What Is Space In A Relationship And How Much Is Normal?

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Every individual needs space in a relationship to be oneself while caring for the partner. “A little space is what a relationship needs to bloom at its best.” During the initial stages of love, you may want to spend every second with your partner and fantasize about holding hands forever. However, it is important to have some alone time to be yourself. A healthy romantic relationship has space for both partners to retain their personalities. Personal space between partners’ needs and expectations (of a relationship) is required for pursuing individual goals. Read on to know the importance of space between partners for the growth of the relationship.

Why Do You Need Space In A Relationship? 

It’s normal to want personal space even when in a healthy relationship. When partners don’t give each other enough space, the time comes when one has to ask for it. You can ask your partner to share their problem. If they do, then it’s pretty easy to comprehend why they need space. But if they are hesitant or don’t want to, then don’t be persistent. If your bond is strong and you know your partner well, there’s nothing to worry about them wanting some space.

What Is Giving Space In A Relationship? 

You and your partner might be destined to be together, but don’t forget you are two different individuals. Retaining your personalities and respecting each other’s interests, hobbies, and some ‘me time’ is all about giving space in a relationship.

Without space, the relationship could become suffocating and may lead to conflicts. Space in a relationship can be anything such as spending time with family, going to a movie alone, or going on a vacation with friends. Some alone time can also let you pursue your recreations, process thoughts, and fulfill certain responsibilities.

But, some thoughts like – ‘what if he leaves me?’ ‘what if she doesn’t love me anymore?’ ‘what if he forgets me if I let go?’ ‘what if she doesn’t respect me?’, and so on could be troubling you.

Read on to get answers to all your questions.

Space In A Relationship: Good Or Bad?

Some people comprehend space as a negative element in a relationship. For instance, asking for physical or emotional space could upset your partner or make them consider it a contempt of relationship. Despite their perceptions, space is good.

A little space between partners gives freedom, instills confidence in each other, and strengthens the relationship. Support each other and provide some room to relax to see how your bond gets stronger with time. You will grow as individuals, while your relationship also blooms.

As they say, too much of anything can be bad. The same goes for the concept of space in relationships. Read further to know about it.

How Much Space Is Normal In A Relationship? 

Too less and too much space between partners could be unhealthy. A perfect balance is all that is required. Space between each other doesn’t mean you need to keep a distance. You and your significant other should be connected and have a strong base so that you do not drift apart. So, how do you do it right? Communication is the answer.

Give them space, have faith in your relationship, and focus on yourself. That’s the right way to address space issues in a healthy and loving relationship.

Benefits Of Space In A Relationship 

Here are a few benefits that partners and the relationship can reap by giving importance to personal space.

1. Preserves your identity 

You may understand that a breath of fresh air is necessary even when you are in a relationship. Otherwise, you, as a person, could be lost. Spend a day alone at home or tend to your interests without tagging your significant other. At the same time, let your partner do what they want to do. This way, both of you can retain your identity.

2. Releases pressure

Being together can build expectations and impose pressure on the partners. Some personal space could relax these expectations and let you destress. It lets you know that you can have a good time even when you are apart. Enjoying some personal space can give you some time off from the responsibilities of a relationship.

3. Keeps you both happy

Personal space keeps you in contact with yourself, and when the couple is in contact with self, they can contribute better in their relationship. Without space, your success in the relationship may always depend on each other, which is unhealthy for a person and can get toxic for the relationship in the long term.

4. Strengthens the relationship

Having your independence outside the relationship can make your bond stronger. When you come home to your partner and share your routine or important stuff, your trust becomes irrevocable, laying yet another strong layer in your romantic relationship.

5. Builds a respectful connection

Respect in a relationship is about recognizing your significant other as a unique personality. Isn’t that the very reason you fell in love? Interdependence in a relationship by giving space and mutual support to each other lets the partners appreciate and respect each other for their unique attributes.

