Another day I heard a saying that goes like this; It’s better to try understanding the sun than a woman. Well, let me tell you something, understanding men isn’t an easy job either.
Sometimes men pull away and no matter how much you try, you just can’t figure out why. One question keeps running through your mind and it puts you in limbo… Does he need space or is it over?
Anyway, you should keep in mind that a small relationship break can actually save your relationship from falling apart.
As Jacqueline Shlain, the relationship expert, says: “It is so easy to panic and think you have done something wrong, but the truth is a little bit of space is healthy in a relationship.”
In this article, I’ll help you figure out the answer to this question. And the rest is really up to you.
It’s up to you to decide whether you’re going to fight for your love or you’ll let him go if this little break turns out to be the breaking point of your relationship.
Does Needing Space Mean It’s Over?
There is no woman on this planet who wants to hear her significant other say that he needs space, especially if they’re in a long-distance relationship. It sounds awful and in the female mind, that means that things are over for good.
Yet a male mind works in a completely different way and ‘space’ doesn’t necessarily mean that things are ending.
But we can’t help but wonder what ‘space’ really means—does he need space or is it over? And, those questions are not easy to answer.
In most cases, it simply means that a man needs little space to clear out his thoughts and his own feelings.
That need for space doesn’t even have to be associated with you or your relationship. Sometimes, men pull away only because they’re currently going through some hard times and need a little time to figure things out and think about their own life.
On the other hand, that space may mean a potential heartbreak for you. It may make your man realize that he doesn’t love you like he used to and that the best thing for the both of you would be to break up.
As you can see, understanding men can also be a very tough job.
However, no matter the outcome of your little relationship break, the only thing you can do is to let your man have the space he needs.
It’ll be the ultimate test of your relationship. If you truly love each other, that small distance won’t separate you, it’ll actually bring you closer.
Is He Losing Interest Or Just Needs Space? 10 Ways To Tell
The question is, how do we differentiate between the two? Does he need space or is it over?
The best way to answer those questions is by taking a step back and looking at things from a male perspective and his possible reasons for wanting space.
Below is a list that will help you reach a definite conclusion, the list of the most common reasons why men need a little space in long-term relationships.
Things are moving too fast for him
As I already mentioned, men and women operate on different levels. Taking that into consideration, we have to be aware that women can have deeper feelings or be ready to take things to the next level before men.
It doesn’t mean that your man cares less than you do, it just means that he needs more time to get to the place in your relationship where you already are.
So don’t jump to conclusions. Men tend to be clear with their words. If he says he needs space because things are moving too fast that means just that things are getting out of his comfort zone and he needs some space in order to decrease the speed.
Adjust your pace, meet him halfway, and give him that space so he will be able to catch up with you.
He is scared to fully commit to you
Or in other words, he is scared of his feelings. Not all men are in touch with their feelings and they might have a difficult time expressing them or even dealing with them.
So they get this need to pull away whenever they feel things are about to become more serious.
If you are the first woman he has ever considered as something more serious, he will be scared as hell. It will freak him out.
On the other hand, if you are dealing with a real commitment-phobe he will run for his life and there is nothing you can do about it.
In either case, giving him space is the right thing to do. Forcing things and trying to tie him down won’t get you anywhere.
He needs some distance in order to see things from a different perspective.
If he is the man for you, some time apart will make him realize that he is just being stupid and that he will just spend all that time missing you like crazy.
If things go any other way, you will at least avoid being strung along by someone who wasn’t good for you to start with.
He is already a ‘low investment’ partner
He already doesn’t spend nearly enough time with you and he is not matching your efforts.
You are the only one giving and investing in the relationship and he is never there when you need him.
These are all signs that he is already one foot out the door. If, in addition to all of that, he informs you he needs space, then things are ending.
He is probably using the space to decrease the intensity of the break-up. He is not sure about you and odds are he never will be.
If you assess that he already has more than enough space for himself, his interests and his friends and if you admit to yourself that he has been neglecting you all along, you will see that this space is actually the space you need to see that this relationship isn’t working.
Don’t try to hold on to somebody who is clearly unworthy of you. Let him go if he is not ready to be all in.
He feels pressured into taking your relationship to the next level
This is connected to the first item on this list but it consists of his family, friends or even you pressuring him to take things to the next level—to become more committed, to move in or to get married.
The more pressure you put on him, the more he will want to flee.
If you keep pressuring him, your relationship will end. If you relax and let things take their own course, he will get where you want him to be. Reverse psychology is all you need.
If his friends and family are the ones putting on the pressure, make sure he knows that none of it is coming from you.
Grant him the space he needs by talking openly and reassuring him that you don’t want to force anything and that you will let things fall into place in their own time.
