I have to say that one of my favorite things about my love partner, is that he’s cool with me needing space in our relationship. Not only is he cool with it, but he’d also be horrified if I never gave him the space he needed. Here’s the thing. When you know you’re with someone who wants to be with you, you don’t have to panic when there is space between you. And if you are with someone who gives you space when you need it, you will never feel suffocated, guilty, obligated, or trapped. Maintaining healthy space in a relationship can be tricky if you’re not used to it. But here are 6 tips to stick to when trying to create healthy space. I promise, I won’t lead you astray! I’m kind of amazing at this…
1. ALWAYS HONOR AND GRANT YOUR PARTNER’S REQUEST FOR SPACE, NO MATTER WHAT
This is the best way to build trust between you and your partner. And it really is a violation of personal boundaries if you can’t give your partner space when they ask for it. They aren’t going anywhere, they just need and want space. You are two human adults with COMPLETELY different makeups. Even if you are soul mates and best friends, you are still two different people. Do you join your partner when they’re peeing or pooping? Hopefully not! They pee and poop, and do TONS of other things without you. And this is as it should be.
SPACE IN A RELATIONSHIP IS NOTHING TO FEAR
If your partner is asking for space, you must grant it. Even if you would much rather be close in that moment. I have days when I’m working from home and alone all day for hours. And sometimes I can’t wait until my partner comes home so we can finally hang out. And even though he loves more than anything to hang out, he may have been talking ALL day to annoying people. So, what he really needs is alone time to decompress. So, when that happens, I MUST find ways to entertain myself. And I always do!
Also, sometimes, he’s just annoyed by me. Or I’m just annoyed by him. Not usually, but sometimes. And so, we really don’t need a reason. And sometimes, it might be hurtful to tell them, “eh, you’re kind of annoying me right now, and I would rather be alone.” So, when they lovingly ask for space, you must utter only two letters.
Your partner deserves to have this need met and will love you all the more if you can grant it without pouting or being weird!
2. LOVINGLY COMMUNICATE YOUR NEED FOR SPACE
This sounds kind of obvious, but your partner really can’t read your mind. No matter how “connected” you are or how much you have in common, this is a super unfair expectation. So, when you need space, all you need to do this lovingly communicate this. Here a few examples of what loving communication sounds like in this context:
“Hey Honey. I’m feeling kind of overwhelmed from my day and really just wanna do my own goddess thing and watch YouTube makeup tutorials in the bedroom. Can we watch that movie tomorrow night instead?”
“Hey Honey. I think I wanna do my own thing tonight. So, how about we have dinner together and then maybe do our own thing for a few hours? I love you!”
“Hey Honey. I’m kind of hormonal right now and this totally has nothing to do with you. But I think I just need to go for a drive and listen to my music for an hour. When I get home, maybe if I’m feeling better, we can watch some TV together before bed.”
In all of these examples, there is still consideration of the other person’s feelings. And there’s always an offering made. There have been times when my partner actually needed a few days of space. But he always offered assurance that by the end of the week, we would watch that movie together, or whatever. Or, if I need to go for that drive, I let him know that I’m still open to some time together later.
And sometimes, you or your partner might need ALL night to be alone, and that’s okay too. Just make sure you give each other sweet goodnight kisses, to maintain that connection, but still keep your space.
3. CELEBRATE THE WAYS YOUR PARTNER ENJOYS HIS OR HER OWN SPACE
My partner is a super introverted and adorable nerd. He has a very, very active mind and he needs constant mental stimulation. That’s actually his way of relaxing and decompressing. So, when he’s doing his alone time thing, it almost always involves computer and/or video games. And when we first got together, I totally judged it as being nerdy and lame. But then I started asking him questions about the kind of games he played and why. And I honestly found (and still find) it so fascinating.
He likes games that are super strategic with tons and tons of moving parts. And his mind remains stimulated because of how intricate and nuanced everything is. I mean, yeah, sometimes, he just wants to shoot people in a video game, or play baseball. But still, whatever it is, I understand now that he does this because it is fuel for his lovely mind. And so now I love this about him, and appreciate (for the most part) when he’s doing this on his alone time.
He also loves to read, or stare off into space and think! And he also likes to watch science, or sports, or history YouTube videos that fill his brain with knowledge.
