We all enter into a relationship with our own set of dreams and goals. What we expect from it is vast and varied. But one thing every single person wants from a relationship is happiness.
There are so many tips, suggestions, and theories on how to ensure happiness in our relationships. Even if we manage to be in a happy relationship, there’s no guarantee that it will be filled with love, romance, laughter, cuddles, and roses. There will be times when the going gets tough.
Even perfect couples have disagreements and fights. After all, two individuals from diverse backgrounds came together in a relationship. You are bound to have diverse viewpoints and desires. This is exactly what adds spice to a relationship.
There is no need to sacrifice your individuality if you’re in a relationship. In fact, having personal space can only strengthen the bond. However, trouble crops up when the me-time requirements of partners in a relationship don’t align. One partner may feel left out when their partner wants more time alone.
In the relationship tightrope walk, it is crucial to balance one’s individual needs with the collective one. Only this can ensure a happy and peaceful environment.
If your girlfriend is asking for more space and time alone, how should you react or deal with it?
Before you panic or jump to conclusions, you need to understand the need for space in a relationship and the possible reasons why she’s demanding this. In this article, you will also find suggestions on how you can handle the situation.
What does it mean when she says she needs space?
The general perception is that in a relationship, the partners should always be together and spend time with each other. This is true only to some extent. It’s companionship that brings two individuals into a relationship. But that doesn’t mean they cease to be individuals all of a sudden and won’t have their own needs.
But some may question the need for space and time. If partners need to lead separate lives, why bother to be in a relationship? They can be just friends.
To play the devil’s advocate, let’s consider this. When the partners spend every moment of the day with each other, won’t they get bored easily? Anywhere one wants to go, the other is forced to tag along, whether they want it or like it. Won’t that be annoying?
Even if they are crazy in love with each other, spending all the time with each other and being forced to do things they don’t want to can make partners feel irritated.
“This is too much. I would like to hang out with my friends alone.”
You cannot blame a partner for thinking this way. Personal space and time are vital for the growth of individuals. Denying the partners will not bode well for the relationship. Only when individuals grow, will the relationship flourish.
Now that we have established the need for space in a relationship, the next question is how much is enough and how much is too much?
This depends on the individuals involved. Both partners have to consider their individual needs and comfort levels before making the decision. If you feel there’s disagreement or discontentment, initiating an open conversation is the right way forward. Figure out the best deal and watch your relationship thrive better than ever.
10 Common Reasons Your Girlfriend Wants Space and Time
Is she unhappy with me? Is she seeing someone else? Is she planning to break up?
These are the questions that will flood your mind when your girlfriend makes this request. Before you descend in a downward spiral, check out these common reasons.
1. She feels it’s going too fast
Each person will have their own ideas of how a relationship should proceed. Your girlfriend may be finding the pace too much and want to slow it down. You may be going full on ahead because of your enthusiasm.
You need not take this in the wrong way. She may be still interested to continue the relationship but wants time to come to terms with what is happening in her life. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed in the initial stages of a relationship. Give her some time and space to process her feelings and feel comfortable. She will come around eventually.
2. She’s worried about her career
She’s young and her career is just taking off. She wants to invest all her energy into it so that she can realize her dreams. At this stage, she may want to put the relationship on the back burner.
There is nothing wrong with your girlfriend prioritizing her career over the relationship. She’s still interested but for now, she wants to focus on her career. This issue may come up if continuing in the relationship entails sacrifices on her part, such as leaving her studies or moving cities.
3. She lost her trust in you
You must have done something to hurt her badly and betray her trust in you. She may still not be willing to let go of you because, despite everything, she still loves you. But she feels suffocated in the relationship and wants a breather.
You may not consider it as a big deal but trust is a delicate factor in a relationship. Once broken, it is hard to regain. Not only do you have to give her space and time to process her thoughts and feelings, but you may also have to go the extra mile to win back her trust.
4. She’s disturbed and distressed
You may have fallen short of her expectations in some way or the other. This need not be as devastating as serious disagreements, fights, or even cheating. You may have missed her special day or forgot to do something for her that you promised. All these can upset your girlfriend.
Even when she reminded you, you acted as if it was no big deal. That must have upset her further. You cannot take your girlfriend for granted and still expect her to love you and be loyal to you. You need to rise to the occasion and play your role. This time out is a chance for you to rectify your mistakes.
5. She doesn’t feel close to you anymore
Something may have happened in the recent past to make her feel this way. In a long distance relationship (LDR), this is way too common as the physical proximity is absent. If the partners are in different cities and time zones, keeping in touch is bound to take a toll.
