What To Do When Your Partner Asks For Space

After “It’s over.” and “We need to talk.”, “I Need Space” is one of the most dreaded lines in love relationships. Before you start to panic at hearing those words, we advise you to relax – your fairytale dream isn’t falling to pieces.

All that is happening in the world currently is enough to drive anyone to Bedlam. Just like everyone else, your partner is probably struggling to stay on top of their game. Before jumping to conclusions, you should acknowledge that their need for space is not out of selfishness but self-preservation.

Couple arguing because one of them needs some time alone

What Exactly Does Space Mean?

In as much as your partner is an individual, they are also part of a team and you have the right to ask them some questions – such as how much space they need and what their definition of space is.

A lady feeling resentful towards her partner

The space they are referring to might be a quiet evening alone doing something they love or a weekend trip with their closest friends. Ask them if the space also includes no texting or calling. Resist the urge to play the blame game or pick a fight at this time. Your partner’s emotional wellbeing should be your top priority.  

What If They Don’t Know How Much Space They Need?

When your partner starts to talk about major life changes such as moving to a new place or traveling the world for some months alone; then you should start to get worried. Ask them in clear terms if the relationship is still a priority for them or if they want a complete break up.

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A man trying to explain his need for space

In ideal cases, a few days or weeks of space is usually enough to fix whatever is wrong.

What If My Partner & I Live Together?

This scenario is definitely trickier as most couples who live together build their daily routines around each other. One partner needing space would most definitely upset the balance of things.

There is however, no cause for alarm. Though it could present a bit of challenge at first, this could be a blessing in disguise. Being in a live-in relationship is a bit like marriage and requires a lot of effort. Your partner needing space is an opportunity for you to do the things you haven’t had time for in a while. It is also a chance to explore new activities that might interest you.

Live-in couple arguing

We recommend that you and your partner work together to rearrange your schedule in such a way that you are both free to do the things you want independently.

What If We Are In A Long Distance Relationship?

If you are in a long distant relationship, it is normal to feel the need to keep constant communication. However, if you don’t find an effective way to check it; you can start to feel the beginnings of tension and codependency. When a partner requests for space in a long distance relationship, it is very easy to believe that they are starting to lose interest in the relationship. 

Lady in long distance relationship having a video chat with her partner

Even though long distance relationships require more effort and communication, you don’t have to eliminate the need for boundaries. In situations like this, giving your partner space yields better results than being clingy.

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We advise you to ask questions instead of making assumptions. Try to accommodate their need by re-organizing your communication schedule. Hourly texts and calls can be reduced to a simple “good morning” text and a video chat at the end of each day. This could even be an advantage as you have more things to talk about during your conversations.

Whether physical or virtual relationship, the next time your partner talks about needing space; be selfless enough to understand why they do and gracefully allow them to take the time they need. While you are apart, send them reminders of how much they mean to you and how you are always there to listen. Make sure you are also making the most of your time apart – knowing that whenever you reconnect, your relationship will be much improved.

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