Some may think that being in a relationship means no need for individual space or me-time. The partners in love are expected to be together 24×7.
Romantic as this may sound, such a situation is not a healthy one. In a healthy relationship, both partners should be free to pursue their individual dreams and goals. They should have the space and time to do anything they want.
When you are in a relationship and your boyfriend needed space and ignores you, you may find it hard to handle. You may not know what to do about it but know for sure that it’s not right.
You may call or text him but he doesn’t respond. You guys are no longer in touch with each other. Even when you are together, there is a palpable tension in the atmosphere. You could sense your boyfriend’s impatience to leave.
All this makes you wonder what is happening. Is it something you did? Why does he want space in a relationship? Why is he ignoring you and disinterested in you all of a sudden? Should you continue in the relationship or walk out?
You naturally want answers to these questions as the situation is becoming too much for you to tolerate. Read on to learn more about the reasons why your boyfriend needed space and is ignoring you. Once you know his reasons, you can decide what you should do in the situation. In this article, you will also find the options available to you.
Why is he silent and distant?
After all, he’s your boyfriend. Even if you had a tiff with him, it never lasts this long. You expected him to come back to you after sulking for a bit. But you’re surprised that he didn’t.
In between the argument, he mentioned that he wants more space in the relationship. You never took this seriously as things have been great between the two of you. Why change it now? But your boyfriend stopped talking to you and acted distant.
You know that something is amiss though you can’t figure out exactly what it is. You never thought he was serious when he said he asked for space. But now it looks like he is. As he’s staying away, you wonder whether this is the end of the relationship.
Maybe and maybe not. You will know for sure only if you know his reason.
Here are some common reasons why your boyfriend needed space in the relationship.
1. He has unresolved issues
He’s not happy about certain things in his life. He may have mentioned this to you. You never took it seriously and the issue is still unresolved.
Your boyfriend is so caught up in his own troubles and he’s losing sense of reality. He feels as if he is drowning or gasping for breath. Initially, he may have blamed you for the mess he finds himself in but later on, realized that you have nothing to do with it.
However, he needs some time and space to figure it out. All he’s asking of you is to be patient until he is back to normal.
2. He sees you as a problem
When love turns to hate, you transform from someone cherished to an object of dislike or even loathing. While he found it hard to part from you for a moment in the beginning, now all he wants is to run away from you. He can’t stand the sight of you.
You may find this situation alarming if you aren’t aware of the reason for his change of attitude towards you. When he’s with you, he seems miserable and on the edge. He can’t wait to escape from your company. Think back and try to figure out the reason for his change of mind. If you did something wrong, all you need to do is apologize. Until then, he will stay away.
3. He’s not happy
Something is troubling him and it’s sabotaging his mental peace and happiness. If allowed to continue, this will lead to signs of depression. When a person is depressed, they abhor company and want to run away from it all. He wants to isolate himself and is not interested in talking to others.
This is a difficult situation for you as well. He may say that he needs space and continues to ignore you. But if you comply with his request and let him isolate himself, things are going to get worse for him. These signs of depression will worsen unless there’s intervention. You can try to help yourself or persuade him to get professional help.
4. He’s in some trouble
All his attention is taken up by this problem he’s facing. You may not be aware of the situation but you can guess that something is up from the way he’s behaving. He’s worried, agitated, irritated, and miserable. He thought he had everything under control but found himself on the slippery slope again. You haven’t heard from him for a long time.
This issue may not have anything to do with you nor can you help him in any way. All you can do is wait for him to figure it out, get better, and come back to you. On the other hand, if he has to deal with your persistent questions and complaints, it can only make matters worse and prolong his absence.
5. He wants a breather
You two have been together for a while now and he feels it’s time to take a break. Maybe he wants to enjoy being single, unattached, and independent. Or he is feeling overwhelmed by the intensity of your relationship. Or still, something happened in his life to change his outlook on life and he’s having doubts about where he’s in life.
A partner may ask for a break in the relationship for a variety of reasons. By calling it a break, they are making it clear that they are not considering breaking up with you permanently. It’s rather a breather to find their footing and recover their balance. Give him the time and space he wants and you may also find it helpful.
