Space looks like different things for different people.
If you are taking to an astronomer, or an interior designer, then this word has different meanings to their professions.
Space in a relationship, however, is something that most people can relate to. While it’s common to hear about space from family or coworkers, you might not think about “needing space” from a romantic partner. Why would you go through all the trouble of partnering with a matchmaker only to be with someone who wants to be in a different space as you?
The truth is that everyone’s need for space is different. Needing space, even from your significant other, is normal.
The word “separation” never seems like a good idea to bring up when talking about a relationship… but there are all kinds of separation. Separation can be temporary, so don’t worry. A lot of couples use temporary separation as a healthy way to recharge. If you or your partner are someone who needs time alone, then embrace it.
Separation looks different for different people. You might just find a space somewhere in your house to go to when you feel the need to rechargeor destress. Find what works best for you.
While it’s normal to need space, don’t just shut down and disappear when you need it. For some people, that might be alarming. It could signal your desire to avoid them, or cause unnecessary conflict. If and when you need space, be sure to communicate that with your partner. Be honest about your needs.
Alternatively, if your partner needs space, don’t immediately assume it’s because they are mad at you, or don’t want to be around you. Communicate with your partner – but don’t just talk. Listen to them. Hear their needs and preferences. Needing space is a two-way street.
You may have heard of the spacetime continuum, and while we’re not going to go too in depth with physics or science fiction, we will talk about how space and time can come together in a relationship. Space and time intertwine because needing space isn’t always just about where you are, but about the time you spend there.
Needing space might mean five minutes alone in the bathroom every morning, or a forty minute walk every afternoon. Maybe it means an hour sitting in front of the television. Whatever you need, recognize what that is and be intentional about it.
Needing space from each other is not just about spending time apart… it’s about spending time together, too. It might seem contradictory to say that, but oftentimes, couples need time apart so that they can thrive when they do come back together.
Bodybuilders take rest days so their muscles can grow after a tough workout day. Their muscles don’t shrink during this time away from the gym… they grow! Finding space away from each other, as long as both of you agree to it, does not have to be a divisive activity. It can be a helpful moment for your relationship.