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If you’re one of those souls who is confused about the concept of space in a relationship, don’t worry, because you’ve landed in the right place!
When you just start dating and are at the initial stages of a romantic relationship, everything seems new, fresh, and exciting.
You can’t wait to see each other and spend quality time together, you regularly daydream about your loved one’s smile, you’re constantly texting and posting pictures of you two together on social media, and everything seems just perfect.
This part of every new relationship is known as the “honeymoon phase.”
At this point, it all seems idyllic and you have a strong urge to spend as much time with our partner as possible, because you’re infatuated and excited about everything.
But, relationships (especially long term relationships) don’t really function that way.
Being in a healthy relationship is not a phase.
It’s a serious commitment shared by two people who selflessly and wholeheartedly fight for their love, respect each other’s needs, and appreciate what they have.
Many people forget that being in a relationship doesn’t mean signing up for spending time with your partner 24/7, and that’s exactly one of the reasons for so many breakups.
Spending alone time is also necessary for maintaining a healthy relationship because both partners need time to recharge and to have a little space that will enrich them with new perspectives.
Both partners need space to have “me time,” to nourish their own life and not just the one with their significant other.
Too much togetherness can ruin even the strongest of relationships because when you’re focused on only one person, you become codependent and feel like you can’t do anything without first informing your partner about it or seeking their approval.
This can also negatively reflect on both partners’ mental health, because not having enough space in a relationship is closely connected with feeling anxious or controlled by your partner, which is a bad thing (if not one of the worst things) in the long run.
Instead of forcing togetherness, you should step back and focus on what you and your partner need (especially if one or both of you are introverts).
You should give them space to do their own thing, to experience things on their own, and acquire new perspectives that will enrich your relationship.
If your partner says that he/she needs space at the end of the day or when going through a hard time, respect that.
Making breathing room in a relationship is a prerequisite when it comes to establishing a healthy and happy relationship.
So, if you’ve noticed that things are not as they used to be in your relationship or that one of you or both of you are literally suffocating, chances are that you and your partner are in need of some space.
To be one hundred percent sure that this is the case, here is a list of signs screaming that you need space in your relationship!
10 SIGNS YOU NEED SPACE IN YOUR RELATIONSHIP
1. You’re constantly arguing over little things
According to various relationship experts, one of the number one signs that you need space in your relationship is constant arguing over petty things.
This includes things that are totally insignificant for your relationship, but still have a huge impact on it because they have become constant arguing topics in your everyday lives.
If you notice that all of a sudden you’re annoyed by the way your partner slices bread, washes the dishes or chews food, or you fight over trivial things like finding the best place for a vase, then you know that there is something bigger going on.
The reason why you’re suddenly annoyed by all those things is because you’re basically annoyed by each other’s presence.
Constantly arguing over little things means that you’re subconsciously trying to tell your partner that you’re feeling suffocated and annoyed by the situation in your relationship, which is lack of space.
After spending some alone time, you will feel refreshed and rejuvenated, and you most definitely won’t fight over trivial things because you’ll be in tune with your inner self.
2. You don’t do anything without informing your partner first or seeking their approval
If you constantly have the urge to tell your partner when you’re going somewhere without them or seek their approval, then you know you need some space.
This inability to do anything on your own without first informing your partner about it is the sign of codependency.
When you’re codependent, you excessively rely on your partner both emotionally and psychologically, and they become the most important person in your life.
This feeling of codependency forces you to tell your partner every single detail about your life because you feel like they deserve to know your every move and literally your every thought.
This kind of relationship can easily turn into a controlling relationship where one partner becomes overly jealous and pushes another to play to their tune and constantly explain their every move.
So, instead of telling your partner your every move or seeking their approval on things, do precisely the opposite.
Take some time for yourself and stop acting like you’re in a codependent relationship.
If you’re going to the store, just go to the store.
If you’re going for a walk, just go for a walk on your own without the need to include your partner each and every time.
Because spending time alone in this situation is exactly what you need and what will save your relationship.
3. You’re constantly annoyed by each other’s quirks and habits
When you were in the process of knowing each other better, you were falling in love with all of your partner’s good sides, bad sides, quirks, and silly habits.
Nothing could prevent you from falling hard for each other because you were still in the honeymoon phase where things are magical and simply awesome.
