Being in a committed, long-term romantic relationship can surely be tricky. There is no doubt that building and maintaining a healthy relationship is challenging, but it is also important to maintain your personal identity. Here are a few signs you need space in a relationship.
Taking a step back
Being in a loving relationship can feel magical. To have someone support you through your toughest battles and keep you humble through your greatest achievements – this is what forms the very crux of a genuine relationship.
However, regardless of how much you may enjoy spending quality time with your partner, you may still need space from your partner and your relationship to be with your own self.
To connect with our inner self, think as an individual and assess our emotion, needs and wants. You need to create more space in your relationship to figure things out and gain clarity about your future.
Related reading: How Healthy Boundaries Help Protect Your Personal Space
What is “space” in a relationship?
Before we delve into the signs you need space in a relationship, let us first understand what “space” actually means in this context. When you want space in your relationship, it simply means that you need some time alone.
It means putting yourself, your emotions and your needs before your partner’s. But this doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t love or care about your partner anymore.
Seeking personal space is a form of self-love and self-care that allows you to build a stronger connection and a more intimate relationship in the long run. It is only by loving yourself you can truly love another person.
By making better choices for yourself and doing things that your heart desires, you will feel a lot more positive about yourself and this positive energy will transfer into your romantic relationship.
Related reading: How to Continue Being Yourself In A Relationship
7 Signs you need space in a relationship
So how can you know that you need more space in your relationship? Here are 10 common signs you need space in a relationship –
1. You don’t get enough “me time”
Have you been neglecting your hobbies, passions and interests due to your relationship? If you cannot remember the last time you enjoyed some solitude and engaged in some of your favorite solo activities, then it is a good time to consider having some personal space. However, the same applies for your partner.
Cutting some time out to focus on your individual hobbies will not only make you feel more satisfied and fulfilled, it will also make you more interesting to your partner. It will also help you find and rediscover your individual self once again.
Related reading: Why Spending Time Alone Is Not A Bad Thing
2. You argue with your partner all the time
If you pick fights with your partner for no apparent reason, then you need to give your partner space. One of the prominent signs you need space in a relationship is constant bickering for no reason.
You seem to get annoyed and agitated about things that don’t matter and you’re unable to let go of grudges. This happens especially when you are unable to communicate what you feel and what you need from your partner.
Taking some time off and allowing some space between you and your partner will help you gain clarity, understand what you want, figure out issues, make adjustments and enable you to better communicate with your partner.
Spending some time apart, even just the weekend, can help you get out of the cycle of argument and engage in open conversation.
3. You are codependent
Do you always seek your partner’s approval before doing anything important? If you need to seek permission from your partner before going anywhere or need their opinion before dealing with any issues, then it is one of the signs you need space in a relationship.
Being in a codependent relationship, you are unable to make your own decisions and lack the confidence to deal with life’s challenges on your own.
By seeking some space, you will become independent and live life based on your own skills and abilities. One simple way to get started is to refrain from constantly texting or calling your partner and asking their opinion on everything you do. Sometimes spending a day apart can make a lot of difference.
Related reading: 5 Types Of Codependency And Codependent Personalities
4. You find your partner’s quirks annoying
Do you still find their mannerisms and habits cute? If not, then it’s time to take a step back from your relationship as it is one of the strong signs you need space in a relationship.
Spending some time apart can help you reflect on your past and become less irritated by your partner’s quirks. Bringing some much needed space in the relationship will help you get back to the same mindset you had when you first started dating your partner.
The more you see them the way you did at the beginning, the more you will find their cute behaviors endearing. Getting some space can definitely help you and your relationship.
5. You avoid your partner
Do you still enjoy spending time with your partner? Or do you detest their company? If you no longer feel excited to be with your partner, then it’s time to take a break.
When you are in a long term relationship, it is natural to become bored with and tired of your partner due to constant exposure to them. As they are always available, we tend to forget how important and valuable they are to us.
However, when you take some time off, you realize that you are drifting apart and you need to step up to make things better. Spending time away from your partner will help you bring the romance and passion back into the relationship.
Related reading: Is Your Relationship Experiencing a ‘Crisis of Connection’?
6. You are stressed
Relationship stress is common and it can seriously affect your “relationship well-being” by causing “negative interactions” among partners, according to scientists. So if your relationship is making you feel exhausted, then it is surely one of the signs you need space in your relationship.
Chronic relationship stress can not only cause anxiety but also negative couple interaction, even in expectant parents. Relationship stress can be confusing when you are in love with your partner.
This is why getting some space and building a life outside the relationship can help you release your pent up frustration and interact more positively with your partner. This is true even if your relationship or your partner is not the stressor. Getting in touch with your inner self can help you better cope with internal and external stressors.
