Home Love & Relationship What Does It Mean When a Girl Says She Needs Space?

What Does It Mean When a Girl Says She Needs Space?


While some guys seem to think that needing “space” means that your girlfriend wants to break up, it is not always the case. Sometimes, a girl says that she needs space when she wants to end things and does not want to hurt your feelings. Rather than be honest, she disappears in a nebulous cloud of phrases like “take a break” or “I need space.”

At the same time, there are many cases where your girlfriend genuinely needs space. If your relationship advanced pretty quickly, she may just need a bit of time to process everything and figure out what she wants. If your girlfriend says that she needs space, what she means can vary depending on her, the situation and your relationship.

What Does It Mean When a Girl Says She Needs Space?

When you hear that your girlfriend wants space, you may wonder if she is having an affair or wants to break up. Relax. While needing space is probably not a positive sign, it is not something you should panic about. Your biggest takeaway may be that you should spend more time working on your relationship and spending time with her. Of course, don’t do either of these things yet. If she says she wants space, stay away.

The first thing that you should do if your girlfriend wants space is to listen to her. She says she wants space, so take what she says at face value and give her the space that she needs. Most likely, she was being honest and needs some time and space. Don’t call her. Don’t text her. Don’t bother her. Leave her alone until she reaches out to you again.

Some guys are worried that asking for space is just a way to manipulate them or for the girl to find out if her boyfriend cares enough to fight. Don’t worry about these things. You respect her, so you accept what she says and trust her to be honest. If she is being manipulative or playing games, then she isn’t worth your time anyway. Besides, if what you guys have is real love and worth keeping, she will take the space she needs and then come back.

You Both Need to Grow as People

In many relationships, partners fall too fast and suddenly seem attached at the hip. Having a close relationship is great, but you are still an individual person with unique desires, needs and goals in life. You both need to have time to pursue your dreams, grow as people and have fun. Sometimes, a girlfriend will ask for space because she feels crushed or suffocated by the relationship. It can feel like the relationship is the only thing that matters in life, and she can start to feel frustrated. She has goals and dreams; while she loves being with you, she may just need space to make sure that she can pursue some of her own hobbies and passions. There has to be a balance between your lives, work, school, friends and your relationship. If the balance is off, your girlfriend may find herself needing space to focus on her own life.

What Should You Do Now?

1. Listen to What She Says

Your first step is to listen to what she says. Pay attention to everything that she says because she is trying to relay something important. At the moment, it’s all about her. Don’t take things too personally and do not read too much into anything. Just listen to her and avoid getting defensive.

2. Ask for Clarification

If you searched for this article because you didn’t understand what “space” means, then you probably need to get some clarification. Talk to your girlfriend carefully and openly. You need to find out what she means by “space.” Does she just want time to read a book, start a hobby or take a bubble bath alone? Or does she want to take a break for three weeks and see what happens? You should certainly ask her if this means that she wants to break up. As nerve wracking as it is to ask her this, it is far better than finding out three weeks later when she disappears that she wanted to end things.

If you live together, you need to talk to her about your living situation. Obviously, you both need a place to stay. Does she want you to stop texting, calling or talking to her? Is she willing to to stay somewhere else if she wants to switch up the living arrangements? During this time, what does she expect from you and how will she act? If this is a temporary break and not just “space”, you need to be clear about what you guys can and cannot do with other partners. Many, many guys (and girls) get into trouble because they slept with someone on a break and their partner got upset. You should both clarify this topic together to prevent a future argument—but make sure to emphasize that your goal is not to sleep with someone else, or she may think that you wanted this opportunity.


3. Respect Her Wishes

Your next step is to respect what she wants. If she says not to text at all, don’t text her. If you try to reach out to her too much right now, text her constantly or call her all the time, it will end up making you seem clingy or needy. If she already needed space, this type of behavior would only drive her away from you. Don’t “accidentally” run into her at the store or happen to drive by her home. Give her the space she needs for the time that she needs. In the meantime, don’t spend too much time on social media because it will only make it harder for you to avoid messaging her. Hang out with your friends, stay busy and respect her wishes.

4. Keep Grounded

As we mentioned before, sometimes partners just need space to remember who they are, what they want and find themselves. During this time, focus on yourself. Remember who you are, take time to do some soul searching and reconnect with the activities that you love the most. This could be an opportunity for you to grow as a person. If she comes back to you, you will be even better than before. And if this turns out to be the end of your relationship, you will be better prepared to move on, find someone new and enjoy life again.

What If She Has Left You for Good?

Unfortunately, this is still an option. Breaking up with someone completely is a big step to take, and some people are just not confident enough to do it in one fell swoop. While your girlfriend may just want some extra space, it could also be a preparatory time as she gets ready to end things for good. If this is the case, giving her space won’t hurt anything. In the best case scenario, she will rethink a break up after seeing how maturely you respected her wishes and gave her space. In the worst case scenario, she leaves anyway. Whatever the case, your best bet is still to just listen to what she says and hope that it all works out for the best.


  1. I met a girl a month ago, we hit it off immediately, we hung out that week almost constantly and then the semester ended. It was Christmas break from college and we spent the three weeks texting constantly, as soon as break was over we met up and made our relationship official. She has some issues and things going on in her life and so this week was stressful for her what with classes starting again as well, but she told me the things she was going through weren’t about us… then Saturday she said she wanted to talk and broke up with me saying she feels overwhelmed and really needs to focus on school and be more independent (she broke up with her bf of 4 years in October)… idk what to do, I really like her and already miss her.

    • She has shared her thoughts and feelings with you. She is unable or unwilling to nourish a relationship with you at this time. Focus your emotional energy elsewhere. There is no reason to reach out to her. If she speaks with you, then share your kindness and compassion with her. Take this time to determine what you want for your future. Have a great day, Stephen!