First things first: there’s no need for worry and anxiety if you’re currently in a ‘I need some space’ situation with your girlfriend.
The probability that it means the end of the relationship is low – it’s more likely that she’s actually trying to make your relationship work by giving the both of you a chance to think about it. That, or she’s going through some personal stuff.
The chances of a breakup are low, but not zero, so if you had done something that could cause her to consider a breakup, you’d probably already have a pretty good idea of what’s going on. In that case, start working on your apology if you want to save your relationship, and mean it.
So, if you hadn’t messed up in some way, you’re thinking, “If she says she needs time, how long should I wait before contacting my girlfriend?” Truthfully, you should wait as long as you’re willing to wait for her.
Let’s see what that means, how to know what’s on her mind and what you should do.
She Says She Needs Time, How Long Should I Wait?
When your girlfriend tells you that she needs some space, you are inevitably faced with a dilemma: do you do as she says and respect her wishes to stay away or do you show her that you care by contacting her?
You should always choose the first option.
If she’s honest about needing space, she’ll appreciate that you’re taking her wishes seriously instead of disrespecting her boundaries. If she’s testing you to see if you’ll fight for her in some imaginary struggle, you’re refusing to play her games and base your relationship on deception.
When you decide to give her the space she needs, you’re now in another predicament. “She says she needs time. How long should I wait?” you’re probably thinking. This kind of has a clear answer: one week to a month.
She might contact you sooner, and it’s possible that she might need longer than a month, but the longer it takes, the more likely it is that she doesn’t want to stay in the relationship. But it’s ‘kind of’ because the answer to this question still depends on a number of factors which only you know.
• How new is the relationship? If you’ve been together for a while, you might be able to figure out what she wants.
• Have you been having relationship problems? What happened before she asked for time?
• How strong is your emotional connection? Are you honest and sincere with each other?
• How do you feel about her and do you know how she feels about you? Don’t look for a solution by thinking in terms of what women want, but consider what she wants.
• How much do you trust her? Do you believe that she’ll come back?
• Did you do anything to hurt her?
Think about these questions carefully, then wait as long as you think she needs.
Taking some time for yourself isn’t a bad thing. Some space is healthy in a relationship, but when she asks for distance, it feels scary because it makes you worry that she wants to break up.
When she talks to you about needing time, it’s a good idea to ask her how much time she needs and what does space mean to her. She and you might have different ideas on what it means: maybe she means seeing each other less, and not seeing each other at all.
If you want a healthy relationship, you’ll take her wishes into account. Don’t make her explain why, but ask her how she wants you to deal with it. Maybe your girlfriend wants occasional contact, maybe she wants none.
Give her time to deal with what she needs, then, after the amount of time she said she wanted, contact her. If she still needs time, don’t try to pressure her, but give her the additional time she needs.
What Does She Mean When She Says She Needs Time?
Trying to understand what was left unsaid can easily make your dating life very complicated. When your girlfriend says she needs time, what does she even mean? Of course, the best way to find out is through honest communication, but if she’s not ready to talk about it, you’re left with worry.
Go through this list of possible reasons why she might need time thinking about what your relationship is like. You’ll be able to find a lot of clues for what the real answer is if you closely think about your particular circumstances.
1. She needs time for herself
Sometimes when she says she needs alone time, she just needs some alone time and it has nothing to do with you or anyone else. When she needs space because she’s busy, has a lot on her plate or she’s simply tired, sometimes that’s all there is to it. There’s no need to complicate the situation.
She might have problems with her family, something going on at work or struggle with mental health issues, so she needs time to deal with it. There’s no need to be hurt that she isn’t discussing these things with you – maybe her way of working through her problems is that she needs to completely focus on them, so anyone’s help might be unwelcome.
3. She needs time away from you
If you’ve been coming on too strong, she might be overwhelmed by you. If you spend too much time together, she might need time to feel like an individual instead of always being a part of a couple. She needs to regain some of her independence.
It might be tempting to take this to heart and get angry or offended, but accepting each other’s boundaries is part of a healthy relationship. Right now she’s setting hers, so by respecting them, you’re creating a basis of a successful relationship.
4. She thinks you’re moving too fast
Examine your behavior. Have you placed responsibility for your feelings on her? Did you say ‘I love you’ after you’ve been dating for a month? Are you looking at her for validation instead of having confidence in your self-worth?
When someone is needy and insecure, they tend to get attached to their romantic partners too quickly. You need to think hard about your behavior to figure out if you’ve been acting that way. If you have, use the time apart to start working on your self-esteem.
