You might be in the best relationship ever right now; you might be very close to each other and love each other like mad, but you need the space. Every relationship needs some space. You know how when your parents get too protective of you and it makes no sense why they’re behaving like that? You probably wanted to talk to them about it and tell them to back off or run away from them. When your partner does the same thing and smothers you with no space for yourself, it is going to make you feel the same way. Because your partner’s helicopter routine will not only smother you, it will suffocate you to the point where all you want is to get out of it.
Everyone needs alone time, time with your other friends and just time, in general, for whatever else that you want to do without your partner. As couples, you might often think that you have to desire each other all the time, spend every waking moment with each other, and do everything together. But you really don’t. You need to learn how to give space in a relationship. Giving space doesn’t mean that you don’t want to be with your babe. It simply means that you need some time off from each other. If you don’t, then you’re probably too insecure in life, because of which your relationship might turn toxic.
Suggested read: Why using sex as a weapon in relationships is a BAD idea
Giving space to each other might scare you because, what if you both drift apart? This is how. Read on to find out more on this.
1. Recognize the signs
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If you haven’t already, the first thing you need to do is figure out if you’re in a space-less relationship. If you do everything together without even a moment to spare for the other, to a point where you’re not sure who suggested what you’re doing right now, then you probably need to stop, take a step back, and look at your relationship for a second. Is your partner too possessive about you to let you be with other people? Do you control each other’s lives to the point of dependency? Relying on each other is good, but not to the extent that you need them all the time. If this exists, then you probably feel a sense of suffocation in your relationship. And, if that’s the case, then you really do need to do something about it. Stat!
2. Talk it out
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Once you’ve realized that your relationship is toxic because of lack of space issues, you need to sit your partner down and talk to them about how to give space in a relationship. Pick a good time to talk about it and not when they’re all tired and won’t make the effort to talk about it. Make sure you don’t blame them or talk down to them. Just be calm and talk about how it has been so long since you went book shopping like you used to, or met that school friend who was your bestie growing up. Then, casually bring in how you both need to spend some time apart only because it will help your relationship and you both as individuals to grow. Keep the tone nice and positive so as to not scare them or hurt their ego.
3. Lay down some ground rules
Once you talk to your other half about how you feel about things, you’ll have to lay down some rules together for when you spend time apart. This is only so that you both can be comfortable with the other being without you. Now, the rules cannot be anything that restrains your partner, but it is more on the lines of scheduling things that will work for both you. If both of you have plans to meet people on a particular day, you can choose to do that on the same day instead of spending two different days apart. You’ll have to work this out for yourself because you know best what your relationship can endure.
4. Hang out with YOUR friends
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One of the most common problems of space begins when you stop hanging out with your own friends. Of course, you can spend time with each other’s gangs too, but if this is hindering you from spending time with your own set of friends, or if it has come to a point where you hang out only with your partner’s friends, then you have to do something about it. The first step in getting some space would be to do things with your friends but without the presence of your significant other. So, make some plans with your pals or with whomever else you’d want to catch up with. Honestly, this should be a priority because your friends have been in your life longer than your lover, and they deserve to be acknowledged for all that they add to your life.
5. Take a class
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If you don’t know where to start and what to do, indulge yourself in a hobby that you’ve always wanted to give time to. Spend time reading or take up a dance class or a cooking class so that you have at least some set time for yourself. Tell your partner to do the same, in case they don’t know where to start either. If not a class, you can even volunteer somewhere. Whatever works best for you, just go for it. No time like the present!
6. Stay away
Now, this is another important aspect of giving space in relationships. When you are at some social event as a couple, try to move away from each other instead of being at each other’s side all the time. If it’s a party, or say, a wedding, go around separately and meet other people. Don’t sit together when you’re going to have dinner. Instead, sit next to different people so that you can make conversation with them instead of just being involved with each other. This way, you’ll even have something to talk about later on. And this is a great opportunity for you to make new friends too. Win-win, eh?
7. Reassure your partner
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When you’re talking to your partner about how to give space in a relationship, you will probably have to keep reassuring them that it is normal to spend time apart. You two are probably very used to being with each other every second of the day, but when you suddenly spend a little time apart, your partner might have thoughts like maybe you don’t want to be with them anymore, or maybe that you’re bored of them. So, you need to reassure them, and tell them how much you love them, probably, more often than you did till now.
8. Balance it
There is no perfect formula to keep this going. People are never sure about how much time to spend apart or together. If you spend too much time apart, it becomes a problem; if you spend too much time together, it still is a problem. The trick is to spend as much time as you want with each other, but at the same time, take time off for yourself, at least once a week. As long as you don’t feel suffocated or too distant, you’re good to go.
We often don’t allow space to our partners or get too trapped in our own relationships without realizing it, before it is too late. This happens because people are insecure about letting their partners be without them. It’s all because of one’s ego, because when you give space, the ego loses control, and when it loses control, the insecurities act up. The best way to deal with this is to take one step at a time, and trust each other throughout, implicitly.
It’s not a personal attack against your partner if you want space in your relationship. It’s not like you don’t want to be with them, it’s simply the fact that you, as an individual, need time to yourself as well. By learning how to give space in a relationship, you make it all the more exciting. You both will miss each other’s presence, you both will have plenty to talk about, and you will definitely have much more to look forward to when you’re together again. You not only grow as individuals, but you also help your relationship to grow. Doesn’t sound so bad now, does it?
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