When you enter a relationship, you don’t necessarily have to spend every second of every day with each other. The amount of time you spend together is not always an accurate reflection of how much you love each other. And, especially if you have busy schedules. Long-distance partners know this very well!
However, it is important to spend quality time together while having enough space to be yourselves. You each have different goals, needs, preferences, and aspirations. That’s why having space is key because you need to be able to be your own person, sometimes.
This bears the question, how much space is normal in a relationship? This is exactly what we’ll be focusing on today. Too much space can lead to drifting apart and too little space apart can feel suffocating. So it’s important to find the magical middle spot.
The meaning of space in a relationship:
Somewhere along the way, we learned that needing a break or space means that the relationship is ending. However, when a partner says they need a break or space to be on their own, that doesn’t mean they want to leave us altogether or break up with us. It simply means that they need some healthy time alone.
If your partner raises the issue of space, don’t automatically assume they’re breaking up with you. Instead, strive to understand what they mean by “space” or “break” and why they need it. As always, communication is key!
We all need our personal space to focus on ourselves sometimes and do things for and by ourselves. That doesn’t mean we don’t like spending time with our significant other, it just means we want to spend time alone too. Sometimes, this is the healthy thing to do.
In a relationship, space is essentially an attention shift where you focus on yourself and your needs, rather than your partner’s. This is essential for mental and physical health. The better you feel about yourself, the more you’ll be able to authentically bond with your partner later on and after recharging on your own.
In other words, space is actually beneficial so there’s no need to freak out if you or your partner feel like you need some of it.
How much space is normal in a relationship?
How much space is normal in a relationship truly depends on the two people involved. It’s up to you to decide how much space you need to thrive, which is why it’s so important to communicate openly and honestly about your needs within the relationship.
To help you understand what “healthy space” can look like in a relationship, here are a few situations to think about:
1- A break from arguments:
Whenever there’s a disagreement, the quarreling can easily turn into a shouting match. That can lead to very ugly fights because it’s not uncommon for people to say things they don’t mean in the heat of the moment.
It’s okay to feel angry and talk about it, but if the argument is going nowhere, taking a break might be best. It gives both parties time to cool off, process their feelings, and come back with a clearer head. That gives you a better chance, as a couple, to resolve conflicts while being on the same team.
2- A break from physical touch:
Physical touch is not everyone’s love language of choice and some people value their personal space more than others. Check this article out later to learn more about different love languages and why each one of us might have a different one, including your partner.
If you or your partner are one of those people that don’t have a love language of physical touch, it’s perfectly normal to ask for a break from physical closeness. Especially if you’ve been making an effort to express more physical affection.
When that happens, it’s important to respect that boundary and wait for the one who asked for the break to initiate physical touch again or intimacy when they’re ready. It’s important to give the people that we love the space they need to recharge.
3- A break from talking:
Though communication is important, sometimes people need a break from talking to their partners all the time. The great thing about being so connected with your partner is that you can easily communicate one another little things with your body language and without saying much.
If your partner is always on the phone with you, even when you’re out and about, or if your partner is always worried about what you’re doing, who you’re with, and where you’re at, then you might want to check this article out.
Silence is not a sign of trouble, it’s a sign of peace and it allows both people involved to have time with their thoughts. You can text each other throughout the day or check in with each other from time to time, but it’s okay if you don’t always want to talk.
The above points are only a few examples, but they’re a perfect expression of healthy space in a relationship. It might feel difficult at first, especially if you’ve created a bit of co-dependence together. However, you must take your space whenever you need to.
Space in a relationship is not only normal, it’s healthy and needed. It’s also very different from acting distant from one another. It helps maintain a deep connection, so have a conversation whenever you feel like you need some personal space to recharge.