Certain words can leave your heart racing. For instance, “can we talk?” and “I need some space,” can leave you wondering if you did something wrong, especially if it comes from a partner. You’d probably think they want to break up with you but the reality is, we all need some space from time to time. This goes beyond romantic relationships.
Distance is necessary, even from friends, children and family. Life can at times feel like it’s too much and this could be because your social battery is at zero.
When someone expresses their need for space, it does not mean that they don’t love you. It simply means that they need to take care of certain needs to recharge.
When you allow someone to have their personal space it shows that you trust them. It shows that you care about them enough to allow them to be and when they are ready they know they can rely on you to be there for them. That free time allows us to take control of our lives and this improves our wellbeing.
Sadly, many of us are afraid of giving those we love space for fear of losing them. This stems from a fear of abandonment which may have come from a negative experience.
If you also have an anxious attachment style, you may also not be very comfortable with this arrangement. This is because you cling to those you are close to and love, which may lead you to taking up too much of their space unconsciously.
If someone you care about requests for some space, ask how much time they need. Maybe they just need a few hours or days to themselves to get their stress under control.
Sometimes this could mean emotional space. If you have a habit of throwing solutions around, this is not the time to do so. Allow them to figure things out, alone.
Give them the opportunity to travel, go out with friends or soak up for a few hours per week. Space means different things to different people so try and understand where they are coming from without demanding for too much explanation.
This is not the time to ask why they need space or they will feel smothered. The fact that they have asked for it is enough.
Unless they explain why without you asking, don’t press.