7. You are thinking about breaking up
Do you think about being single? Are you wondering if it would be better if you broke up with your partner? One of the most alarming signs you need space in your relationship is when you wish to be single again.
This shows that you are not currently happy with your relationship. However, getting some space from your partner can help you reevaluate your thoughts, emotions and situation and empower you to figure out your next move in a calmer and smarter way.
Related reading: 10 Bad Reasons To End A Relationship
give space in a relationship
Do you need space in your relationship?
There can be countless more signs you need space in your relationship. Let’s take a quick glance at some of these signs and reasons for taking a step back from your partner for the time being –
- You feel like you’re losing your individual self
- You don’t feel any emotional connection with your partner
- You don’t feel physically attracted to your partner anymore
- You don’t focus on self-improvement
- You only prefer things that your partner likes
- You don’t communicate much with your partner
- You can feel a negative vibe in the relationship
- You don’t share any opinions with your partner
- You don’t like informing your partner about your whereabouts
- You or your partner has a closed body language
- You don’t want your partner to interfere in your personal life
- You hold on to grudges
- You don’t socialize without your partner
- You or your partner has become controlling
- You or your partner takes the relationship for granted
- You are pursuing or chasing your partner all the time
Related reading: Tips To Cope With Personal Space Invaders
Needing space is not breaking up
When you have been in a relationship for sometime, you are bound to feel the need to be independent at times. But when you are not fully aware of your thoughts and emotions, you can misunderstand this need as the need to take a break from the relationship. However, this has got nothing to do with your relationship.
When you are in a real relationship, you don’t look at it through rose-tinted glasses. A real relationship is not filled with rainbows and butterflies. Real relationships need effort. It needs compromises and sacrifices. And these, at times, can leave us feeling empty and lost, especially when we ignore our individual needs.
Identifying the signs you need space in your relationship, taking a step back and spending some alone time allows you to pause, introspect and reconfigure your inner thoughts and emotions. Needing some space doesn’t mean your relationship is falling apart. It simply means you need to look after yourself more and heal yourself first.
Related reading: Why Do We Need Boundaries With People We Love?
Whether you need space in the relationship or your partner does, there is no need for panic or negativity. But there is a strong need for understanding, empathy and compassion.
It is also important that you focus on maintaining balance between addressing your personal needs and your relationship. Spending time alone and getting some space can bring new positivity into the relationship.
But if you focus solely on yourself and completely move away from your partner, then it may look as if you are doing ‘no contact’ or ‘ghosting’ your partner. And this can spell doom for your relationship. This is why it is important that you still spend some quality time with your partner while getting some personal space.
Why you need space in a relationship
If you are still unclear about why you or your partner may need space in a romantic relationship, here are a few quick reasons that you need to know about –
1. It redefines your self-identity
Recognizing signs you need space in your relationship and getting some personal space can help you reset and re-establish your identity, especially when you have been in a long-term relationship.
Relationships can often be all-consuming and we tend to end up losing ourselves. Seeking personal space can help you connect with the individual you were before you entered the relationship and rediscover your genuine self.
Related reading: Relationship Agreement: How It Can Strengthen Your Relationship
2. It helps with self-improvement
Spending time alone in solitude is the key to personal development. Getting some space from your relationship can help you take a deep look at yourself and identify areas you need to improve upon.
Self-improvement can not only make your life better, it can also help you achieve more goals, shift your focus on things that matter and make you more attractive to your partner.
3. It strengthens your relationship
When you get the opportunity to reflect and introspect on neglected issues and forge a deeper connection with your inner self, you will better understand the true value of your relationship.
As you will realize how important your partner is to you, you will stop taking the relationship for granted and pay more attention to building more intimacy. With independence, effort will follow that will lead to a longer, lasting and loving relationship.
Distance builds attraction
If you can feel that your relationship is headed south and notice the signs you need space in your relationship, then taking a few steps back can actually help you and your partner rediscover the lost spark.
Instead of being afraid of seeking space, learn how to ask for space in a relationship and enjoy some time alone while balancing the needs of your partner. In fact giving space in a relationship can also bring you closer to your partner.
Communicate openly with them and be sensitive and careful about the process. In the end, it can be a blessing that can strengthen your love and bonding.
Related reading: How To Give Space To A Man: Everything You Need To Know
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
What does space mean in relationship?
It means to focus on your needs and do things you want to by shifting your primary focus away from the relationship. It is about balancing your individual needs with your partner’s needs.
Is it normal to need space in a relationship?
Yes, it is absolutely normal and natural to seek space in a romantic relationship. We all have our individual needs that we need to focus on. Spending some time alone can help you recharge and build a stronger relationship.
How do you know if you need space in a relationship?
If you are in a codependent relationship and spend most of your free time with your partner, then you need to get some space. Moreover, if you feel suffocated in the relationship, spending some time apart can be beneficial.