In Summary
  • The best moments of our lives are the ones we share with someone special.
  • They may just be gasping for space in the relationship and you are standing in their way.
  • It is important for you to focus on strengthening yourself and learn to find your happiness within you.
  • You are responsible for finding your own happiness.

Whenever your partner asks for space, it is important to not only hear your partner’s needs, but to be aware of your reaction and feelings as well, writes

It may sound a little awkward when your partner asks for space, you may feel some sense of anger or resentment. Sometimes it may feel like you are breaking up and you want to do whatever you can to win him or her back. However, if the person says they want to be alone temporarily, let the person be. Healthy couples give each other space to have hobbies, friendships, and a life outside the relationship.

Ali Male, a counselling psychologist at A-Z Counselling & Support Centre, says although you may have to deal with worry or fear that this space will grow into separation and a permanent breakup or divorce, the most important thing to remember is that you cannot force your partner to stay with you and you cannot force things in your love relationship or marriage to happen in a particular way.

Why the space?
The best moments of our lives are the ones we share with someone special. “Life is great if you have a special someone to share it with but also too much togetherness can ruin a perfect relationship. Keeping a relationship alive needs memories and special moments. To keep a relationship fresh and exciting, you need to experience things separately and then come together thereafter. This is when you need the space,” Male says.

In a relation, if you hear your partner say the words “I want some time alone”, or “I need to focus on my career”, do not be overwhelmed because they are normal and valid cries for space and not cries of rejection. When they request for space, give your partner the space to miss you and then make the time you have together positive and high quality.

Regulating the space
According to Evelyn Kharono Lufafa, a counsellor at Ssuubi Medical Centre, knowing how to give space may be very difficult at the beginning but it is important for you to train yourself and learn that it can be part of a relationship. If the space is not rightly balanced, one partner may become uncaring or unemotional and the other person becomes needy or clingy in love.

“Although there may not be a particular time to say this is enough space you are giving your partner, be very careful not to give too much space because then the relationship will be devoid of emotional intimacy, leave one partner with feelings of being taken for granted and not cherished enough,” she advises.
While giving space to your partner, beware not to do things that will destroy the relationship, like forgetting important dates, coming home late often, or ignoring your partner’s plea to spend time together.

How to deal with it
Kharono says if your partner needs space, give them space. When they say they do not want to text, do not text for a specified period of time. If you ignore the rules of the game, you are not actually giving them what they need. This is also a time for you to figure out what you want and make better decisions as regards your relationship.

Set time
Male says, “In situations when you or partner needs space, be honest with each other about how much time you expect to spend apart. Having an agreed amount of time will prevent your feelings from getting hurt, while also allowing your partner enough time to recharge and be a better person.”
“In the same way you are respecting your partner’s need for space, tell your partner what is going on and how you feel about the situation in an honest and direct way and let honesty be the policy in this situation,” he adds.

Even when you are the clingy type, you need to let go of that tightening hold on your partner. They may just be gasping for space in the relationship and you are standing in their way. It is important for you to focus on strengthening yourself and learn to find your happiness within you. You are responsible for finding your own happiness.
“Allow your emotions flow during this time and do not try to suppress them. While it is important not to burry yourself sadness and fear, ignoring your feelings will make your situation worse. You can actually cry to help you in the healing or speak to someone for support. It is okay to feel hurt or angry and these emotions will help you move through it more easily,” Lufafa advises.

Male says by learning how to give space in a relationship, you’d learn to keep the excitement alive by becoming a better individual with your own special qualities and memories. And as long as you have something new to share with your lover, your relationship will stay happy and exciting.