It Can Be Intimidating To Hear That Your Partner Needs Space, So Let’s Discuss How To Handle This

patronestaff - illustrative purposes only, not the actual person

The following column is the opinion and analysis of the writer, Abby Connolly.

Have you ever been in a relationship with someone who told you they ‘needed space?’

It can be really intimidating and anxiety-provoking, as once we hear that our partner needs some space, we assume we’re getting dumped. To make matters worse, some people don’t outright tell you they need space and just slowly start pulling away or responding to you less.

One of the hardest parts about being in this situation is simply not knowing how to react. Sometimes, it can come out of the blue, and you don’t want to respond rashly or angrily, subsequently adding more stress. You also don’t want to spend days retracing your steps or replaying things you’ve said, trying to find a way to blame yourself for what’s going on with your partner.

There are several reasons why your partner may want some space, from stress to relationship issues, etc. Here’s what you should do if you ever find yourself with someone who asks for a bit of space.

If your partner tells you they need space because they are stressed out and going through something, you don’t want to force them to talk about their issues or try to fix everything. If they wanted you to help or talk about it right away, they wouldn’t be asking for space.

As painful as it can be for people who love to nurture, the best thing to do is let them be. Try not to get too angry or frustrated and wait for them to come to you when ready.
If you’ve been in a long-term, committed relationship and your partner tells you they need space because you’ve been having issues, it’s best not to react too strongly.

Encourage them to have a calm and empathetic discussion with you when they’re ready. Ask them what they need from you, and genuinely listen, trying not to get too defensive. Then, you can respond with what you need from them but avoid attacking or placing blame on them.

In this scenario, the best thing to do is show your partner that you’re genuinely ready to work on your relationship by giving them a calm setting to speak their mind.

patronestaff – illustrative purposes only, not the actual person

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