6. Rekindles the spark

Just as they say, ‘absence makes the heart grow fonder.’ The space created will help individuals idealize each other, miss each other often, and come back together, both emotionally and physically, with an abundance of feelings. Interactions could become exciting and profound, while the relationship gains freshness.

How To Ask For Space In A Relationship? 

Couples, even in the healthiest relationships, require personal space. But, you need to convey the same to your partner in a subtle way.

  • Let them know you love them. Explain to your partner clearly why you need space, what you want to do alone, and how a little space helps your relationship. While doing so, make sure you are not hurting their feelings.
  • Justify the reasons for having space. Make your significant other understand that space in a relationship is right for you both and your relationship.
  • Address your partner’s fears. Once you ask for space, your partner might be concerned. Let them share their anxieties. Listen to them, don’t be negative, and address their doubts.
  • Clarify that it’s not over. Asking for space doesn’t mean that it’s a breakup call. Let your partner know it’s not the end, and there’s no need to panic over it.

How To Use Space In Relationships? 

Here are some practical ways to enjoy your alone time while also letting your partner get the most out of their time away.

1. Focus on yourself 

Self-love is an essential part of one’s personality. Don’t neglect it even when you fall in love. Your relationship is a part of your existence, and not the other way round. Do spend time for yourself, don’t lose your friends and family, maintain your interests and hobbies, and let your partner do the same without any apprehensions.

2. Respect their space 

You may feel tempted to know what your partner is up to during their time away. Trust your love and have faith in the relationship. Do not try to know what they are up to by checking their mobiles or finding their whereabouts. That’s not how you give and take space in a relationship.

3. Encourage and appreciate 

Motivate your partner to do what they want to. Appreciate their talent, be supportive, and let them know you are always there for them when they are back. It is an excellent way to enjoy healthy independence in a relationship.

4. Don’t stop communication

Communication is the backbone of any relationship. Too much space could damage your bond. Make sure you share your feelings, discuss your problems, and be transparent with expectations. You can talk over the phone, keep meeting, and keep doing something to keep the love intact.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Does space mean breakup?

Space does not mean breakup. It means taking time off to reflect on the relationship and work on yourself. Space can improve your relationship greatly and prepare you to face challenges together..

2. Does space mean no contact?

Space does not mean a breakup. It means taking time off to reflect on the relationship and work on yourself. Space can improve your relationship significantly and prepare you to face challenges together.

3. Why is space good after a breakup?

The space helps you and your ex adjust to life without each other. It also helps straighten out the rough edges of your emotions if you want to get back together with your ex.

Everyone needs personal space in relationships while loving and caring for others. Personal space is an important factor that helps create peace and avoid grudges. This helps maintain the individuality in a relationship and often allows one to pay attention to self needs. People can feel uncomfortable and unwanted even if their life partner tries to invade their personal space. Partners should have clear boundaries and understanding of each other’s personal space to have a successful relationship.

Key Pointers

  • Respecting differences and letting your partner pursue their interests gives them space.
  • Having space offers each partner freedom and builds a respectful connection.
  • Some may feel giving space could damage their relationship.
  • However, addressing your partner’s fears and explaining the need for space are a few ways to enjoy healthy space in a relationship.

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Shikha Thakur

Shikha is a writer-turned-associate editor at MomJunction. Having done a certification in Relationship Coaching, her core interest lies in writing articles that guide couples through their courtship to marriage and parenthood. She also specializes in baby names. Being a postgraduate in Human Resources from Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University, she likes understanding people and their relationships. This reflects in her relationship... more

Dr. Carlos Juan Carmona-Goyena

(PhD (Counseling Psychology))
Dr. Carlos Juan Carmona-Goyena is a board licensed therapist in the USA and Puerto Rico with a specialty in couples, families, and relationships. Dr. Carlos possesses a PhD in Counseling Psychology granted at the Interamerican University of Puerto Rico. His two-decade professional experience also includes scientific research in family emotional and relational processes and its effect on psychological functioning. Dr.... more