Space from your partner while in a relationship is absolutely crucial, but for some people it can be a difficult thing to achieve, especially if you don’t require much space yourself. In general, men require more space than women do, but it also depends on the individual. For example, I absolutely love my alone time, especially from social situations, but when it comes to my relationship, I require much less space than my boyfriend does. I find comfort in being together more often than the average person would due to my anxiety issues. My boyfriend finds comfort in our time together and our time apart, equally, while my anxiety prevents me from feeling that way.
In order to ensure a healthy relationship, I have had to focus on giving our relationship space and room to grow for him, while my boyfriend works to be sure that he is giving our relationship adequate attention for me. It isn’t always easy for either of us, but with communication, patience, understanding, love, and compromise, it is completely possible. If you struggle like I do and need to learn how to give your partner a little more space, read my tips below that have helped me out in my own relationship!
***Keep in mind that this does NOT refer to space given during a break or a separation. That is a completely different situation. This is simply if you (or your partner) feel that you may be a little too clingy and invasive in the relationship. These tips are here to help you work on giving your relationship and your partner the freedom to grow and thrive without being smothered.***
Communicate your needs
First and foremost, you and your partner need to communicate about exactly how much space, attention, and time you both require for a successful relationship. Remember, even if your answers are different, you can still make the relationship work. By communicating and being completely honest with yourself and your partner, you’ll be able to gain a better understanding of each other, and therefore, you’ll be able to be more accommodating to your partner’s needs, as well as your own.
When you communicate your needs, don’t be afraid to be brutally honest. If you want your partner to dedicate more time to you, say it! If they’re being a little too clingy and you need space, say it! But remember to never be disrespectful or hurtful in the process. Approach subjects like this gently and with love.
Don’t keep tabs on your partner
Giving your partner space means trusting them. In order to show your trust you need to avoid consistently checking up on them, demanding to know where they are at all times, and going through their phones and social media accounts. Your partner is going to need some serious space if they find out that you’re invading their privacy in that way. Let them to do their thing and trust that they will make the right decisions in the process.
Stop acting like a parent
In case you haven’t noticed, I’m extremely honest about myself in my articles. I’m honest because I’m human, and the damage that has been done to me has caused serious relationship issues for me since I was a child and I know I’m not alone. While the honesty does hurt sometimes, I’m here to help other people like me.
One thing my boyfriend cannot handle with me is when I act like a parent to him. He comes from an extremely strict and controlling family. His mother, for example, continues to try to control him even though he’s in his twenties. He’s spent his entire life being controlled to an exhausting extent with no freedom. So when my anxiety forces me to become controlling and suddenly act like I’m reprimanding a child, he pulls away instantly. One thing I’ve had to practice in order to make my relationship work is to remember that my boyfriend is grown. He will make mistakes and he will do things I don’t like, but there will never be a reason for me to treat him like my child. As he pointed out, we both deserve to be equal in our relationship and neither of us should ever feel inferior to the other.
I’ve learned that control and “parent-like” behavior can be damaging to a relationship so learning to control this habit in yourself is a great way to provide your partner with the space they may need.
Limit phone calls and texting when you’re apart
One way to make your partner feel a little overwhelmed is to call and text all day everyday. There is nothing wrong with checking in when you’re apart or calling just to say hi, but when you’re talking non-stop and calling or texting to keep tabs on them, you’re crossing lines.
Stop reaching out all the time and let your partner get ahold of you for once.
Go out with others & encourage your partner to do the same
Giving your partner space means giving them time with their friends, family, and by themselves. Yes, away from you! Don’t give your partner an attitude every time they want to be with their friends or do something alone. Encourage it. By encouraging them to be away from you, they’ll just love you that much more. They’ll be able to see that you trust them, you love them, and you want them to be happy. That’ll only help your relationship.
Let your partner miss you
This kind of goes along with my two points above; let your partner miss you! Yes, you’re going to be missing them when you give them space and it can be tough, but just wait it out. It’ll be so worth it. I promise. Quit contacting them constantly and making plans with them. Do your own thing and before you know it, your partner will be reaching out and begging to see you in no time.
For example, when I don’t reach out to my boyfriend the entire day, he’s texting or calling to see what’s going on because it’s out of character for me and he misses hearing from me. And if I just chill and don’t make any date plans, he starts making them himself because he wants to spend time with me and that feels amazing.
Give your partner what they need and before you know it, they’ll be doing it return without even realizing it.
Continue to set aside time for each other
Even though you’re working on giving your partner space, it’s important that the two of you still set aside time for each other. Space does not and should not mean neglect. Too much space can make you or your partner feel unloved and unappreciated in the relationship, so be sure not to take this space thing too far.
Work on your codependency
When one partner has difficulty giving their other half space it can be an issue of codependency. A codependent person generally looks to their partner as their source of happiness. They rely far too much on their partner to be their “everything” and that is not a healthy way to live or to run your relationship.
Work on relying more on yourself as a source of happiness. Spend more time with your family and friends, pick up new hobbies or get back into old ones, and do things that make you happy that have nothing to do with your partner. If you work on these habits, giving space should become a lot more natural for you.