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My Boyfriend Says He Wants Space—What Should I Do?
How can you give your boyfriend space in your relationship? The need for space is generally a result of frustration from many elements that affect a relationship.
From flirting, changing dating patterns, reducing nagging, refraining from text messages, spending time apart, going out with respective friends, and fixing bad Facebook habits—this article discusses practical things you can do to give your boyfriend the space and freedom he wants from his girlfriend.
1. Does he need space or a breakup? Make sure it's clear.
It can be the case that a guy wants to break up with his girlfriend but does not have the courage to say it on her face. Wanting more space will be his excuse to slowly start tapering off the relationship towards a breakup.
Ask him directly if there is something wrong and if he is seeking to split ways. His reaction will help you decide if it is worth putting effort into fixing your relationship. If your relationship has been having problems for a long time, and his sudden need for space seems like an excuse to break it apart, you will need to decide if you want to break up with him before he hurts you any more.
2. Ask your boyfriend to take up a hobby that he is passionate about.
One of the easiest ways to give your boyfriend space in your relationship is to ask him to take up a new hobby. Encourage him to do something that he is really passionate about, anything that is different from his usual academic or professional pursuits.
Whether it is something as artsy as painting or something as elaborate as rebuilding vintage motorcycles, he will soon have an activity to do. He will start spending at least a few hours every week to pursue his new hobby, which will take his mind away from any issues or problems in your relationship.
3. Refrain yourself from sending text messages and posting mushy Facebook updates.
Constant text messages, mushy Facebook posts, and continuous chats over instant messaging apps like WeChat may sound romantic, but it is very easy to get carried away. Your boyfriend may simply be frustrated at the fact that you keep bombarding him with messages and chats all the time.
He may misunderstand this as a sign that you are obsessed with the relationship. He will see you as an overly possessive girlfriend who wants to keep a constant tab on her guy. So the next time you have the urge to reach out for your iPhone and send your guy a cute message, hold yourself back.
4. Encourage him to take a short road trip with his buddies.
Your boyfriend will feel recharged if he goes on a short road trip with his buddies. Encourage him to get in touch with some of his close guy friends and go away for the weekend.
Some much-needed male bonding over a weekend road trip will make him feel rejuvenated and alive. Once your guy is back from his trip, he will give you a hug for suggesting such an awesome idea.
5. Cut out mutual over-dependence gradually and slowly.
Couples often get entangled in over-dependence. This can include depending on each other for the silliest of things and decisions. For example, a girl may have got so used to asking her boyfriend to help her pick out clothes, she could be dragging him to the shops all the time.
Identify such areas of over-dependence and discuss them with your boyfriend. Promise yourselves that you will work together to reduce this burdensome dependency. As weeks and months go by, your guy will be relieved of many silly things that would otherwise have been hogging away his spare time.
6. Start going out with your own friends more often.
Encourage yourself and your boyfriend to make plans for movies, dinners, and other outings with your respective friends. Spending some time away from each other in the company of your own friends will help you both get a fresh perspective.
Spending time with his friends will also give your boyfriend some breathing space from the daily humdrum of your relationship.
7. Go on a double date with another couple with similar interests.
One way to deal with demands of space in a relationship is to add excitement to your dating. Your boyfriend could be flustered simply because your life as a couple is crumbling under monotony.
Deal with this by hooking up with another couple who share similar likes and dislikes and yours. Going out on fun dates, along with the added company of like-minded people, will be a refreshing change in your love life.
8. Surprise your boyfriend by not seeing him for a week—let him miss you.
If your boyfriend tells you that he needs more space in the relationship, turn the tables on him. Here's how.
- Go on a romantic date
- Finish the date with romantic intimacy that leaves your boyfriend gaping for more
- Don't meet him for at least a week after this romantic rendezvous
- Use excuses that you are busy with studies or work
- Don't let him know that this is a deliberate effort
The sudden shock of not meeting you for a week after a steamy romantic rendezvous will shatter him. He will miss you and hopefully, realize that life without you is no fun.
