Men are complex. One day they may shower you with love, while the very next day they may seem withdrawn. So when your man asks for some space, it may be rather confusing for you. However, giving him what he wants might be the best thing you can do. It will not only help him see how confident and secure you are in the relationship, but it will also give him the opportunity to pursue you. So when your boyfriend wants space, here’s what you need to do.
“A great relationship is about two things, first, find out the similarities, second, respect the differences.” – unknown
A reader wonders how to give a man space and whether space will work to bring him closer.
I’m really confused about something my boyfriend said and I was hoping you could help. After a wonderful weekend together, I didn’t hear from him like normal on Monday (we usually text every day) so I texted him on Tuesday. I asked what happened on Monday— and he told me he needs space. He really hurt my feelings.
He still texted me first for the rest of the week. I didn’t bring anything up with him because after he told me that, I got scared he was pulling away and didn’t know what to do. We usually see each other every weekend and he hasn’t made plans.
How do I give him space? Does he wanting space mean he’s pulling away or losing interest in me and our relationship??”
Okay, I’ve been EXACTLY where you are and I know how crappy and vulnerable you feel right now, especially after you had such closeness going on before he told you that he wanted space to figure out what he wants.
What you’re going through is really common. After an intense time of closeness, healthy men need space.
Just the same, when a guy says, “give me space” it can mean a lot of different things. It can feel confusing and hurtful. I get it.
Let’s go over why men need space and then what to do when he asks for space.
Also, some readers might wonder what to do when a man wants space during a breakup. I’ve included that too.
Let’s do this.
Why Men Need Space
“A healthy relationship is built on unwavering trust.” – Beau Mirchoff
A man’s need for space can feel confusing and hurtful. It feels like rejection.
It can feel like he’s saying that the close time you spent together didn’t matter to him, or he didn’t enjoy it. When we get close to a man, we want that closeness to continue the same way so we feel safe and secure in the relationship.
When a man experiences this kind of intense closeness with a woman, he enjoys it for a while, but it eventually raises his anxiety levels.
This is why men withdraw after they have spent a lot of intense time with a woman who they feel close to. They need a breather to get back to equilibrium.
A man’s natural process of coming close to a woman and then stepping back before coming close again is completely normal for him.
For women, closeness represents emotional security. And chemically, we can handle a steady dose of it, so the fact that it doesn’t work for him feels like veiled rejection.
The real problems begin when we take his need for space personally and start trying to force closeness or fix it. All of these “solutions” imply there is a problem.
What NOT To Do When A Guy Wants Space
“Assumptions are the termites of relationships.” – Henry Winkler
Don’t automatically take his asking for space personally.
Don’t plot with your girlfriends about how to bring him closer when he clearly wants time away from you.
Don’t obsess about his reasons for wanting space or repeatedly ask him what’s wrong. If you feel you absolutely must, you can ask him if something is wrong once. If he says “nothing,” drop it and let him come to you if he wants to talk about things.
I have personally sabotaged relationships by freaking out and trying desperately to bring a man closer when all I really should have done was given him space to figure out what he wanted. I understand the tendency to worry when it feels like he is pulling away. However, how you handle his need for space is absolutely crucial.