You fight too much
If he needs space because you fight all the time, you should reconsider your whole relationship.
Just because you share strong feelings doesn’t mean you are compatible. Your constant fights indicate that you are not able to function normally.
Some time apart will do you good. Consider all the pros and cons of your relationship.
See if you and your partner are able to find some common ground and a way to overcome your differences.
If not, no matter how much it hurts, you will have to put an end to it.
If you are not able to work as a team in your relationship and agree to disagree at some points, then as the relationship progresses, things will only get worse.
You’ve become too clingy
Sometimes when a woman falls head over heels in love with a man, that man becomes the center of her universe. She becomes dependent on him, on that love actually.
Many people have an insecure attachment style and it’s nothing a person should be ashamed of. However, they must work on fixing that issue if they want to keep and maintain their relationship healthy.
If this is the case, if your man has told you that he needs space because he thinks you’ve become too needy, the best thing would be to give both of you some time to rethink your relationship.
To be honest, you’re actually the one who needs some alone time. I understand that you enjoy spending time with him more than anything else, but you also have to understand that there are some boundaries that have to be respected in order to have a good relationship.
He feels caged
This is what happened to me. My boyfriend felt trapped in the relationship because he lost a sense of who he was without me. He just needed a bit of breathing room.
Our relationship became stronger because I gave him space. If love is genuine, there is no amount of space in this world that can drive you away from one another.
So if your boyfriend needs some time for himself, or if he is in desperate need of privacy and freedom to pursue his other interests, then that’s nothing to worry about.
That’s just a sign for you to loosen the reins. It’s a sign you are being too clingy and that you will end up suffocating the relationship if you don’t grant him some space.
He doesn’t feel appreciated enough
Another reason your man might ask for some space is if he doesn’t feel respected and appreciated enough.
Maybe you were dealing with some of your own things lately and you neglected him a bit. And if he’s putting a lot of effort into making your relationship work while you’re not putting any effort at all, it’s completely normal that it won’t make him feel good about you or your relationship.
Even though being taken for granted by someone you love is the most awful feeling in the world, it won’t make your man break up with you.
He just wants to make you realize that if you keep behaving the way you do, you’ll end up losing him. That’s the only reason he told you that he needs space.
Of course, if you love him you’ll do everything to make him feel valued again and show him that prioritizing those other things over him was a huge mistake that you feel deeply sorry for.
He has some problems that are unrelated to you
Men are not as good at multitasking as women are; they prefer to focus on one thing at a time.
So if he is too stressed at work or he has his own things outside of the relationship he needs to take care of, he will need to take a step back to address those problems.
Let him know you are there for him and that you don’t consider him getting away from you as a good solution to his problems.
You guys should be a team who support each other through difficult situations, you shouldn’t seek escape when things get tough.
You can provide him with enough space by accepting that you will see less of each other and that you will understand if his attention is redirected elsewhere for the time being.
He does it only to test you
You know how relationship experts say that a long-distance relationship is the ultimate test of love? Well, this may be the test of your love.
It’s possible that your man doesn’t actually want to take a break but he only wants to test things and see how strong your relationship truly is. He wants to test if your love for him is as strong as you say.
That’s why it’s very important how you’ll behave during that little break. I’m really not a fan of these kinds of tests and I think it’s totally unfair, but if you don’t want to lose your man, you’ll have to pass his test.
Also, this doesn’t mean that you should only be sitting in your home and waiting for him to call or to come back to you.
You’re allowed to hang out with your best friends and do all the other things you would normally do, but seeing other men is strictly off-limits.
How To Give Him Space And Avoid Losing The Man You Love?
Some people say that absence makes the heart grow fonder. This is why your relationship break can actually be good for you. But it is only if you do it the right way.
The relationship coach, Jacqueline Shlain, explains it in the following way; “If you do it right, chances are you will find having a little distance makes you feel more grateful for each other, and even brings you closer together.”
Below are a few tips that will help you endure this hard period and save your relationship. So, if your man wants to take a break, here’s how you should behave.
• Try to talk about it
You will probably spend a lot of time thinking and stressing about it and get a huge amount of different relationship advice from your best friend, family or even acquaintances, but the best thing would be to talk with your significant other about it.
Ask him to get together and communicate openly about it. That’s the only way couples solve all of their issues and disagreements in healthy and serious relationships.
If he says that he doesn’t want to break up with you and that he just needs some alone time, you have to respect it. Of course, it would be good to ask him what caused that need for space.
If he chooses not to answer that question, you have no other choice but to respect and accept it. If he answers, even better because you’ll finally know how to make things better and how to endure this not-so-great relationship period.