9. Do stuff that you both have never done before.
The easiest way to give your boyfriend a false perception of space without actually going away from him is to revamp your dating quotient as a couple. Both of you may be stuck in a dating rut simply because you can't seem to move beyond your usual dinner-movie date routine.
Shake things up by promising yourselves that you will not go on a date together unless it is something quirky that neither of you has done before. It could be a trip to the Opera or a lunch date to a restaurant serving up exotic cuisine which neither of you has tried before.
10. Be extra nice to guys when he is around—indulge in some healthy flirting.
Showing your boyfriend how other guys are attracted to you is a passive way to make him realize how his demand for space in the relationship is slightly unwarranted. You can do this by being extra nice to other guys when he is around.
The most unassuming way to do this is to be nice to guys who are giving you a service. For example, be extra nice to the checkout guy at the shops or the guy helping you out while you shop for a dress. Watching other men scurrying around to help you will make him feel more possessive about you.
As you ignite these subtle feelings of jealousy inside him, it will make him realize how attractive you really are. If your boyfriend is really a nice guy at heart, he will see how he may have taken you and the relationship for granted by asking for space.
11. Don't plan a guy's night out for your boyfriend.
So-called relationship experts will tell you to plan guy's night outs for your boyfriend if he wants more space in the relationship. But this could backfire if he sees your move as an attempt to take charge of his life.
Refrain yourself from doing so, and instead, simply suggest to him that he should go out for a night out with his friends.
12. Ask him if he gets annoyed by any particular habit of yours.
Your boyfriend could be demanding space in your relationship because he is frustrated by a particular habit of yours. Do this only if you are in the frame of mind to accept criticism.
Whether it is your impulsive calling or your habit of asking him to send you good night message every day, introspect at the stuff that he points out. Now you will have to take a decision regarding what is higher in your life's priority list—your habits or your boyfriend.
13. Stop telling him what to do, even if it is for his own good.
Even if you are telling him something for his own good, your boyfriend may see it as nagging. This can cause frustration every single time you make suggestions or give him advice.
No girl likes to see her boyfriend suffer, especially if she knows what is good for him. But you may have to bite the bullet if your boyfriend asks you to give him space.
Stop giving him advice in all forms. Let him make a bad decision and face the consequences. Mistakes will make him realize that you were trying to be helpful and not a nagging girlfriend.
14. Motivate your boyfriend to join a gym.
You may be wondering what fitness has to do with getting space in a relationship. But the sole purpose of asking your boyfriend to join a gym is to find a constructive way for him to get away from it all for at least an hour every day.
Working out at the gym will allow him to get some alone time, disconnected from everything else. Socializing at the gym will also give him some respite from conversing with the same people daily. But before he heads off, give him a stern cheeky warning that he shouldn't be doing anything to impress other girls at the gym.
15. Ask him there is something specific about the relationship that is annoying him.
Asking for space may be your boyfriend's way of hinting that there is something about your relationship which is annoying him. This is separate from your habits as a person. For example, your boyfriend could be annoyed at the fact that his friends make fun of him because he is the only hooked-up guy in his group.
Apart from your behavior, there could be many other elements that affect the perception of the relationship in your guy's mind. Get into his head and find out what is bothering him.
16. Give him space—spend some time apart.
Sometimes problems need to be tackled head-on. If your boyfriend's sulky mood refuses to improve even after you have tried your best to cut down dependency and fix habits that annoy him, actually giving him space may be the only option left.
Keep these things in mind before you agree to spend some time apart by not meeting each other.
- Clarify that giving space does not mean that the relationship is on a break
- You both remain answerable to each other for your actions even while you are giving each other space
- You both are still in a committed relationship, expected to be faithful to each other just like you have always been
- Don't label this as an exercise to give each other space but instead, label it as something you want to do to get some alone time and get a change