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. She wants her space without calls or texts. She hasn’t given me a time frame. She says she needs ti find herself and so do I. We have been together 7 years what should I do ? I love and miss her terribly. It’s been a week since we have communicated.

    • Continue to respect her time frame. Take this time to determine what your want for the future of this relationship. Also, take this time to look inward and determine what changes you could make that you believe may help to nourish your relationship. Reach out to her in three days. Share your thoughts and feelings with her. Give her an opportunity to share herself with you as well. Have a great day, Donald!

  2. I have a now ex girlfriend/ kids mother, we’ve been together for a on and off 6yrs and have 2 kids together. It was some things I disliked about her that made her a selfish person in my eyes. Some things that I wanted her to change as far as helping out with the bills a little and well just basically I was looking for more of a partner, lover and friend in her and everytime I bring it up, I sound like a broken record to her. But I was just basically trying to state my issues with her because I loved her and not really seeing her as a partner was kinda holding me back when it came to giving the relationship my all because I couldn’t really see myself with someone who wasn’t really trying to be my partner. Well long story short instead of trying to help me resolve my issues she took it as i didn’t want to be with her and she left, got her own place now and says we need to go our separate ways for right now and come to find out she’s talking to another guy ..all tho she’s being more responsible now and this is what I wanted from her the whole time, shes doing it without me..she says she needs a brake from me but still shows signs of something being there with us..I told her the whole time we were arguing when we were together was simply me stating why we aren’t working out at that time, she felt like I didn’t want to be with her but I was just simply trying make her understand that I needed her to be a more responsible person/parent she never understood it and now she says she needs space but talks to someone else. What should I do? I could really use some help because I really do love her..

    • It sounds as though you have rational and acceptable desires for your relationship. It is possible that he is not ready to give you want you need of her. Take this time to determine what you want for your relationship and for your children. Speak directly and honestly with her about your thoughts and feelings. Give her an opportunity to share herself with you as well. Have a great day, Ronald!

  3. So my girl friend and I talked about moving out here to Ohio to gather with her mom and brother . Conversation got serious we both agreed that we could do it so I asked her mom and she agreed I could come and stay with them . But now I’m being told I have to basically leave because she needs her space . Before this they tell me my attitude has changed since we got here which is true because since we have been here she has basically shut down towards me . It always seems like she doesn’t want to be around me never wants to talk never wants to go anywhere with just me and her . And she tells me I need to change my attitude but my attitude is caused by her neglect towards me . She says she is unhappy and uncomfortable.. she said she has given me time to change and I still haven’t change can’t happen for me if she doesn’t change .. how can you ask for space and say I need to find some where to go when I only know you and we just got here not too long ago I’m currently sleeping in another room to hope that eases the situation I have no where to go help plz

    • It sounds as though your relationship has ended. She has chosen to not treat you with respect. Continue to treat her with kindness and compassion. Attempt to reach out to your friends and family. See if there is anyone in your life who would be able to take you in. During that time, you can speak directly and honestly with her about your thoughts and feelings. Have a great day, Jay!

  4. So long story short my finance wants space from me .. we moved out of state with her mom and they are the only people I have out here . She told me she is uncomfortable and unhappy mainly because my attitude change which is true because she completely shut herself of from me I can’t Ben talk to her about anything she pays me no attention at all and she says she has asked me to change but I haven’t how can I change if your not changing because its the way you treat me she makes me feel worthless and all and nun of this was happening before we moved . So you wants some I have no where to go so I’m in another room sleeping and everything but she really wants me out she doesn’t wear her ring or anything.. we have talked in front of her mom I have to admit if we would have had this conversation as soon as we got here things would have still been okay even mom says she uncomfortable because when she comes home there tension in the house you can cut it with a knife and she doesn’t want to put up with it . We all talk and mom says y’all need to figure out what y’all gonna do I say well since we had this conversation then everything is understandable and she says she stays in her decision .. I just feel like she is being very selfish right now I have no place to go help me understand

    • It sounds as though your relationship has ended. She has chosen to not treat you with respect. Continue to treat her with kindness and compassion. Attempt to reach out to your friends and family. See if there is anyone in your life who would be able to take you in. During that time, you can speak directly and honestly with her about your thoughts and feelings. Have a great day, Jay!