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

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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.

22 COMMENTS

  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.
    Help.

    • 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!

      • Comment:hi I’ve been in a relationship with my partner close to a year and in the year I had abused her both physically and sometimes verbally it happend often so lately we had a fight where by we argued and I swore at her for a few weeks every argument would result in her saying I’m tired I need space so recently we argued and she said she can’t do this anymore I left the house went back to my place where she told me she needs space but wants to be in a relationship my partner feels I won’t change my behaviour even though I started sessions with the psycologist she says she isn’t seeing change .
        during this space time her and I have spoken she’s even been to my house but she still admit space is good .
        during space I’ve asked to see her but she agrees on her terms I feel like she wants me to live on her terms.
        and she’s been super angry lately she wants space but cut communication and only recent we started talking but still it’s dragging on what can I do for her to move away from the space factor

        • This relationship has ended. Your abusive actions were unacceptable to your partner. Continue to speak with a mental health professional. Physical and emotional abuse are not acceptable. Allow her actions to influence you in a positive direction. Treat everyone in your life with kindness and compassion. Have a great day, Deco!

  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!

  5. Hello I have a friend we been talking for 11 months everything was OK until I let my feelings get the best of me broke her table and she found out I had a house key but I gave it back to her and also I repair her for breaking her table and did other things as well….I was getting ignored for a week and a half straight I sent a text she replied your not giving me space so I didnt text back then few hrs later she asked what did I want to talk about I called we talked for 2hrs on the phone I told her I would change and we can set some rules with us dating but she’s in denial that I won’t Chang…She texted today I told her im going to give her some time to think about my offer she read my message but didn’t reply….is our friendship over or no?

    • She has made her feelings clear to you. You have accepted those feelings and explained that you would respect her feelings. Do not attempt to communicate with her at this time. If she reaches out to you and you want to continue this relationship, then speak directly and honestly with her about your thoughts and feelings at that time. For now, focus on what you want for yourself at this moment and in the future. Have a great day, Brad!

  6. My girlfriend needs space. I got clingy and blew up her phone and text when i didnt know whete she was. Up until lastweek tjings were great. She told me next day she really lovesme but os lost right now snd overwhelmed with life. Says give her until her divorce is finalized and we can try again. How long do i wait for her or to make contact. I really love her and know i messed up when i overwhelmed her. Just a few days earlier she she was telling me how much she appreciated everything i do for her. When the conversation ended and i left she hugged and kissed me and said she loved me. Im so heart broken and want yo wait for her if she meant what she said but afraid she will fall outta love with me.

    • She has shared her feelings with you. She is uncomfortable with establishing a relationship while she is still married. Continue to share your kindness and compassion with her. If she reaches out to you and her divorced is finalized, then nourish this relationship. Take this time to look inward and determine what you want for your future. Have a great day, Tyler!

  7. So this girl and i have been talking on and off for a few months. Until recently we just met and we’ve been going on dates every week for a month. Now, after her and i were getting a little more serious. She noticed that i had liked some photos on social media, big deal right? Wrong. She said that it made her feel like she couldn’t trust me and it reminded her of how her exes were. Even while confirming that there were no dobious intentions she says that she needs time to think about things and that she likes me and to not shut her out. Well it’s been two days and no contact what so ever, just being left on read… what do i need to do?

    • If she has shared her thoughts and feelings with you, then respect those feelings. If she is not willing to develop a relationship with you, then learn from your mistakes and take this time to determine what you want for your future. If she reaches out to you, then speak with her. At this time, look inward and decide what actions you want to take in the future. Have a great day, Chris!

  8. So this girl and i have been talking on and off for a few months. Until recently we just met and we’ve been going on dates every week for a month. Now, after her and i were getting a little more serious. She noticed that i had liked some photos on social media, big deal right? Wrong. She said that it made her feel like she couldn’t trust me and it reminded her of how her exes were. Even while confirming that there were no dobious intentions she says that she needs time to think about things and that she likes me and to not shut her out. Well it’s been two days and no contact what so ever, just being left on read… what do i need to do?

    • If she has shared her thoughts and feelings with you, then respect those feelings. If she is not willing to develop a relationship with you, then learn from your mistakes and take this time to determine what you want for your future. If she reaches out to you, then speak with her. At this time, look inward and decide what actions you want to take in the future. Have a great day, Chris!

  9. I’ve been with my baby mother 13 years living and then she decides to say I need some space at first it hit me hard but I’m not the man I was 3months ago stressing my self I learned to stand alone and now I’m just focusing on what makes me happy we have 2 children I still have the door keys and spend time with them when she works were not having sex anymore I basically sleep in the front room. But there are a lot of signs indicating that she seeing someone. She hasn’t finally close the door yet her face book status still says she still in a relationship she says she still loves me and fancy me but she wants to be on her own for now.

    • She has shared her thoughts and feelings with you. Take this time to determine what you want for your future. Speak directly and honestly with her about your thoughts and feelings. Make a plan regarding your children at this time. They are the most important part of this relationship, so ensure that they are happy and healthy. Best of luck, Mark!

  10. I met a girl on Facebook. We communicated for 1 and half years online. We always talk on phone almost all the time until last week things change where she knew am almost coming to meet her. We I have seen some changes in the she talked and look at me when we do video call.
    Then I called her and told me she need a space and I was why? What happen or what’s wrong? She explained that she is not with the relationship and she want to be alone and many other excuses. I asked her if there is something wrong with the relationship? She said she just want to be alone from the relationship for a while. No problem with the relationship. I had few aguement but she never talk much. She cut the line and text me she will call me in the morning and she never did.
    I understand she applied no contact with me and I decided to ignored her. Then
    × she used her picture which I always tell her is my favourite and I was TAG on her Facebook wall by exciting love to it. I ignored it.
    × she also then posted her picture which I said is her best and tag many of her friends and got many likes and comments. I ignored.
    + finally I changed my profile picture and she ignored it for 2 days then she likes it with Love sign the 3day. I ignored her.
    I promise my self not to contact her until December 31st when am almost going to the country she stays.
    S
    Please should I contact her before or I should still wait until she contact me?
    Please is still interested in the relationship?
    Can we guess if she still missed me?
    Thank you

    • Avoid using no contact in the future. Take this time to determine what you want with this relationship. Speak directly and honestly with her about your thoughts and feelings. Give her an opportunity to share herself with you as well. If she explains that she is no longer interested in nourishing a romantic relationship with you, then do not attempt to nourish a romantic relationship with her. Have a great day, Hansen!

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