A relationship is hard work. You fell in love at first sight. It was easy. But the hard work starts from that moment. If you want to maintain the same intensity in the relationship, you need to make an effort. Without any extra effort, she may feel taken for granted. She may be thinking that a break will help in rekindling the romance.
6. She’s attracted to someone else
That is hard luck for you. You may have thought that the relationship is going great and looking forward to taking it to the next level. Though she continued to behave normally with you and didn’t give you any reason to doubt her, she felt attracted to someone else.
If this is the case, her needing space and time means your relationship isn’t a good omen. She may be scared of telling you outright but trying to break it to you slowly.
But don’t beat yourself up over this; you can treat this as a learning experience. Maybe if you try hard you can win her back. If things are not working out, it’s better to part ways.
Before moving forward, you need to think back and figure out where it went wrong. If you contributed to the mess, make sure you won’t repeat the same with your next partner.
7. She is dealing with some personal issues
It’s just the beginning of the relationship and the two of you may not be sharing everything going on in your personal lives. Something is up in her life and she wants to deal with it herself. Maybe it has to do with her family or friends. All she wants from you is to spare her some time and space.
That is a reasonable request. She may tell you about this at a later date when you know each other better. But for now, she wants to deal with her troubles and doesn’t want to involve you.
8. She feels that you take her for granted
When you grow comfortable with each other in a relationship, this is one of the death traps you should be aware of. You may not be putting as much effort into the relationship as you did in the beginning. But you thought this is how relationships mature and grow.
Unfortunately, your girlfriend doesn’t feel this way. She feels that you are not giving her enough love, care, and attention and neglecting her of late. She may have maintained the same intensity in the relationship but you have loosened up and relaxed. Your girlfriend may even suspect that you have lost interest in her. Then, it’s up to you to reassure her of your love and commitment.
9. She’s busy in her life
This may be her job or something to do with her family and friends. Her time and attention are taken up by someone or something other than you. This has nothing to do with love and romance. She hasn’t found another partner or moving forward. It’s just that she has certain obligations to fulfill, she expects you to understand her situation.
Maybe her sister or friend is getting married or someone is not well. Or else, she is focused on a career change. She finds it hard to maintain the same intensity in the relationship with so much going on. She expects you to understand her and give her some space and time to deal with it.
10. She’s breaking up
You may not have suspected anything was amiss in the relationship but she was not happy and looking for a way out. She may have found someone else or just want to part ways with you and be single. She may even have told you about it and given you warnings but you never took it seriously.
She may find it hard to tell you that she’s leaving you. Instead, she says that she needs space and time to think. She may think that you will get the hint about her real intentions. Or at least she may think that you will come to terms with the situation in the meanwhile. You can treat this as the cooling-off period.
How should you react to your girlfriend asking for space and time?
Whether you want it or not, like it or not, your girlfriend has made it clear that she needs space and time to think. The first step for you is to understand her reason for the request. Sometimes she may make this request when she wants to leave you. Or else it may have nothing to do with you. She may even use this as a cooling-off period before breaking up.
So, the question before is how you should react to it. Should you wait for her to come back or is moving forward a good idea?
Here are some suggestions for you.
- Pay attention to what she’s saying: You may get valuable hints by listening to her.
- Talk to her: You can gather clues about her thoughts and feelings by noticing any changes in her behavior.
- Allow her space: Set a timeframe for getting back so that you know how long this will last.
- Notice her behavior: Pay attention to her words and actions and look out for recent changes.
- Look inward: Check your own behavior to see if you have hurt or offended her. If so, make changes in your behavior.
- Make efforts to spend time with her: If you really value the relationship and love her, you should be willing to go the extra mile to make her feel comfortable, loved, and cherished.
The Bottom Line
Relationships are unpredictable. Even if you try hard, you may find it difficult to read the mind of your girlfriend. It’s hard for your girlfriend too. She may feel that you are being insensitive and taking her for granted. Improving communication can make it easier for both partners.
Suffocating your girlfriend, even if it is with love and affection, is not a good idea. She should have the freedom to pursue her dreams and goals. That is exactly what she wants when she tells you about needing space and time to think. Give her what she asks for and she will respect you for it.
Don’t panic that she is parting ways with you when she makes this request, though this is also a possibility. Even if breaking up is what she wants, keeping her with you forcibly will not help. You will have to let her go ultimately.