It's a bit of a running joke sometimes, about the man in your life needing more "space", but in reality, it's no joke at all. Any relationship in which two people behave in an overly dependent manner can feel oppressive or smothering for either party, and indicates a need for one or both people to learn to cope apart as well as together.
A healthy relationship will always benefit from giving each other space, and never more so than when you feel that your boyfriend is champing at the bit to be "released" a little more often to just be by himself or to spend time with his mates. If you're finding it challenging to let go even though the relationship's becoming a bit too much to handle, it's a sign that now more than ever, you do need to learn to give him his space. Here are some suggestions to help you. Give him space enough to miss you but never leave it long enough for him too forget and stop needing you !.
- Realize that your boyfriend is more likely to want to break up with you if you keep breathing down his neck than if you give him the space he craves.
- Don't assume the worst when he asks for space; if he still gives signs of caring about you and wanting to see you now and then, take it at face value that he really does need space. Perhaps he's stressed from a heavy workload, or snowed under with exam studies. Try to look for the actual reasons beyond yourself.
- Trust. Trust that your love will blossom with space, rather than wither. Part of this is about examining your own motives for being with him – if it's just love, you'll unearth this trust. But if it's security, money, prestige, or some other non-love reason you're with him for, now is a good time to re-examine your purpose in the relationship.
Ask questions to clarify what's going on. Without appearing paranoid or overly emotional, be forthright in asking your boyfriend what he sees as being given space, and how much time he's contemplating. Is he wanting a few days or weeks now, or does he want this to be a permanent arrangement, such as having every Saturday to himself? This can help to reassure you that he has sound reasons for wanting space that don't involve breaking up with you, and it gives both of you some solid ground to work out the duration or precise times you won't be turning up in his life.
- This is a good opportunity for you to also outline the space you'd like too. Don't be bratty about it; simply think of genuine reasons what you'd like, such as Friday nights free to spend with your girlfriends!
Sort something out amicably. At this stage, it's vital that you don't come across as needy, petulant, or terrified of losing him. Whatever you do, do not walk off in a huff or throw a fit. Both reactions are calculated to have him retreat even further into his shell and feel justified for wanting even more space! Instead, visualize yourself as a person negotiating something that is perfectly reasonable, then go ahead and negotiate it without appearing too down.
- Don't look like you need him. It's absolutely vital that you show you're not needy, clingy, or desperate for someone else to complete you. Remind yourself that you're your own strong, confident, and independent woman. You don't need him to ensure your peace and happiness. A strong and confident woman with a sense of her own purpose in life is extremely attractive to guys, so you'll be doing both of you a favor by being this way.
- Avoid begging for anything. There is no harm in asking him occasionally for help, for extra time together, and for indications of your future direction together. It becomes undesirable when you fall into asking constantly, begging him to do things with you or to spend more time with you. And it's worse if you put on a turn, cry, and generally act miserable. Just don't do it!
- hobby, new or old friends, and activities. Become more involved in your career direction and perhaps think about improving your chances of getting a promotion. Get some purpose back into your life that allows you to grow and exist apart from your boyfriend, and to be able to prove to him that you're capable on your own, which will reassure him more than anything else that you're not going to suffocate him.
- Get outdoors and do some fun activities. Long walks, hikes, climbing, swimming, sailing, etc., will improve your mood considerably.
- If you feel as if you've lost yourself when he asks for space, this is a good indication that you need the space as much as he does. Spend some time contemplating, reflecting, and even meditating. If you're not sure about what direction you're taking in life, or what you really care about beyond your boyfriend, use this time to do some deep thinking.
- Realize and embrace the power of showing that you have a life of your own.
- . Listen when he talks and don't comment until he's done talking. When you do comment, be positive and supportive. Don't criticize or judge – if you feel you need to do that, think very carefully about why you want to be with him. Be his buddy, make him feel at ease and comfortable with you. He'll soon start pouring out all of his thoughts and feelings, not just about his life and other people, but he'll soon begin to uncover his true feelings for you as well. Why? Because he feels safe and comfortable again to do so.