6. He isn’t interested in you anymore
Your relationship began with so much love and affection but you have no clue when or where it went wrong. In the beginning, your boyfriend couldn’t take his eyes off you or stop singing praises of you. Somewhere along the way, things took a turn for the worse. He no longer finds you appealing or interesting.
It has become so bad that he can’t stand the sight of you. Even if you love him the same way as earlier and try your best to get back together, it may not work as he doesn’t want to be with you anymore. Even if you persuade him to come back to you, he will leave soon. You need to come to terms with this situation.
7. He’s lost and trying to find himself
As adults, we think we know who we are and try to live our lives accordingly. However, at times, we may discover something unexpected about ourselves that may change our self-perception. This may lead to confusion and disorientation. He may feel that he needs some time and space to think it through without outside distractions or influence.
If this situation continues for a long time, even his mental health may get affected. The need for space and time for himself is vital for his mental well-being. Your refusal can drive him over the edge.
8. He is in danger
If he’s rich and influential or engaged in any nefarious activities, he may have enemies who want to cause him harm. He may be facing physical threats from such people and may want to keep a low profile. He may be kidnapped or facing a threat of kidnapping. Or someone may have stolen his phone and he has no means to contact you.
Or else, he may have been involved in an accident or fell sick suddenly. If he’s hospitalized, he may not be in a position to keep in touch with you. If there are no sane reasons for him to stay away from you, explore such options, though they may seem improbable. Take appropriate action without delay.
9. He is traveling
The travel bug may have bitten him and he took off without telling you. Maybe he asked for space in the relationship and time alone to gain clarity of mind. Or he is fond of traveling. His friends may have planned a trip and asked him to join. There are many reasons why he did that.
If you try to call or text him frantically to know his whereabouts or make inquiries among his family and friends, he may not appreciate it. Stop texting and calling him. Play it cool and wait for him to come back. He will come back when he’s ready. Then you can raise a stink for leaving you the way he did.
10. He’s with someone else
You felt quite surprised when he needed space and disappeared from your life. You gave him the space he wanted without too much questioning but he never returned. Clearly, he has no plans of coming back to you. He may contact you to officially break up when he’s ready for that.
If you think this is his intention when he needed space in the relationship, you need not wait for him at all. You can move on in life without wasting any more time.
How to deal with a boyfriend who wants more space?
When a partner asks for space in a relationship, the reasons can be numerous. You need to tailor your response based on his motives.
Does he need space or is he done?
If this arrangement has been continuing for long and he’s ignoring you and shows no inclination to come back to you, most probably, he’s no longer interested in you. You are wasting your time pining for his return.
However, before you decide to move on, you may want to confirm his intentions. These tips may help you understand the situation.
- If he wants time and space to resolve his issues, try to find out whether his troubles are over.
- If there you are no longer meeting him face to face, message him asking whether he’s alright.
- If you haven’t talked to him for long, call him.
- If he continues to ignore you, stop texting and calling him. Contact his friends.
- Check to see what he’s up to on his social media profile. You will know what he’s up to from his social media activities.
- If he went AWOL without telling you, ask him whether he wants a break.
- If he’s not giving you any reason for wanting space, ask him if there’s someone else in his life.
- If his behavior is suspicious, ask him if he’s breaking up.
- Despite your best effort, if he’s not giving you satisfactory answers, sever all contact with him.
- Once you decide to break up with him, take steps to heal your wounds and move on.
The Bottom Line
Asking for time and space in a relationship isn’t wrong. At times, this is vital for the health of the relationship. When a partner finds the intensity too much or feels stifled or suffocated, asking for time and space to find balance is the right move. However, if the partner continues to be absent in the relationship for too long, it isn’t fair on you either.
If your boyfriend uses the “I want space” strategy to move out of your life without properly breaking up with you, you may feel that he left you holding the sack. You need closure to move on in life.
So, if you haven’t heard from your boyfriend for longer than normal, you can demand answers from him even if it means you are violating the “space”. If you’re not getting any answers, you’re free to move on.