A reflection on the importance of giving space in a relationship when it is needed, and the positive effects it can have on a relationship.
When a relationship is going well, both parties feel great. At some point in any relationship, however, one or both parties become disenchanted. Any number of things can cause this sudden shift in emotion from bliss to utter uncertainty, but oftentimes the other party is clueless about their partner’s feelings. Usually both parties just need some space and time to work out their feelings.
Time is of the essence when things are taking a turn for the worse in regard to relationships. If your partner says that she needs space, by all means give it to her! It could truly make all the difference in the world if you do, and you honestly don’t have much time to help things along to getting better.
It is a natural reaction to cling to someone that wants you to just leave them alone. You spent so much time together that you feel lonely and vulnerable. This kind of behavior will seriously harm your relationship if you choose to go down this route. It has to do with attraction: a person tries to pull away when the other party is being too needy. Conversely, if you are pushing away, you will notice your partner trying to insert themselves into your life even more.
Recently, my girlfriend and I went through this. We had hit the three month mark, and she was beginning to feel that she was losing a part of herself. She related to me that she always finds something wrong with a guy after a few months, becomes their “friend,” and then breaks it off. Letting me know this aspect of her personality was both wonderful and alarming.
I knew that because she was sharing this with me that I had a fifty-fifty chance of hanging on to her or losing her. This knowledge, combined with the fact that we both had a lot of prior engagements coming up, helped facilitate the reconnection we needed to keep our relationship alive.
That first night, I went out with a friend instead of hanging out with her. This way, she was able to spend a quiet evening at home without having to keep me entertained. We had, after all, spent practically every night together since we had first started dating. The next day, she had plans with friends. Although it was hard not seeing her as often as before, I knew from past relationships that this was the best possible route to take. Later that night when she was done with her friends, she called and asked if she could come over and stay with me.
For the next week or so, we were both busy. I had to travel, we both had to work, etc. We saw each other less than we had for quite some time. At the end of two weeks, we were on our way to go have some drinks with friends. She told me on the way there that she didn’t want space, that she loved me, and that she didn’t mean what she had said about needing space. Evidently, getting a small taste of what it would be like without me was enough to convince her that she really didn’t want out, but that she wanted to maintain her life as well as our life together.
The important thing for couples to remember is that they fell in love with an individual, not someone they intended to mold. Keeping parts of your life strictly yours is essential to a healthy relationship, especially if you want it to last. Don’t give up everything that you like doing, because that builds resentment. However, don’t be selfish. Relationships need breathing room, but not too much either. Life, in all areas, is a balancing act. Being mindful of this fact will go a long way in ensuring a happy, successful relationship and life with that special person.