And now, after some time, you feel like you’re no longer with the same person because suddenly you’re overly annoyed by each other’s quirks and habits that you once found cute and attractive.
The reason why this is so is because you’re probably spending too much time together to the extent of becoming bored of each other.
And yes, this is totally expected.
When you spend all your free time with your partner, it’s hard to keep things exciting and see your partner with the same eyes as you used to before.
It’s so easy to get annoyed by each other’s quirks, habits, and ways of doing things because you lack new perspectives that bring the necessary refreshment into your relationship.
4. You no longer want your partner to accompany you anywhere
When you think of your partner going for a walk with you, going to the store with you, going out for a drink with you, or anywhere else, do you start feeling trapped in your own skin because you actually don’t want them to accompany you anywhere?
If yes, then it’s quite self-explanatory.
You no longer want to invite your partner anywhere because you have had enough of their presence and no longer enjoy their company as you used to before when things were still new.
You have literally gotten tired of each other and that’s why deciding to spend some time alone is the best bet.
And denying the fact that you need space in your relationship will only make things even worse.
You can’t be happy in a relationship where you feel trapped and are constantly thinking of the ways in which you can avoid going somewhere with your partner.
Telling your partner how you really feel about all this is the first step to initiating the space needed in a relationship.
It’s the first step to healing from the toxicity that has accumulated by spending too much time together.
5. You no longer enjoy spending time together
At the beginning of every relationship, you strive to spend as much time together as possible because you’re so deeply drawn to each other’s presence and enjoy every single second of it.
You spend half of your time curled up next to each other watching Netflix and eating your favorite food, you organize romantic dates as often as you possibly can, and you basically enjoy every activity, even if it’s just staring at the ceiling and doing nothing.
Back then doing nothing was considered fun because the only thing that mattered was you being together.
Over time, this changes in every relationship and you need to know that the more time you spend together, the less you’ll enjoy it.
So, you know that you need space in your relationship if you no longer enjoy the presence of your loved one – be it watching Netflix, going out, or doing nothing in particular.
You no longer enjoy any of it because spending time together has lost its meaning.
It’s lost its initial passion and spark that can only be retrieved by spending enough time alone.
6. You feel drained and stressed out
When you don’t have enough space in a relationship, with time you’ll start feeling drained and stressed out without even knowing why.
Many people are not really sure why they feel the way they do in a relationship, so they start blaming external things like their job, friends, family, or themselves.
But, in the majority of cases, feeling drained and stressed out is not linked to any of these, but to one thing only – lack of space in your relationship. Focusing on only one thing (your partner) is the main reason why you’re feeling stressed out.
Both partners need to have their own lives outside of the relationship.
They need to have enough space to recharge and be on their own a bit.
If not, they will start feeling anxious and drained, just like a bird in a cage.
And no one likes to feel that way, right? We all want to feel free and alive.
We all want to enjoy life and our relationship.
And we can achieve that by implementing enough space in our relationship and everyday life.
7. You feel like you’re losing your own individuality
Two people in a relationship can never become one person, no matter how much time they spend together.
That means two people will always be two individuals with different viewpoints, mindsets, ideas, dreams, and wishes.
Maintaining your own individuality means continuing to do things that fulfil you and having a life outside a relationship.
When you start feeling like you’re losing your own individuality, you know it’s happening because you haven’t focused on maintaining space – on giving each other enough space to be who you really are and stay active instead of passive in your own life.
Think of the things you used to do before you were in a relationship and compare it to your current situation.
Do you see any difference?
If yes, then you know it’s time to regain power over your own life and focus more on all the things in life that mean something to you, instead of just one.
8. Your connection feels off
Have your past meaningful conversations turned into dull small talk or no talk at all?
When was the last time you said those three words to each other (and actually meant it)?
Do you feel like something changed without knowing what?
If yes, it means your connection is off now because you haven’t given each other enough space to keep evolving.
Your relationship has stagnated because your personal lives have stagnated.
And when that happens, the only thing that can save your relationship is space.
If you’re feeling like your partner no longer understands you and you’re alone in your relationship, it’s because this is partially true.
You no longer understand each other because you’re no longer even trying to do so due to being annoyed or overfed with each other’s presence.
