he schedules a sit-down talk with you once he has had some time alone. [Read: How to make taking a break work in your favor and better the relationship]
#5 You argue more. Once you start getting on each other’s nerves, it all goes downhill from there. If you find that you are fighting a lot more than usual, it is probably a good idea to step back. This does not mean giving into his whims of wanting to take time off from you. It simply means that you are giving your relationship the time that it needs to heal.
Giving each other some space will be great, not just for him but for you as well. Don’t stave off the importance of spending some time apart. Give yourselves the opportunity to miss one another and things will be much better when you finally decide to step back in.
#6 He’s never available. Once you find that your man is becoming less and less available, be it emotionally, physically or both, it is a clear hint that he wants his space. Not spending time with you is the simplest and most straightforward way to tell you that he would rather spend his time doing something else.
Maybe the relationship is getting too much for him to handle. Perhaps he has other things on his mind that should not concern you. Either way, leave him to his own devices to get himself together. [Read: 30 facts about guys that can help you know what’s on his mind]
#7 He cancels on you way too much. Whether it is delaying that eagerly anticipated trip to the museum together or canceling on date night yet again, you can be sure that he does not want to spend time with you. It doesn’t mean he doesn’t care about you. It could simply mean that he needs some personal time.
Spending time apart is not the worst thing ever as it will give you the chance to do things with your girlfriends, family or focus on yourself. That is probably just what he needs as well, so just let it be and don’t make too big a deal out of it. Ask him upfront if he needs space and if he says yes, give in to him.
#8 He never initiates plans. Similar to him being unavailable, you can tell that your guy needs space when he doesn’t make the attempt to initiate plans with you. This change should be amplified even more, if he was always the one who took the lead to plan your dates. Don’t take this the wrong way. It’s just his simple way of saying that there are other things that he would like to do without you.
#9 You can feel the emotional distance. Whether you have been together long term or not, you should be able to tell when your man is feeling emotionally distant. You will sense that something is wrong, that he talks less, initiates sex less often and overall seems more impersonal. Some men just tend to shut down when they want something, but they don’t know how to ask for it. If this is the case, it may be better if you broach the subject with him first. [Read: 5 signs you’re dealing with an emotionally distant guy]
#10 He becomes unsettlingly honest. Some men will resort to pure honesty when they have exhausted all other options. Maybe you just couldn’t take the hint or he simply doesn’t have time to play games. In any case, you should be grateful if your man has the courage to tell you straight up that he needs more space. Commend him for it, and just let him have what he wants. [Read: 16 reasons your boyfriend is being mean to you]
Needing space doesn’t necessarily mean he doesn’t want to be with you. He just doesn’t want to be around you at that moment. Afterwards, he can address how he truly feels about the relationship. If he wants to go, at least he was honest. If he wants to stay, then you can truly say that absence made his heart grow fonder.
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