Me, I prefer mindless, superficial, emptiness, with a focus on beauty. I used to love watching the Kardashians, mostly because they’re all just so pretty, and my heart felt at peace in this beauty. Of course, I also love my makeup and beauty YouTube Channels That I Obsessively Watch To Decompress. And sometimes I need nature, or music, or a chat with my best friend or sister. Other times, I do need a drive, or I want to read, or be alone in the bathroom and primp and preen myself.
Whatever we do on our alone time is okay. And in order to maintain healthy space in a relationship, it really helps to respect and honor the way your partner spend his or her alone time.
4. CHECK IN WITH EACH OTHER
Sometimes, it’s actually hard to know yourself if you need space. You might really need some space energetically, but emotionally you feel like hanging out. That’s why, a good practice for maintaining healthy space in a relationship, is to check in with each other regularly.
Every night at dinner, or after dinner, my partner and I ask each other what we want to do for the rest of the evening. And this is a perfect time to chat out your needs for the evening. Checking in every day is not excessive, but actually really healthy. And this is a really good way to prevent resentments from building on both sides of the fence.
5. DON’T PANIC IF YOU BOTH DON’T WANT SPACE AT THE SAME TIME
My partner and I almost NEVER want space at the same time. Unless we’ve had some icky fight and obviously then, we both need and want to be alone to process. But otherwise, most often, one of us wants or needs space when the other one is DTH (down to hang).
But that’s no problem! You as a goddess have your own life outside of him. You carry on conversations with strangers, and have random thoughts in your head. And you work on personal projects, and have your own likes and dislikes. And he has all of those things too. There’s no way your energies could possibly line up at the same time, all the time. So, when he needs space, dive into goddess-mode and enjoy your alone time too! And if you’re really feeling needy, which is totally okay, call a friend to just chat.
If you aren’t used to doing things without your partner, then get used to it! Explore yourself and find things to do that you LOVE doing without him. Driving and listening to my own music is WAY more fun on my own than with him in the car, hating every minute.
And it’s also okay if you’re kinda sad or bummed if he wants his alone time, when you’re in the mood to hang. But that’s your sadness that you have to take care of. It’s not for him to worry about, and none of it is personal. It’s healthy!
Also, if you want alone time, it’s not for you to worry about his feelings. If you requested space with love, then the rest is up to him. He’s a grown man and is responsible for his own emotions.
6. REFRAME THE WAY YOU THINK ABOUT SPACE IN A RELATIONSHIP
Society often paints this idyllic picture of what a happy couple looks like. They’re both super hot, but still accessible and nice. They finish each other’s sentences, and share the same everything. They go everywhere together and are best friends. Ew. That’s just too much, damn!
Space in a relationship is hot, okay! There’s this part of me that loves when we have some space, because it creates some mystery and makes me wonder what he’s up to. It makes me miss him, and it makes me admire him from afar. Because in those moments, he’s being purely HIM without me. And again, that’s hot!
I know every couple is different, and a relationship with two introverts is going to look WAY different than a relationship with two extroverts. But you work it out, with the goal in mind to have everyone as happy as possible. But missing each other, and even being sad when the other is not around, is good! It means you still have some life force pumping through the relationship.
It’s tricky when one person is more needy than the other. And in those cases, I think it’s important to practice loving boundaries. The needier person needs to learn that space is nothing to fear. But since they may be a bit more fragile around this topic, it’s the other person’s job to assure them of their love and let their partner know that they’re not going anywhere. The less needy partner might think this is lame. But this might be exactly what the other partner needs in order to feel comfortable with the space that the other one craves.
So, in your relationship, are you more often the one wanting space, or the one wanting to be close? Sometimes it flip flops. I think my partner and I are right down the middle, with him probably needing more space than me. Did you enjoy this article? Do you struggle with maintaining healthy space in a relationship? THANK YOU FOR READING! xo
SUBSCRIBE TO MY NEWSLETTER TO RECEIVE EXCLUSIVE, SUBSCRIBER-ONLY GODDESS CONTENT!
FOLLOW THE GODDESS ATTAINABLE PODCASTBecome a Patron!
VISITY MY ETSY SHOP
Featured photo by Dulcey Lima on Unsplash
Woman pouting photo by OSPAN ALI on Unsplash
Driving woman photo by Andraz Lazic on Unsplash
Video game photo by Sam Pak on Unsplash
Sheep photo by Anastasiia Chepinska on Unsplash