Just like a flower needs water to grow and stay healthy, so every relationship needs space to grow into a healthy and strong relationship.
(Always keep that one in mind.)
9. Lack of physical affection
Similarly to meaningful conversations, lack of physical affection is another warning sign of the need for space in a relationship.
Now, let’s do the comparing thing again.
When you compare the current situation with your initial stages of dating/relationship, do you notice something different?
If you used to be affectionate toward each other on a daily basis and now can’t really remember the last time your partner kissed you, hugged you, or did something romantic, then chances are, the main culprit for this is a lack of space in your relationship.
Lack of physical affection is directly connected with a lack of personal freedom because you can never be happy in a relationship that is not motivating you to become the best version of yourself.
And when you’re not genuinely happy, it’s hard to express it through physical affection or words, and that’s where the gap starts being created.
This gap needs to be filled with a decent amount of space needed for both partners’ personal development in order to pursue dreams and desires, and simply spend time alone for recharging purposes.
Once you do that, physical affection and every other aspect of your relationship will simply flourish.
10. You miss being single
When you start feeling like a prisoner in your own relationship, you’ll start missing being single again.
When you know that you’re not happy with how things are, you’ll want your relationship to disappear into thin air and to rewind to the time you were single and ultimately happy.
But, this doesn’t have to be the case.
Oftentimes, we daydream about being single just because we feel like we’re losing ourselves in a relationship, which can be easily “cured” by implementing some space and giving each other freedom to live our own lives instead of just one as a couple.
You need to switch from the couple-bubble to another, bigger one that consists of all of your close people, friends, hobbies, dreams, passions, and partner too.
In this bigger bubble, you will have many compartments that need to be nourished, and that is exactly what will enrich your perspective and make you truly happy – both in your relationship and overall.
WHY HAVING SPACE IN A RELATIONSHIP IS A GOOD THING
If you can identify with the majority or all of the above signs, then you know for sure that you don’t have enough space in your relationship.
Now, if you need more reassurance as to why space in a relationship is a good thing, here are some reasons that will help you understand its necessity:
1. It helps you preserve your own individuality
When you’re in a relationship, you no longer think about yourself only, but about your partner’s dreams and wishes as well.
You think about your relationship and what’s best for the both of you.
And sometimes that feeling of being one with your partner is what causes you to lose your own individuality.
That’s why it’s important to bring some space in a relationship so that you can keep evolving on your own and keep preserving your own you-ness.
You need to continue doing things that you were doing pre-relationship because that’s the only way to real happiness.
2. It brings excitement into your relationship
Yup. One of the main reasons why space is so needed in every relationship is because it brings excitement into your lives.
When you’re constantly spending time with each other, it’s easy to get bored and start taking each other for granted.
But, when you learn to separate your personal life from your relationship, you will instantly bring excitement into your relationship.
Everything will feel fresh, your kissing session will be more passionate, and you will gain deeper levels of intimacy.
3. It gives you enough time to miss each other
Both spending time together and missing each other are important parts of every healthy relationship (this is one of the most valuable pieces of relationship advice I’ve received).
And when you’re spending all of your free time with your significant other, you’re not giving yourself enough time to miss each other.
Missing each other also creates anticipation, which is connected to excitement.
When you know that you won’t see each other for a few hours, a day, or longer, you start contemplating about how it would feel to hug them, kiss them, tell them everything that’s on your mind, make out and make love with them.
The longer you miss them, the more you’ll feel connected to them and your love will keep intensifying.
4. It makes your relationship stronger
Many people think that overly prioritizing their partners and solely focusing only on things happening in their relationship will make their relationship stronger.
But, this is not true.
It’s freedom, space, understanding, trust, and respect that make relationships really strong.
If your relationship is built on a healthy foundation, giving some space to each other will only make it stronger and even healthier.
Trusting each other enough to keep nourishing your personal lives will enrich and bring the spark back into your relationship.
Needing space and giving space in a relationship are two concepts that are an innate part of every human being, and all you need to do is activate them and look how things change for the better!
If you’ve just realized that your relationship is craving space, the worst thing you can do is keep staying ignorant of it.
Instead, spend some time on your own contemplating about it and then talk to your partner and explain to them the need for a space in a relationship – how it will improve your relationship and make it stronger, healthier, and indestructible!