Tuesday, July 08, 2014
It's a bit of a running joke sometimes, about the man in your life needing more "space", but in reality, it's no joke at all. Any relationship in which two people behave in an overly dependent manner can feel oppressive or smothering for either party, and indicates a need for one or both people to learn to cope apart as well as together.

A healthy relationship will always benefit from giving each other space, and never more so than when you feel that your boyfriend is champing at the bit to be "released" a little more often to just be by himself or to spend time with his mates. If you're finding it challenging to let go even though the relationship's becoming a bit too much to handle, it's a sign that now more than ever, you do need to learn to give him his space. Here are some suggestions to help you.

1) Reach a decision that it's alright to give your boyfriend space.
The sooner you accept that giving one another space is normal, healthy, and indeed necessary for a flourishing relationship, the better for the both of you. If things have been reaching breakpoint in your relationship, try letting the situation go for a while. Stop wanting to control what he's doing, and stop worrying and being frustrated about what you're not getting out of the relationship. Instead, just relax in the present moment. By letting things be, they often have a way of fixing themselves on their own.

• Realize that your boyfriend is more likely to want to break up with you if you keep breathing down his neck than if you give him the space he craves.

• Don't assume the worst when he asks for space; if he still gives signs of caring about you and wanting to see you now and then, take it at face value that he really does need space. Perhaps he's stressed from a heavy workload, or snowed under with exam studies. Try to look for the actual reasons beyond yourself.

• Trust. Trust that your love will blossom with space, rather than wither. Part of this is about examining your own motives for being with him – if it's just love, you'll unearth this trust. But if it's security, money, prestige, or some other non-love reason you're with him for, now is a good time to re-examine your purpose in the relationship.

2) Ask questions to clarify what's going on. Without appearing paranoid or overly emotional, be forthright in asking your boyfriend what he sees as being given space, and how much time he's contemplating. Is he wanting a few days or weeks now, or does he want this to be a permanent arrangement, such as having every Saturday to himself? This can help to reassure you that he has sound reasons for wanting space that don't involve breaking up with you, and it gives both of you some solid ground to work out the duration or precise times you won't be turning up in his life.

• This is a good opportunity for you to also outline the space you'd like too. Don't be bratty about it; simply think of genuine reasons what you'd like, such as Friday nights free to spend with your girlfriends!

3) Sort something out amicably. At this stage, it's vital that you don't come across as needy, petulant, or terrified of losing him. Whatever you do, do not walk off in a huff or throw a fit. Both reactions are calculated to have him retreat even further into his shell and feel justified for wanting even more space! Instead, visualize yourself as a person negotiating something that is perfectly reasonable, then go ahead and negotiate it without appearing too down.

• Don't look like you need him. It's absolutely vital that you show you're not needy, clingy, or desperate for someone else to complete you. Remind yourself that you're your own strong, confident, and independent woman. You don't need him to ensure your peace and happiness. A strong and confident woman with a sense of her own purpose in life is extremely attractive to guys, so you'll be doing both of you a favor by being this way.
• Avoid begging for anything. There is no harm in asking him occasionally for help, for extra time together, and for indications of your future direction together. It becomes undesirable when you fall into asking constantly, begging him to do things with you or to spend more time with you. And it's worse if you put on a turn, cry, and generally act miserable. Just don't do it!

4) Shape up your own time. Instead of feeling mopey and clingy, see this as a great opportunity to occupy yourself with a range of things to do and friends to meet up with. Rediscover or uncover a hobby, new or old friends, and activities. Become more involved in your career direction and perhaps think about improving your chances of getting a promotion. Get some purpose back into your life that allows you to grow and exist apart from your boyfriend, and to be able to prove to him that you're capable on your own, which will reassure him more than anything else that you're not going to suffocate him.

• Get outdoors and do some fun activities. Long walks, hikes, climbing, swimming, sailing, etc., will improve your mood considerably.
• If you feel as if you've lost yourself when he asks for space, this is a good indication that you need the space as much as he does. Spend some time contemplating, reflecting, and even meditating. If you're not sure about what direction you're taking in life, or what you really care about beyond your boyfriend, use this time to do some deep thinking.
• Realize and embrace the power of showing that you have a life of your own.

5) Be patient. If you both want the relationship to succeed at a gradual pace, then love the space for the chances it provides you both. Take time to discover each other and yourselves rather than always trying to please one another or set one another off when things don't fall into place as you'd like. When you allow your boyfriend the space to think, to do the things he loves, and to be with his mates, he'll start missing you soon enough and wanting you by his side again.

6) Respect his choices and his freedom. The more respect and freedom you give your boyfriend, the more he'll come to you, because you'll be someone who doesn't make demands on him. Nobody likes demands, and guys are especially uncomfortable when they feel the pressure of romantic demands. Such pressure can push them away from people pushing the demands on them. On the other hand, if a guy can spend time with someone who loves him for who he is, and just lets him be himself with no conditions or demands placed on him, he'll absolutely love you. Love unconditionally, which simply means: set no conditions!

7) Be his best friend. Listen when he talks and don't comment until he's done talking. When you do comment, be positive and supportive. Don't criticize or judge – if you feel you need to do that, think very carefully about why you want to be with him. Be his buddy, make him feel at ease and comfortable with you. He'll soon start pouring out all of his thoughts and feelings, not just about his life and other people, but he'll soon begin to uncover his true feelings for you as well. Why? Because he feels safe and comfortable again to do so.

8) Change your own bad habits. If you have any bad habits you know he doesn't like (like whining, clinging, gossiping, etc.), seek to change them. And prove to him you are changed. He may test you, so give him time – his new trust won't come fast, so you need to be patient and consistent. Always remember, people do change once they make up their mind to do so, which means so can you!

9) Don't give your boyfriend space as a ruse just to manipulate him and then try to seek to control him again. Do it because you want to change the way you approach your relationship together and because you love him and trust that this is the right thing for your relationship at this point. When you approach the space issue with the right mindset of broadening your own life experiences and respecting his time to do the same, you'll be more confident and independent no matter what the final outcome.

10) Relax and be the girl he fell in love with. Be happy and carefree, learn to love yourself as much as you love him, and find constructive ways to share time together and apart. Once you've got the balance sorted, you'll never look back.
posted by JEI @ JEIZONE at 20:36 |


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