Needing space at various times of our lives is normal. But what do we do about needing space in a relationship where each of us are comfortable with different amounts?
We are all great at being ourselves—in fact no one is better. We are our own experts at knowing what we like, don’t like, want, or don’t want. And sometimes we just need to be by ourselves to figure things out, even if we are in a relationship.
This is normal. Everyone needs his or her alone time. But what happens when one of you wants closeness and the other wants to be left alone? All of us who are in a relationship have encountered this at some time or another, and sometimes it becomes a problem.
What Do We Do When Needing Space Becomes An Issue?
How do we navigate the differing needs for closeness and independence that we and our mates experience?
There is no simple answer. In fact it is likely we will just study the question for the next few minutes and maybe we can decide on something that might work for you and your mate.
Again, it is normal to sometimes want to be alone. And it doesn’t matter how much of an extrovert we are or how much we love people. Some of us just need time to be quiet and recharge. To do this, we might need to nourish ourselves—often privately.
What Happens When We Need Different Amounts of Space?
I know when I am drained the last thing I want to do is find closeness in another person, especially my partner. It doesn’t mean I don’t love him. I just know when I find myself depleted from giving too much to too many other people I just don’t have any more to give.
I need to replenish and this is something that can’t be helped by another. But what happens in a relationship when one of us requires closeness and needs it badly and moves in on the other when they are just not available?
Well we all know what happens: a disruption in the flow of natural energy between two people. Sometimes we like to be spontaneous. And sometimes we just don’t want to play.
Compromise: Accommodate Your Partner In The Ways You Can
So who is right? Both of you are right. We are all right for ourselves. Now, how do we become easy when we are living with another who is mighty different? We learn to accommodate.
When I am in my solo mood, if my partner comes up to me and asks for a hug, I just submit. Not with an objection, because I know it is what would make him happy. And I love my mate. Can I get out of my mood for independence when asked? Yes. That’s how I have learned to accommodate.
You will have to learn your own way, but remember your partner’s energy belongs to them and you will not always know how to read it. But what you can do is be kind to the one who loves you no matter what mood you are in.
Independence vs. closeness: it’s a dance we will play out as long as we love another. Make your dance grand.
Needing Space, And Want Help Balancing Independence and Closeness in Your Relationship?
Attend a Talk About Relationships
On the 2nd and 3rd Monday each month, you can attend FREE relationship talks from marriage and family specialists. Come learn how to create a good relationship and understand problems that get in the way.
Come join the conversation. No reservations needed.
- Mondays: 6:30–7:30pm
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Long Beach, CA 90807.
Read a Book About Relationships
Learn how to better communicate your needs and understand those of your partner, by reading Linda’s book Safe. Happy. Loved. Simple Skills for Your Relationship. It might just help you figure out ways you can better give each other the space each of you need, or learn where you can accommodate each other to feel more loved. Give it a read.
Get Couples Counseling
Come in for couples counseling. Couples counseling can help you and your loved one get the most out of your relationship. It'll equip you with coping strategies and tools for communication that can help you argue less and love more.