How to Give Space in a Relationship

Reconnect with friends for social support.
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Whether or not you live with your significant other, too much time together can stunt a relationship’s growth, or even end it. Petty arguments over minor problems or even boredom can crop up when a couple cannot find time apart. Perhaps even more dangerous is the potential for a close-knit couple to forget how to be individuals, haphazardly casting aside personal hobbies and friends. A little space away from your partner could actually help you appreciate your relationship more, while allowing you to reconnect with yourself.

Talk about it. Whether it’s you or your partner who wants space, you should both communicate your feelings on the matter as calmly as possible. This will ensure that neither of you take it personally or misinterpret the other’s feelings. Together, consider the benefits of providing space in the relationship and focus on the health of the relationship, rather than selfish desires.

Learn to read each other’s body language. In an article by Psychology Today, author of “How to Be Your Own Therapist” Patricia Farrell advises that lovers learn to read each other’s nonverbal cues. Not only will this aid in general communication, but it is especially useful when one partner wants to request space without seeming rude or hurtful.

Put a numerical limit on how many texts you send per day, or limit the hours in which you text your partner, unless of course an emergency arises. It’s easy to go overboard with text messages and online instant messages; however, if you’re aiming to put some space in your relationship, you’ll have to set a limit on this.

Jot down some hobbies you used to enjoy when you were single. Maybe you used to enjoy playing video games or sketching in the park. From this list, decide which activities still hold your attention and try to dive back into them. If you live together, this is an opportunity to get out of the house to provide physical space for your partner.

Seek out old friends. In the same way that you are handling old hobbies, be sure to connect with friends you haven’t talked to in some time. This will help you overcome any loneliness you might be feeling as you give your partner space.

Set new goals. whether you want to earn a promotion at work or you want to learn a few new dance moves, self-improvement activities can help you refocus on you as an individual. Fitness goals can be especially helpful here, as exercise is often considered a natural mood enhancer and can enhance your self-image.

To prevent spending too much time apart, set a ritual with your significant other. Whether it’s a weekly webcam chat or a dinner together every other night, schedule some time together. However, to avoid going overboard, you might want to set a time limit on your activity.

  • When revisiting old friends, steer clear of former boyfriends and girlfriends. If you decide to see them, remember to talk it over with your partner to avoid any unnecessary paranoia or misunderstanding.

Mitch Reid has been a writer since 2006. He holds a fine arts degree in creative writing, but has a persistent interest in social psychology. He loves train travel, writing fiction, and leaping out of planes. His written work has appeared on sites such as and GlobalPost, and he has served as an editor for ebook publisher Crescent Moon Press, as well as academic literary journals.