How to Scale Back a Relationship Without Breaking Up

It's good to be close... But a little space also isn't so bad.
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When you're immersed in a relationship, it's really easy to dive head first, especially in the early stages. However, when you get too carried away, it may be time to consider scaling it back. That doesn't mean an automatic breakup, but taking it easy may be necessary to ensure you don't crash and burn, ultimately ending things.

1 Give Each Other Space

Studies, research and testimonials all confirm that one of the secrets to a lasting relationship is space. It gives you an opportunity to take personal time for yourself. Plus, the best part is that it makes the couple time even more special. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, psychologist and research professor Terri Orbuch said it best: "Space brings excitement and novelty." Therefore, take time apart. You'll not only appreciate the quality time, but you'll be even more energized to see your partner once you have had a chance to take a bit of a breather.

2 Keep Your Friends Close

Oftentimes, spending a great deal of time with that new boyfriend or girlfriend means that you let your own personal interests fall by the wayside. However, that's when it's most important to remember that you're still an individual with your own personal interests. Don't forget that! Huffington Post's Uloop stated it pretty simply: "Don't let being a We stop you from being a You." So, pick up the phone and set up a visit or a movie night with that friend you haven't seen in a while.

3 It Should be a Marathon, Not a Sprint

One of the ways you can pace yourself in a relationship is by changing your mindset. As opposed to getting swept away in every single moment, try staying a bit more practical about things. According to clinical psychologist Seth Meyers, it's important to stay grounded. "You need to relax and keep your expectations as realistic as possible - knowing full well how hard that is to do," he writes in Psychology Today.

4 Be Honest

When it's all said and done, you should not feel guilty about what you need to do for yourself. However, it's also important to level the playing field with your other half. If space is what you want, The Wall Street Journal shared some tips on how to address this, and honesty made the list. "Explain why more space makes you happy, so your partner knows it's not about him or her," they suggest.

Grace Calderon, a writer and communications professional, holds a master's degree in sociology. She currently focuses on relationships and celebrities and has conducted TV and radio interviews on these topics. Her work has also appeared in outlets such as YourTango and Starpulse.