When your significant other says he needs some space, or you notice that he is distancing himself to make some, you dread the worst. You fear that “space” means he’s had enough of your relationship and wants out. You fear that all he wants is to break up with you.
But sometimes the only reason why men need space in a relationship and why men pull away in the first place is because they need a chance to make some room for themselves while still being with someone else.
That’s perfectly normal. Two people in a relationship need to hold on to their individuality and their own life that they have outside of the relationship, not only the one they’re creating together. It may sound abstract, but granting space and freedom – aka spending time apart in a relationship – pulls you closer.
The downside of needing space is that men and women perceive it differently. Women have a hard time accepting it and that’s why when men say they need space. On the other hand, women assume the worst and go into this state of confusion and sadness, while the men had no intention of making them feel that way.
To make things a bit more clear, let’s look at the possible reasons why men say they need space and the ways to deal with it that will increase your chances of saving your relationship and creating an even firmer bond. So, let’s get started!
Some women become clingy without even being aware of it. It’s like a natural reflex. When a relationship starts feeling a bit more serious, they hold onto their partner more tightly because they’re scared of things not working out.
So they unintentionally suffocate the relationship by obsessing and overanalyzing every situation, insisting on being in constant contact (especially via texting), spending as much time as humanly possible with their partner,and not giving him any room to breathe.
The most important thing to do here is to be able to admit to yourself that you are clingy and see what you can do to overcome it. Your fears are probably unfounded and there is no need to put that kind of pressure on your partner.
So if this is the case and he says he needs space, grant him that space. Occupy your mind with yourself, work on something you are passionate about. Create; discover; don’t let your feelings and fears be what ruins your relationship. Because if space is really the only thing he needs, your relationship will prosper – there’s no doubt about it.
2. Things are moving too fast
The main reason a man fears commitment is when he believes if things are more serious, he will lose his freedom.
They all have that one friend or a few of them who “stopped being themselves” after being in a committed relationship – they never have time to hang out, they don’t do things they like, and their girlfriend calls every few minutes to check in.
He doesn’t want to share their fate, so he pulls away and looks for some space.
The worst thing to do here is to not grant him that space. Do the opposite. Encourage him to hang out with his friends, be supportive when he has a new goal, give him some time for himself when he asks, don’t text him often. Trust him. If you give him space, he will come to you; he just needs to feel free to do the things he likes.
You see, understanding men is all about thinking about what men want and what they need. And what they want and need is some emotional space that will help them deal with their feelings and whatever issues they might be going through at the end of the day.
And if you don’t make sure to give your man that, he’ll pull back. And when a man pulls back, it means hiding in his “man cave” and ignoring all of your text messages and whatnot.
Now, I know it’s hard to stay indifferent to your feelings and I know it might sound counterintuitive to you, but it’s of crucial importance that you stop holding him back and rather start encouraging him to be himself. Remember that he needs space!
He has to feel that a relationship doesn’t equate to putting chains on somebody. By giving him enough room, you will make him miss you when you aren’t around. (Trust me, it’s one of the best bits of relationship advice I’ve ever received!)
See also: 5 Things To Do When He Pulls Away
3. He needs time to deal with his own issues
When men are stressed, overworked, sad, or generally feeling lousy, they will seek some solitude. They’ll create some distance. That “rule” applies for all men on earth and all types of relationships – high school romances, serious relationships, almost relationships, you name it.
And no, it won’t be because they lost all their feelings for you or have any intention of hurting you. The only reason why men need space and why they pull back is because they are programmed that way.
The main culprit for misunderstanding here is gender differences. While a woman would immediately talk to somebody and pour her heart out in a bad situation, a man does the opposite: he withdraws and excludes everyone around him. He doesn’t want to talk about it or even deal with it.
Try to understand where he’s coming from. Don’t try and force things out of him. Observe him, as maybe you already know why he is acting weird and distant all of a sudden.
The main reason he doesn’t come to talk to you openly about his problems is that he doesn’t want to appear weak in your eyes. Give him as much space and time as he needs to come around and talk to you because, trust me, that’s exactly what your guy needs!
Keep in mind that it probably has nothing to do with you or anything concerning your love life, he’s just dealing with his own issues in his own way. And once you give him some space, he’ll feel the need to talk to you the next day, the day after that, or in a few days for sure.
4. Misunderstanding or problems in the relationship
The same behavioral pattern as when he has his own issues to deal with will arise when a relationship goes through some problems or obstacles. Instead of talking about it, he’ll stay silent and change his behavior.
He won’t say that he feels like you don’t understand him or that something is not working right, because these aren’t “manly” things to say. The only solution he’ll see is to take a step back and figure out where everything is heading.
This is the time when you have to speak up. If you are under the impression that things aren’t right between you, you have to find a way to deal with it.
Ask him what the problem might be. Ask him why he no longer tells you “I love you” or why he no longer texts first, or whatever the case may be. And whatever he tells you, don’t overreact or go into defense mode.
You will achieve so much more by listening and trying to see things from his perspective. If you can understand him, then you can find a solution and work on the problem, and avoid making even bigger ones by ignoring them and sweeping them under the rug. They are bound to come out – it’s just a matter of time.
Whatever his reason for needing space might be, you have to remember that 95% of the time it doesn’t have anything to do with you and everything to do with him.
Men and women are just wired differently and they have different ways of dealing with certain situations. That’s why they hit rough patches and at times fail to communicate that easily.
In rare situations, he might be using “space” as an excuse to break things off and you’ll be able to tell by his complete disinterest in you or your relationship. He’ll distance himself completely and that’s when your intuition will probably keep telling you those three words: “Let him go!”
But, there’s no real need to worry yet. The most common case scenarios are the four situations listed above. The most common reasons why men need space is because they are just wired that way and it’s in their nature.
He will need some actual space for himself, but that doesn’t have to be something awful. He’ll still be around and attentive, but maybe the intensity will be reduced, which is quite normal when relationships get a bit more serious.
You might miss the quantity of time you spend together, but the quality will be so much greater.
Some room to breathe will give you a chance to miss each other, and new interests and activities you do in your alone time will make your conversational topics broader and more interesting. So when you really think about it, granting each other space might be just the thing you needed all along.