Spatial Understanding: Is it Healthy to Need Space in Your Relationship?

Space, the final frontier…of dating. The topic of how much or how little space to give a person you are in a relationship with is one that has been up for debate for quite a while.

Some say that if you are seeking space from your significant other, this is a sign that you are pulling away and will inevitably lead to a loss of connection. Others say that space is an absolutely normal request in most relationships. By giving your loved one their space, you are allowing them to hold on to their own identity, which is imperative for two people to stay invested in each other for a long period of time. Simply put, amounts of space are entirely subjective to each couple. The amount of space one couple prefers compared to another may differ greatly, with both of them being very successful relationships. Consider the idea that the amount of space a couple requires is not as important as the reasons why space is needed. 

First, time and distance apart can be great for personal growth. Just as you don’t learn all of life’s lessons through a single experience, you don’t learn about the things you want in life by interacting with only one person. This is why you have friends, family, and coworkers. Taking some space to step away from a romantic relationship is healthy. If you are with the right person, they will encourage your personal growth rather than require you to make every move with them. They didn’t fall in love with a clone of themselves, after all.

In accordance with your own personal growth, you should encourage this growth in others as well, namely your partner. It is illogical and unfair to expect another person to stay exactly the way they were when you first met. It is rare and nearly impossible for this scenario to occur anyway, so it’s helpful for your relationship if you embrace the habit of giving your partner room to grow explore new interests. Encourage them to try out for a community sports team or club. Get excited about their poker nights spent with their friends. As long as you are happy for them and they know they can count on you to be a source of love and comfort; growing, even if you are growing into new versions of yourselves, can be a bonding experience.

Space can also be used as a helpful tool to re-energize a relationship. Being around anyone every day, for every meal, and during every mundane event in your daily ritual can be numbing. This feeling of disenchantment can create real stress between two people, especially if the first few months or years were spent in awe of each other. Once the learning process, where you uncover each other’s adorable quirks, hits a plateau, it can be hard to remember why you enjoyed being around each other so much. Once again, a little space can be your biggest ally. Even stepping out for an hour to do some shopping, or taking the longer drive home for a few more minutes can make a huge difference in continuing to appreciate each other’s company.  

The most important aspect of understanding a couple’s need and desire for some space is to realize that space isn’t about creating distance. It is about making the most out of the time you two spend apart. A partner who can appreciate their loved one’s need for space also usually possesses the characteristics of respecting boundaries and offering open and honest communication. Let the joys you share together be the indicator of how successful your relationship is, and not the fear of finding small pleasures in the time you spend apart.



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Posted 12-17-2012 1:49 am by