5. She’s angry with you
Have you done something and when you tried to ask her to forgive you, all she said was “I need space?” If she’s angry with you, don’t just wait for her to forgive you and come back. You must reflect on your actions, think about how you hurt her, decide how to make it up to her and prepare your apology.
When you apologize, you must mean it and accept responsibility for what you’ve done. You must be prepared to make changes.
6. She thinks it’s you who needs time
By telling her that she needs time, she might be actually giving you time because she thinks that you need to work on some things. You might be stuck on an ex, you might have trouble committing, you might repeatedly do things she asks you not to.
Think about what led to her asking for space – she probably already told you what the problem was.
7. She doesn’t know how to talk to you
She might have a problem she doesn’t know how to talk about or she’s afraid of how you might react. If you don’t know how to effectively communicate with each other, it can cause many problems in your relationship.
Both of you need to learn how to talk to each other. It starts by listening and looking to understand each other without judgment. Let her know that you’re willing to listen.
8. She doesn’t want a serious relationship
If you’ve only been dating for a while and you made it clear you want something serious, she might need time to think about it. Commitment is a big step which shouldn’t be taken lightly.
It might be too soon or she’s not looking for a serious relationship right now, so it’s better to take a step back to make sure you’re on the same page. If your values aren’t the same, there’s a chance that things won’t work out, so don’t uninstall your online dating apps just yet.
9. She’s unsure of her feelings
It’s perfectly normal to have doubts about your feelings. Realizing how you feel about someone is sometimes easier when you’re apart. If she’s not sure about how she feels about you and your relationship, she made the decision to take some time and think about it.
Don’t push and make her decide right away. Give her a chance to make sense of her feelings and figure out what she really wants.
10. She’s unhappy in your relationship
How are you treating your girlfriend? Be honest with yourself and think about whether you regularly give her affection, show her you appreciate her and put in effort to make your relationship work.
If she thinks you’ve been taking her for granted or that you don’t listen to her, she’s unhappy in your relationship and needs to step back. This is your chance to commit to making changes if you want to keep her.
11. She wants to decide whether your relationship is worth it
Relationships have their ups and downs. At the end of the day, it’s important that there are more good than bad things about it because otherwise, what’s the point? If your relationship is making you miserable and not making you happy, why stay?
If your girlfriend is going through the process of figuring out how she feels about your relationship, she needs time to weigh the pros and cons and check in with herself.
12. She’s interested in someone else
Your girlfriend might be interested in someone else, but if that option isn’t secure, she’s keeping you on the hook in case things don’t work out with them.
Have you ever noticed that she’s showing interest in someone else, such as talking to them online a lot or talking about them like she can’t help herself but bring them up? If you figure out for sure that you’re just a fallback for her, it’s best to move on.
13. She’s playing games
She might be testing you or trying to gain the upper hand in the relationship. If she’s manipulative and does things to ensure that she has all the power, asking for space might be one of her tactics.
Someone like this isn’t really interested in you, only in what you can give them. If she’s playing games with you, she doesn’t take you seriously, so think honestly about her behavior so far and you’ll be able to tell if she has feelings for you or if she’s just using you.
14. She’s thinking of ending things
Maybe she’s not 100% sure that she wants to break up, but she’s considering it, so she might be taking time to think about it and see what it’s like to be on her own. If you think about your relationship, you might find some clues that this is happening.
Have things been rocky? Is she clearly unhappy? Has she been distant even before asking for time? These might be signs that she wants out of the relationship.
15. She’s thinks she’s letting you down gently
Unfortunately, sometimes needing time is code for breaking up with you without saying it. Instead of telling you that she wants to break up, she’s letting things fade away. The reason she’s doing it might be because she doesn’t want to hurt your feelings, or she’s being cowardly and letting time do what she should do herself.
What To Do When A Girl Says She Needs Time To Think?
The following relationship advice applies to any situation: a long-term relationship, a long distance relationship or a new relationship. Your best bet for a positive outcome is if you show her care, honesty and respect, and don’t try to force anything.
You’ll achieve that by following these tips.
1. Give her time and space
If your girlfriend asks you to give her space, then you should give her space. If you refuse, thinking that you must keep her close, you’ll make her uncomfortable and push her away for sure. By respecting her wishes, you’re showing that you respect her.
Ask her to tell you how much time she thinks she needs and how much space she needs, but don’t interrogate her, make her explain why and give you any definite answers because she doesn’t have them either.
