I need space

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Despite what family or well-meaning friends might say, it's true that all couples need space and time apart. It's important to have your own lives outside the relationship so you can retain individuality, miss each other, keep things feeling fresh — the list of benefits goes on and on. But that doesn't mean it's always easy to know when to give your partner spaceor how to ask for space yourself. That's why, before we jump into the s, let's remember that spending time apart doesn't necessarily mean you're unhappy or bored with each other, Dr.

If it does feel weird, however, or your partner seems to be acting out of the ordinary, make time to chat about it. Because again, wanting and needing space is totally normal. Here, a few s your partner, in particular, could really use some alone time — including how to talk about it. Usually, a dead giveaway that a person needs something — whether it's a snack, a nap, or space — is if they start acting crankySusan Winteran author and relationship expert, tells Bustle.

So if your partner has been short-tempered lately, take it as a. How to effectively give them space? While it's never OK for a partner to snap or act rude, try not to take light crankiness personally, Winter says. Instead, use it as an excuse to focus on yourself for a while, so I need space partner can do the same. Then reconvene later on once the air has cleared. If your partner needs space and doesn't realize it — or doesn't possess the communication skills necessary to ask for it — they might start pushing you away with anger or by picking fights for no reason, Winter says.

Winter suggests taking this as your cue to back off, but not without calling them out first. Ask your partner if they're OK, and talk about why you think they've been argumentative. By addressing the issue head-on you'll create an open dialogue, as well as a safe space to air grievances. From there, talk about how much space you both need in the relationship in order for it to feel balanced. If your partner doesn't seem to have an opinion, Dr. Jill Murraya d psychotherapist, tells Bustle, it's a they've gotten too used to relying on you and need to re-learn how to stand on their own two feet.

Start off by encouraging them to make small decisions, like being the one to choose where to eat lunch, or where to go for coffee. This will not only take the pressure off of you as the sole decision-maker, it'll also remind them how to be their own person. In a similar vein, your partner might need more space if they've completely assumed your personality and are now copying your every move. Kim Chronistera clinical psychologist, tells Bustle. So go ahead and push them a bit. While it's great to enjoy certain hobbies together, it's equally important to have your own lives outside I need space relationship.

By subtly steering them towards their own hobbies and friends, you'll both retain your individuality — and have more space.

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Take it as a if your partner turns away from you in bed, sits curled up on the far end of the couch, or doesn't kiss or hug you back. While there might be a deeper underlying reason, it might also mean they're a little burnt out and need some space. Go to the gym. Remove yourself from [the] space. When you return you'll see a change in their mood for the better.

In addition to going along with everything you say, another that your partner needs space is if they're codependent. Are they unable anything without your approval? Constantly checking in? Attached to your hip? These are all clues, Chronister says.

According to Chronister, it all comes back to encouraging your partner to branch out and discover themselves. That might mean supporting them in a decision to attend therapy, suggesting they see friends more often, or asking them to make more decisions. If your partner is getting up earlier than usual, or going to bed later, I need space may be their way of creating a little extra time I need space themselves. This is especially true if they typically work long hours and spend a lot of time with you. Recognize the reason for their changing schedule and honor the time they've carved out for themselves.

If they're, say, staying up late with a book, kiss them on the head and go to bed. They'll breathe a sigh of relief knowing you're cool with them going solo for an hour. You might also notice your partner starts guarding their personal hobbies, TV shows, or friend groups, and doesn't seem to want to let you in. While there are quite a few possible explanations for this type of behavior, it could be they just need a little space but aren't sure how to ask for it.

If you notice that they exclude you from certain areas of their life, talk about it ASAP. If it turns out they're just feeling claustrophobic, assure them you're all about retaining individuality within the relationship. Once you talk, they'll realize it's OK to ask for space, and that it isn't necessary to angrily shut you out or push you away.

If your partner has a lot going on in their life — whether it's money issues, family problems, health concerns, etc. Assure them it's OK if they need to take time to focus on something outside the relationship.

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Do they need to go stay with their family? Do they need to work late to make extra money? If they work really long hours, you might notice that they shut down on Friday nights. If they're introverted, you might notice they need Sundays to recover after being social on Saturdays.

And so on and so forth.

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If you pick up on a pattern, let them know you'll be doing your own thing for a few hours, so that they can chill. Stress can also push a person to require more space, Winters says, and the last thing you'll want to do is add to it by giving them a hard time. That said, sometimes people cope with stress by shutting out those closest to them. Remind your partner you're there to support them, if they need it. Although there are many reasons why your connection or vibe might feel a bit off — stress, depression, exhaustion, etc.

Talk about their change in mood and discuss ways to help each other out. Sometimes taking a little "break" is all you need to return to the relationship feeling rejuvenated — and excited to see each other. The best way to respond is by saying, "'I want to honor your request for more time and let me know when you're ready to talk again '," Armstrong says. It also erases any fear or doubt on their end that you're mad at them. Because you're close, you might be able to sense that your partner is secretly in need of space, even though they never say it.

Keep an eye out for subtle cues. It could be they don't even know they need space, but would benefit from it all the same. Take it upon yourself to step back for a bit, Armstrong says. Whether that means texting less, going a weekend without trying to make plans, or simply hanging out in I need space room for a couple hours, give them and the relationship space to breathe.

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Again, you'll want to take the initiative and create space. If your partner seems to be in a bad mood, and then suddenly wants to buy white cheddar popcorn at three in the afternoon, chances are they just need to clear their head — especially if you live together and don't get much time I need space.

And, perhaps you should initiate your own solo venture and give your partner a bit of time at home alone. For example, "if you volunteer to go to the store with them, they might add on another task they know you hate," Ribarsky says. Try to catch on to the subtle hint and agree to let them go shopping or wherever on their own. If you ask where your partner they're going, and they don't give you a straight answer, take note. Let your partner know that it's fine if they need a little time by themselves to go to the gym, see some friends, or whatever else would help them feel refreshed.

And while you're at it, talk about why they felt the need to lie or twist the truth, so that it doesn't happen again.

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That's why, if you notice that your partner is quieter than usual, or slightly shut down, it could be a hint that they need a few minutes to themselves. If they want to step out or chill by themselves, don't insist that youTrombetti says. Sometimes a quick drive around town, or a walk around the block, might be all they need to feel like themselves again. If your partner has been focusing on only negatives lately — always pointing out your flaws, making you feel insecure, etc.

But it could also be a your relationship needs to end. But if these s are all you know, and you aren't happy, it's also OK to let go and move on.

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Susan Winterauthor and relationship expert. Jill Murrayd psychotherapist. Kim Chronisterclinical psychologist. Chris Armstrongcertified relationship coach. Beth Ribarsky, PhDprofessor and relationship expert. Susan Trombettimatchmaker. By Amanda Chatel and Carolyn Steber. Updated: Jan. Originally Published: November 20, If your partner tells you what they need, even if it's in a roundabout way, listen to them.

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What Does it Really Mean When Someone Says They 'Need Space' in a Relationship?