The phrase “I need some space” did not appear in the media and literature until the ’60s and ’70s. Decades later, it has finally caught up with us. Healthy relationships are built on mutual trust and compatibility, where the term “space” is usually denoted as having a negative connotation. We all know of couples who excused themselves under the context of needing some space and eventually broke up. That’s not always the case. Giving space in relationships is not always ominous.
We get it, if your partner suddenly wants to spend their weekend alone, you’re bound to have a few concerning thoughts because of it. Would they rather spend their time away from you, than with you? Though that may seem like the only conclusion to come to, it’s not always the case.
Too much of anything can kill you. And a little change in an environment never hurt anyone. If you’re currently in a headspace that’s unable to process how personal space in a relationship can ever be a good thing, let’s talk about the reasons why a healthy dose of it can do you both some good.
What Is Space In A Relationship?
First things first, let’s get this out of the way so we can be on the same page. No, it doesn’t necessarily mean being physically away from your partner. No, a 10-minute walk doesn’t count as giving your partner personal space. Simply put, personal space in relationships means taking some time out for yourself, and looking out for your needs and wants.
It can be as simple as wanting to spend a day by yourself for some “me time” or allowing yourself to spend some time away from your partner to grow your own personality. Since nobody wants to be defined as someone’s partner, finding yourself outside of your relationship is always a must.
Needing space in a relationship is natural and is a feeling that shouldn’t be subdued. A solo trip (yes, that’s okay too), a day out alone or with separate friends, or just a period of time not texting each other, giving space in a relationship can be as easy as pie.
Is Space In Relationships Good?
Now that you know what ‘space’ is, the next logical question then becomes whether space in a relationship is good or bad. Though every dynamic is different and the way one couple operates can be starkly different from how another one does, we can all unanimously agree on the fact that relationships are tricky.
It starts with the sunshine days of hand-holding and spooning, where the couple is almost a single body, soul and mind. Great as it is, this “honeymoon phase” does not last forever.
“You’re wearing that again?”, “Why can’t we go out to eat?”, “You breathe so loud”. The fairy tale days come to an end, marking the real struggles of a relationship.
The constant nagging, bickering, complaining about always having to see each other’s face – are all signs that crop up in every relationship at some point. Taking some time off and getting some space for oneself not only lightens the mind but results in a healthy relationship.
Related Reading: How Much Space In A Relationship Is Normal? Balance Is Key!
5 Reasons Why Space In A Relationship Is Very Important
Trying to understand why is space important in a relationship is a valid question since the movies never show the starry-eyed lovers spending a day or two away from each other. Since they’re always joint at the hip, you should be too, right? Unfortunately, the movies don’t show how too much of a person can make you annoyed with the way they chew.
Is space good for a relationship? If so, how much? Moreover, how do you even tell your partner you want to spend a weekend away from them without making them think you’re leaving them for someone else? It’s really not as hard as it seems, let’s take a look:
1. Space in a relationship let’s you discover your individuality
It lets you find your independence and find yourself. Individuality once lost can be found again. Hang out with your friends and family, enjoy dinners that you never eat, watch a movie by yourself. Doing things that makes you happy will make you a happier person and therefore have a happier relationship.
If you get caught up in the nostalgia of the good times, remember the reason you needed to take the time off. If you are feeling emotionally empty in the middle of taking a break, talking to someone you trust might help.
It is easy to give up, but keep the relationship in mind and work harder. Having this kind of space in relationships of any sort, from time to time is a positive thing for the growth of both parties.
2. How you ask for space in a relationship can make or break it
While asking for space in a relationship, it is important to let your partner know what you mean. You love your partner and do not want them to lose their mind over this. But if you go up to them and say something like “I’m tired of you, I need to spend some time away,” they’re probably not going to be too thrilled.
Request them NOT to take the space in the relationship personally. Explain what’s troubling you or the relationship and how some alone time will do you both good in the long run.
3. It puts you in a better headspace
Asking for space in a relationship might seem daunting to the one asking for it. You might even feel cut off from your SO the moment they agree to it. But it is important to look at the bigger picture. Connect with yourself, know what you are looking for and when you find satisfaction, let the positivity help you better your relationship.
The space in the relationship literally allows you to breathe the fresh air, read a few classics, broaden your horizons and feel free. When you put yourself in a better state of mind, you’ll be able to handle any silly fights you may have with your partner.
Related Reading: Personal Space In A Relationship Holds It Together
4. How to act when your partner asks for some space in the relationship
Giving your partner space when they ask for it can be stressful. There are bouts of insecurity as well as feelings and thoughts you don’t want to have. Don’t act on them. Feel the things, but do not act rashly. Talk to someone close to allow for a healthy outlet for your thoughts. Remember: your SO is doing some soul searching, your acting up will hinder their process.
Limit texting or calling if the ground rules have been set. This not only lets your partner find themselves, but teaches you to live on your own. Be encouraging to yourself and your partner. Research says socializing, engaging in activities might help with distracting from contacting your partner.
Do not let your neediness hinder your partner’s growth. Know that giving your partner space will better your relationship. In the process of giving them what they need, you’re just making sure you two can sustain the relationship better.
5. It is okay to take a break
Often, people put a pause on the relationships and take a break. Taking a break is different from giving space in a relationship. Just make sure your break doesn’t end as Rachel and Ross’s did. Discuss with each other what “taking a break” means in a relationship. Are you allowed to see other people while on the break? There should be some mutually agreed upon ground rules that are to be followed.
Just like space in a relationship, taking a break can end up being good for it too. Even if you decide to take a break in order to fix the issues you currently have, there’s a good chance you’ll come back with a better mindset.
Related Reading: Why Is Space So Crucial In A Relationship?
All in all, space in a relationship is needed when you and your partner get into petty arguments all the time. Instead of calling the whole relationship off, taking a break, or needing some time off is a good way to nurture the relationship. Need of a break in a relationship, need of some space in relationships is an undervalued aspect, but if followed well, can result in the building of a healthy relationship.
The amount of space that’s normal in a relationship differs from one dynamic to the other. Discuss with your partner how much space you’d like and are comfortable giving them. If their idea of space is a week away from you and your idea of it watching a movie alone, there are bound to be problems. Find the sweet spot and work towards improving communication.
If things haven’t been going well in your relationship recently, giving each other some space can help you put yourself in a better mindset to deal with the issues. Your problems won’t magically disappear when the break ends, you’ll just be in a better headspace to deal with them.
No, taking space in a relationship usually doesn’t mean breaking up, unless specified otherwise by your partner, of course. The key is to discuss in length with your partner the conditions of the break and the amount of space you give each other.
The amount of space that’s too much in a relationship depends on what you’re comfortable with. For some, a few days might seem like too much, for others, a few hours may have them on the edge of their seat. Communicate with each other about how much space is too much according to either of you.