2. Don’t pressure her
So you said okay and agreed to leave her alone for some time. Even though you want to make things better and get her to spend time with you again, don’t try to force it. If she told you that it’s okay to contact her, you don’t have to follow the ‘no contact rule’.
You can keep in touch, but don’t call and text her all the time. Don’t be desperate and beg her to be done with it. Don’t try to impress her so that she’ll want to come back. If she’s not ready, trying to make her change her mind, guilt-trip her or tell you when she’ll be done taking her time, you’re only prolonging it
3. Don’t think of it as a breakup
If this is the first time you’ve been in this situation, you might be worried that this is really a breakup or that it’s inevitable. Don’t get angry and make any rash decisions. There is some chance that it is, but before you decide to think of her as your ex, think about if you have reason to believe so.
Has something happened or have you done something to make her want to break up with you? If you can’t think of anything, then give her the benefit of the doubt. If you trust her, trust what she’s saying. If you don’t trust her, think about why that is and what you can do to change it. Use this time wisely.
4. Reflect on your relationship
Unless she needs time to work on personal issues, this situation has something to do with your relationship. Time and space will not magically make your problems go away, but it can give the both of you a chance to reflect on yourselves, your issues and how you contributed to them.
You must participate in finding solutions to your issues by honestly examining what your relationship is like and how you can make it better. Unless you openly admit to yourself what your role in your relationship problems is in the first place, you can’t figure out what doesn’t work and how to fix it.
5. Work on yourself
While she’s taking her time, you shouldn’t sit around waiting. Instead, make an effort to become a better version of yourself. While it might be impossible to go through a life-changing transformation in such a short period of time, you can still achieve a lot.
Try to identify the things about yourself that you want to improve and learn how to come closer to being what you want to be like. This doesn’t have to be related to your relationship.
For example, if you want to be more confident, learn how you can do it by watching videos on a YouTube channel or reading articles and books. Doing this won’t turn you into someone perfectly confident overnight, but it will give you inspiration and the tools you need. Now all you need is to make an effort and keep going.
6. Spend time with other people
If you’re used to spending time with your girlfriend, you could get lonely if you suddenly have a lot of time for yourself. Use the time you and your girlfriend are apart to reconnect with people in your life.
Instead of wallowing in self-pity, call up your best friend and think of something fun to do. Visiting family members and hanging out with friends will help you get out of your head and stop worrying about what’s going on.
7. Don’t stalk her
It’s normal that you follow your girlfriend on social media and there’s no need for this to change, but don’t check up on her. There’s no need to ignore it when she updates, but don’t comment and like her posts. Don’t follow her around social media, checking her activity and monitoring who she interacts with.
Don’t show up in places you know she’s going to be and try to make it seem like you ran into her by chance. The more you try to push her, the more she’ll withdraw. By keeping a close eye on her, you’re only giving yourself anxiety without achieving anything with her.
8. Stay faithful
If you open tinder looking for a hookup the moment your girlfriend asks you for space, you should reconsider your relationship with her. Maybe this is an opportunity to change your habits and get out of the relationship if you’re not happy.
On the other hand, if you know you want to be with her, then make sure that your actions are in line with your wishes. It’s normal to be upset and miss her, but you must not let your feelings do something you might regret. Stay loyal to her in every way so that when you’re reunited, you don’t have anything to hide.
9. Be a better partner when she comes back
First of all, you should be prepared to have an open conversation with her. Talk about the reasons she needed space if they’re related to you or your relationship, share what you’ve figured out and how you both plan to go on.
If her reason for taking time was personal, offer to listen if she wants to talk about it. Listen to her concerns and commit to improving your relationship. If she was feeling bad because of your actions, make sure you’re serious about not doing it again.
Tell her of any issues you might have, but don’t accuse her or get angry. If something in your relationship wasn’t working, you both have to decide to work on it.
To Sum Up
Relationships are complicated, but never more than when you’re unsure of where you stand and what you should do. As long as you have good intentions and want to do what’s best for your relationship, you can feel real struggle thinking, “She says she needs time, how long should I wait?”
It’s understandable: you want to respect your girlfriend’s wishes, but you don’t want your relationship to fade away if you wait too long. Generally, having to wait for over a month isn’t a good sign, but even three months of space have been known to save marriages.
She might need time and space for a number of reasons, but you’re the one who can best figure out which one applies to your situation based on how your relationship so far looks like, her behavior and your own actions.
Whatever you do, don’t try to force it – this will only drive her away. Instead, work on yourself so that when she comes back, you have a chance to contribute more to your relationship. Good luck!