• Show understanding
If your man needs space, he’s probably clogged by overwhelming feelings and he needs space and alone time to figure things out.
Try to understand him, show respect for his wishes and don’t disturb him. He may even come back the very next day but only if you let him clear his mind in peace.
The worst thing you can do is try to push him into making a decision regarding the future of your relationship. Because the answer he’ll come up with under pressure will surely shock you.
• Respect the no-contact rule
When your man says he needs space and you agree to go on a relationship break, that’s when the no-contact rule comes into your life in its full glory.
That means you should cut off all contact or, at least, wait for him to reach out first. At some point, he’ll have to reach out and ask to get together and tell you what he has decided regarding the future of your relationship.
So, respect the no-contact rule and stop thinking about initiating contact with him. Also, it would be best for you to stay off social media for a while just so you don’t see when he’s active and get tempted to send him a text.
• But also, make it clear that you’re there for him
Your man is probably going through a hard time and even though he doesn’t want to admit it, he needs your support now more than ever.
You should respect his will about going no contact for a while, but you should also tell him that you are and always will be there for him, no matter what.
• Don’t forget to take care of yourself
I know you’re constantly thinking about whether he needs space or it’s over forever, but you really must stop obsessing about it and focus on yourself.
Your feelings and thoughts are all over the place and it’s completely understandable. But, you need to find the strength to gather them again and continue with your life.
Have a small social media detox. Go out with your best friends or invite them over. Hang out with your loved ones. Have a full spa treatment. Take care of your body, mind and soul.
• This is a perfect time to set new life & relationship goals
As I said, you need to use this break to focus on yourself and on your own life. Think about your dreams and goals and if you’re on the right way to achieving them.
Your man said he needs space because he probably wants to rethink your relationship and you should do the same.
And I don’t mean to rethink whether your relationship was the real deal or not. What I wanted to say is that you should try to find a way to fix all of your issues and to make your relationship better in every possible way.
• Be patient but above all, be optimistic
I know you’re looking at this relationship break as a huge red flag that you’re going to break up soon, but you really need to be optimistic and have faith in your man and the love you two share for each other.
You’re going through a hard time right now but be patient because I promise you, it’ll be all over sooner than you think.
Be positive and keep thinking like this; he isn’t trying to find an easy way out or to end things with you, he needs space and that’s it.
Do Guys Come Back After Needing Space?
This is a question no one can provide you the right answer to. It really depends on so many things. But, the most important thing you should keep in mind is that if he loves you, he’ll always come back to you, no matter what.
And if he doesn’t love you, he’ll come back but only to end things with you for good. Or, if he’s a coward who is afraid to confront you, he’ll give you the silent treatment and hope that his silence will tell you that he isn’t planning to come back ever again.
Unfortunately, I have seen a lot of real-life examples of relationships ending because they were unable to provide each other with much-needed freedom, or because someone needing space signified that they had much deeper issues and the end was inevitable.
And there is my experience which, fortunately, had a happy ending. I was in a similar situation.
My boyfriend told me he needed space and I burst into tears because I couldn’t help but ask myself: will he come back if I give him the desired space? I was convinced that he was leaving me forever.
I was crying for about an hour until his words reached my ears — he was trying to explain that he didn’t want to break up with me, he just needed some alone time because we were spending too much time together.
I wasn’t pleased with that answer either at first but I realized he was right.
We were spending every waking hour together and we really took things too far. At first, it was fun and it was time well-spent.
But recently we got into this rut where we stopped paying attention to each other and we were just physically together, with our minds elsewhere.
I gave him the space he wanted, even though it was one of the scariest and overall worst things I ever had to do. I feared I would lose him for good.
But I realized right there and then that by giving him the space he needed, I only helped us get much closer.
We were spending less time together but all the time we had together was more than well-spent. As you can see, my man came back in the end. Well, actually, he never even left in the first place, he just simply needed some space.
Remember, when it comes to a healthy relationship, it’s about quality, not the quantity of time you spend together.
To Wrap It Up
In a nutshell, not everything is so black and white. When asking yourself, “Does he need space or is it over?” you have to realize that relationships are full of gray areas.
The current state and quality of your relationship will determine if you guys are meant to last or end because your relationship is not making you both happy.
All in all, if your man wants some space then you should provide him with that.
When you set somebody free, it really tells you if they are the one for you or not.
If he comes back, you will have a firmer relationship and a better sense of belonging than you ever had before. If he stays away, it’s better for you.
Relationships can’t and shouldn’t be forced. So if him needing some space is something permanent, you will have to make peace with the fact it was never meant to be.
If you need some additional help in giving your partner space he so desperately seeks, download Give your partner space and let your relationship bloom and see how mutual freedom will make you more connected.