When single, most of us think about how happy we’ll be to finally find love and a long-lasting relationship. Then, when we find that relationship, we start to feel an inclination for space, or our partner appears to exhibit a desire for it. Now what? Unprepared, we may react negatively or indulge this desire in a manner that causes more problems than solutions. This article is going to focus on mistakes to avoid when giving space in a relationship.
My hope is to help you navigate space in a relationship without sacrificing yourself or the wellbeing of the relationship.
I’ve been in this situation before and handled it poorly once. Then, I adjusted my behavior and learned how to give and receive space without negative ramifications.
Let’s get into it, shall we?
Related article: 7 Reasons why people fall out of love
What Not To Do When Giving Someone Space
1. Overanalyzing and Assuming the Worst
Misinterpretation of the need for space can lead to unnecessary anxiety and insecurity. Avoid overanalyzing your partner’s actions or assuming the worst about the relationship. Instead, communicate about your concerns or ask about the reason for needing space. If it doesn’t signal anything too alarming, avoid jumping to conclusions and allow the situation to unfold without a negative attitude.
2. Expecting Space to Solve All Problems
Space can be a helpful tool for resolving conflicts, but it’s not a magical solution. Some problems cannot be swept under the rug or escaped with space. In conflict, space should be used as a tool to facilitate compromise and the easing of tension. It’s crucial to address underlying problems through open communication and problem-solving when the time is right.
Related article: 20 Habits that destroy a relationship
3. Losing Touch with Shared Goals
As individuals grow and evolve, it’s important to ensure that shared goals and values remain aligned. My opinion is that if you have a strong foundation of shared values, goals, and plans, space and distance in healthy amounts can’t get in the way of the relationship you have built. But, at the same time, neglecting to check in on common aspirations can lead to drifting apart. Regularly reassessing and discussing shared goals helps maintain a sense of unity within the relationship, even when you or your partner need some space for self-care.
4. Using Space to Escape Problems
While space is healthy, using it as a constant escape from relationship challenges can be detrimental. Instead of addressing issues head-on, some individuals may use the need for space as a way to avoid confrontation. It’s important to confront problems when both partners are ready. Growth requires the embrace of discomfort. So many couples run away from uncomfortable conversations at the cost of their long-term happiness. Giving or taking space should never be an escape from growing through and beyond problems.
5. Using Space as a Punishment
I’ve written about the silent treatment, and I’m convinced that it leads to the destruction of a relationship. Instead of addressing issues directly, these types of couples withdraw and withhold interaction. This passive-aggressive behavior can erode trust and damage the emotional connection between partners. Resentment thrives in the face of rejection stemming from silence and space initiated by a vendetta. Don’t make this mistake when giving space in a relationship. Even if you don’t feel like communicating like normal, be cooperative when needed and maintain a respectful degree of communication.
Related article: The dangers of the silent treatment in a relationship
6. Failing to Reconnect
Taking time apart should not mean permanent detachment. A mistake many people make is getting comfortable with the distance, leading to emotional separation. It’s vital to periodically reconnect, share experiences, and check in on each other’s feelings and needs. Even while taking some space, check in on each other and be responsive. It can be assuring and lead to an easy reconnection when you see each other again.
7. Assuming Space Means a Lack of Interest
One common misconception is that people associate the need for space with a loss of interest in or affection. Understanding that individuals require time alone to pursue individual interests, self-reflection, and obligations to family can mitigate some of the problems caused by the perception of space. Assuming that wanting space is a sign of relationship trouble can lead to unnecessary tension, anxiety, and stress. If you are capable of loving freely, you may just find that your partner chooses to gravitate towards you even more than before.
8. Giving Too Much or Too Little Space
Assuming that the amount of space you require is the same for your partner can lead to misunderstandings. It’s best to have a conversation about what space looks like and how to avoid a negative outcome from it. All-or-nothing and black-or-white thinking can create unnecessary reactions that make the idea of giving space problematic.
9. Ignoring Boundaries
While giving space is essential, ignoring or disrespecting your partner’s boundaries can lead to feelings of invasion and discomfort. Guidelines on how to remain respectful and compassionate while giving space to each other are of paramount importance to prevent feelings of neglect, disrespect, or resentment.
10. Neglecting Yourself
It may be anxiety-inducing for space to be requested by your partner. Falling into rumination can happen. But obsessively thinking about your partner and their wants without caring for yourself will have a greater negative effect on you and the relationship than the space itself. Use your time productively by prioritizing your needs and wellbeing during bouts of space from each other.
Related article: 15 Signs of feelings neglected in a relationship
I don’t think space has to elicit a problem in healthy relationships, so long as it stems from a good place and has good intentions.
Observe the quality of your relationship as a whole, and try to remain as secure and rational as possible. Apart from the need for space, are there any looming issues or red flags to be concerned about?
If not, take it in stride and use this opportunity to find a healthy balance between time spent with each other and time spent apart working on life as individuals.
Ultimately, people show you who they really are. If neither of you are weaponizing space for an ulterior motive, it won’t cause any big issues in the relationship. It may, in some cases, improve it.