If you are in a relationship it does not mean that you have got into an unwritten contract to stay joined at the hip all the time. You need to remember that apart from being a couple you are also two different individuals with different preferences and aspirations. But how much space in a relationship is normal?
We all have had our fair share of clingy partners who really refuse to let us go anywhere or do anything without them. They would want attention all the time, needed to talk all the time and want to be on text 24×7 and there are also the ones who want to stay aloof so much that you could end up feeling you are being ignored. Some people say, “I need a lot of space in a relationship.” Others say, “There is too much space in the relationship and I don’t like it.” So how do you do the balancing act?
If you have noticed carefully, most people break up because the other one got too clingy. However, this is in stark contrast to partners who would be glad not to have all your attention because they do need space all the time.
Of course, they don’t hate you, otherwise they wouldn’t have been your partner in the first place. The thing is, you have to try to get around them by respecting their space.
Importance of space in a relationship is often overlooked because spending time apart is sometimes as much important as spending time together. What most couples don’t know how to do is deal with space in a relationship and that is what we will focus on in this article.
Is Space Good For A Relationship?
Yes space is good for a relationship to thrive and blossom. Togetherness is great as long as it makes you happy but if you start feeling claustrophobic in your togetherness then there is something really wrong. This could be a sign that you are heading for a failed relationship.
How much space in a relationship is normal? As long as two people get to do their own things that they enjoy doing that space in a relationship is normal.
For instance one partner might enjoy reading and one partner might like watching football. So after dinner if one reads and the other watches football it’s perfectly fine. It’s a great way to catch up on some me time and relax as well. Giving someone space in a relationship is very important.
But if two people are hanging out in their separate friend’s groups all the time, have separate interests, food choices, holiday choices and rarely agree to do anything together, then there is too much space in the relationship for which you are drifting apart.
Growing apart in a relationship is a dangerous sign and this what too much space does to you. Space in a relationship is good when it helps you keep healthy relationship boundaries and you can thrive as individuals and as a couple as well.
Dealing with space in a relationship is something a couple learns over time and it takes a few months and even years to finally come to the conclusion on how much space works for them. But to come to this point one has to first accept the importance of space in a relationship.
Related Reading: 5 Reasons Why Space In A Relationship is not An Ominous Sign
How Much Space In A Relationship Is Normal?
There are some things that we feel that couples should always do together and if one partner is cringing about it then there is something amiss.
This is a very wrong perception. Some people need more space in a relationship than others and you need to respect that space to make your relationship work. You could be thinking, “Should I leave him alone or keep trying?” But you also have to know when to back off and let him have his space. How much space in a relationship is normal and in what way? We tell you
1. Silence is better than arguments
Two people shouting and quarrelling often leads to ugly fights. It’s always better when one person speaks and vents their anger and the other person listens.
Sometimes there are people who hate these fights and arguments and want to put across their point through silence. If they are stonewalling then it is detrimental for the relationship but silence is great when it helps to dissipate the anger and resolve the conflict.
If a partner wants space to stay silent and deal with the issues for some time, granting them that space is a normal thing and should always be done. Giving space in a relationship after a fight is a must.
2. Intimacy yes, but cuddles matter too
Partners who constantly need space actually have a great deal of personal space as well, and the moment you intrude that or try to, you have ruined some very good moments there. The thing is you should wait for them to make their move.
They don’t hate physical affection per se, but they love their personal space more.
So, yeah if a person like that makes the first move – it’s because they really like you and are trying to show affection. After that you can take the intimacy forward.
Sometimes when you are more settled in a relationship for some people the cuddles and hugs matter more than steamy sex. And after a session when they drift off to sleep they might want to claim their side of the bed and not sleep in an octopus hug. Grant them their space and they will love you for that. This is how you learn to deal with space in a relationship.
3. You can communicate without talking
One good thing about people who need space is that you don’t have to talk to them all the time. So, if you have a meeting to attend or a party to go to – just do it!
Even if you don’t call them or text them, it won’t matter because they are adult about it all and understand that everyone is busy at some point or the other. To have to call someone almost every hour to remind them that you love them is a little pathetic.
When a relationship is mature and there is genuine love your silences speak and you become the wind beneath each other’s wings. You don’t have to mouth what you feel all the time.
4. Mutually respect the space in a relationship
People who need space are mostly introverts, so there are always some activities that the introvert likes to do individually. Like reading, binge watching some TV series, gardening and many more.
Never undermine what they like or, better yet, don’t compare your activities. Basically, avoid being a condescending jerk about their preferences.
Respect what they like, show your interest and they will be willing to involve themselves in some activities of your preference as well.
Extroverts also loathe undue interference from their partners often. You need to let them take their own decisions and respect their space when they want it. Space in a relationship is normal, one has to accept that.
5. Text instead of calling
Like I said before, a person who needs space respects others’ space too. Whenever you have to talk to them, just send them a text. Something simple like, “What’s up?” or “hi” or “how was your day?” Call them if it is really an emergency. Calls freak out introverts and they are far more comfortable with texting.
How long should I give my boyfriend space? As long as your instincts know that what he is asking for is part of his daily habit. If he is sulking or staying away from you then you should take it up with him.
Related Reading: 20 things women do that kill their marriages
6. Gestures matter more
When it comes to partners who need space – something small yet thoughtful will do fine. No need to throw them a huge party or go to a club to get tipsy.
Small romantic gestures like something handmade, which they will appreciate greatly because they understand the emotion behind it, food from their favourite restaurant or a little picnic at the park is enough for them. It shows them that you care without freaking them out.
In fact, people who need space often get so perturbed by expensive gifts that they could even start thinking the relationship is fake.
So don’t give them the wrong ideas just keep coming up with the lovely gestures.
What Is Considered Healthy Space In A Relationship?
After going through the above points you have realised the importance of space in a relationship. So, there you go. Now you know how to love a person who needs a lot of space.
See, it might feel difficult at first but being with such a person can actually prove healthy because this way you can both concentrate on your own growth as individuals. After all, love can reside in comfortable silences between two people and not just loud, expensive gestures that might or might not come from the heart.
Giving space in a relationship is a must. Jaseena Backer, a consultant psychologist says, “To maintain healthy space in a relationship some rules should be followed. “
According to her this is what couples should do:
- To give emotional space, do not talk when your spouse is at work
- If the need is physical space, such as a corner of a room, then work together to create this convenient physical space
- For an away space, let the spouse go away on a movie or a trek alone or with friends
- If quiet space is the request, then when the spouse goes quiet, leave him alone till he comes back to talk
- When the spouse is at his hobby, give him creative space
- Financial space can be created by having separate bank accounts and statements
- Plan a day or two completely off marked in your calendar, which gives each spouse some space from all responsibilities to rejuvenate.
Talking about healthy space in a relationship Jaseena says, “This space should be comfortable enough for the partners and not big enough for the entry of a third party.”
There is no hard and fast rule about the exact amount of minutes or hours you should spend alone. But if we are talking about healthy space in a relationship that means you can do what you enjoy doing – reading, watching football, spa visits or solo trips – even when your partner is around.
Yes it does. Every relationship needs a space. In fact, in a day if both partners are going out to work or even one is stepping out to work that time apart is vital in keeping the relationship strong. You can look forward to dinner together and exchanging news about the day.
You should take a break from a relationship when you need to process your feelings and you need to gain a perspective about where your relationship stands. Sometimes couples get back together stronger after staying apart for some time.