When She Needs Space
"I need space."
"I think we should spend some time apart."
"I'm feeling smothered."
These are fairly common lines from women. And it's never a good thing when you hear one of these.
But does it mean the relationship is over? Is she already looking for your replacement? Or is there still hope?
What, exactly, should you do when confronted with such a troubling phrase.
We recently had a very interesting and insightful discussion of this topic on the SoSuave Discussion Forum. I've selected and cut excerpts from that discussion for you.
Mucho opinions. A little variety. And lots of insight.
That's a classic line.
Standard response: you get insecure, pursue her, everything gets heavy between you two, things are not light and lively, you and her stop having fun.
Then she meets someone who makes her laugh, who keeps things light, lively and playful.
You become associated with dark, heavy, negative feelings. The new guy becomes associated with spontaneity, fun, laughter, etc.
The real question is, "What do you do at this point?"
MOVE ON. Tell her you need some space (and you do, although you may not see it that way).
Then you have to cease any contact with her unless she starts it. Then keep it short. It's basically over, so you don't waste your time with any more involvement from here on out.
For the chance you might have a future together, you're going to have to re-establish yourself as a gushing spring of spontaneity, laughter, fun, etc.
All this is predicated on the assumption (redundant? jeez...) that things were sunshine and light and now aren't. If you were as you were before, then she's made a decision and you're not changing it. It's over.
Don't be precipitous in declaring the relationship over. The phrase "I need some space" might simply mean that you are too available, and need to present a challenge again. Consequently, the only way that you will ascertain whether the relationship is over is by giving her exactly what she wants -- SPACE.
However, make sure the "space" you give her is on your terms, not hers.
If your availability is the issue, don't be too quick to respond when she is ready for you. Alternatively, if your relationship is over, she may very well ask you to come back if she finds out that you are dating someone else -- particularly if you begin dating someone else before she finds a replacement for you.
Well... have you ever used that line? I know I have. Usually it's a nice way of saying, "I don't want to hurt your feelings, you are nice and all, but the spark is gone. I am bored or unhappy and want to find something new."
A relationship needs to work kind of like a rubberband to be successful.
If a person is getting all the closeness they need from a relationship they will ALWAYS get to a point where they pull away some for a little bit... to re-define who they are and take some "space".
IF the other person feels threatened by this NATURAL and NORMAL behavior they will often try to regain that closeness again. They will often try so hard out of fear that they are losing the person that they essentially drive them away.
I can almost guarantee that if you look honestly at the situation you will find that when she tried to get that space initially that you fought her attempt and became annoying.
If you want any chance at salvaging this situation you NEED to pull back MORE than she is.
Women are 100% reactive to what the man does. If you pull away and it is not too late (it might be in this case) her natural response will be to seek out the closeness again. If you learn how to ACT instead of REACT with a woman, you can essentially learn to predict her responses and adjust your actions to cause her to behave exactly the way you want her to.
If she pulls back... let her. If you want her to want to be close... you pull back... just like a rubberband. Learn this concept and a woman will snap right back in no time at all.
The ONLY thing men need to know in order to REALLY understand women is that she is entirely reactionary to his behavior towards her. Learn to behave in a way that gets the results you desire.
If the woman in question is prone to holding things in until she has simply had enough, then the relationship is probably over. If she is more assertive and open about her needs, you still may be able to salvage things.
Either way, what you need to do is pull back and let her have that space. The solution to either problem is the same, but the results of things will depend entirely on how long this woman holds things in before speaking up about being unhappy. All you can do is pull back and see what happens.
Just because someone wants some space doesn't mean it's over. I don't hang around my friends every day, it gets boring. We take a break ("some space") and then we're the best of friends again. Maybe you've just been hanging around her too much?
On the other hand maybe she is tired of the relationship.
Just sit and watch, don't head out for the next girl just yet. Sounds like she is looking for a spark in the relationship, so go out and do things in your spare time. Be less available, she will probably realize what she's missing.
GIVE HER ALL THE SPACE SHE NEEDS!!
I can remember 4/5 years ago when my ex said the same thing. I literally begged her, I needed to see her. "You're saying it's over right?" "You want to meet someone else." It's embarrassing to think that I acted that way!
So simply agree with her, get on with doing your hobbies and going out with friends and 'wait' until she makes contact with you. If she takes longer than a 2/3 weeks then you can assume that it really is over. NEXT!
If you are to throw in the towel every time someone says 'space,' there would be a lot of meaningless relationships and a lot of wasted time... as well as a lot of untrusting, lonely people. Relationships go through stages, you are going to have problems.
They'll say something like, "Maybe we need some space." I'll be like, "Sweet, I appreciate our time together but, I agree, we need some space to take care of our business."
They always end up calling, or emailing.
The thing is, the very fact that she is asking for "space" tells me that he has been acting like an AFC around her.
Tell me, how many of you have told a girl that you needed space? I know I have. And the reason for it was because she was suffocating the living sh*t out of me. Every time I have ever said or heard the words "I need some space" it was in that sort of context.
Even when the request for space was granted, it didn't help. The damage was done.
You're no longer a mystery, no longer a challenge, and she is no longer interested. It's move-on time.
I was in a serious relationship once and the girl told me this. She admitted later it was because the 'spark' was gone and that she wanted that feeling back but couldn't find it.
Looking back, I realize that I was no challenge for her anymore, and on top of that I pursued her even more when she said she needed space (total hard core, 100% AFC action). This just gave her more reason to leave in the end.
Any girl says this to me now, I don't totally dismiss the possibility of picking it up with her in the near future, but at this point she is pretty much telling me she wants to be single. So I act single from that point and pursue other women.
Another possibility is, she announces "I need space" only to test how much you'll whine and beg her to stay, at which point she will then have complete control over the relationship... and you.
She sees just what it takes to get you begging and will file it away for future use.
If you want the relationship to continue you have to just go away for a while. She may very well not want to see you anymore, but if you try to do things to "salvage" the relationship, you're sure to drive her away.
From personal experience, at this point in a relationship women are feeling like they are losing their independence. Even if she really likes you, she still wants to be independent. So the only card you have up your sleeve is to go away and leave the ball completely in her court.
She will wonder why you're not making all sorts of desperate attempts to keep her.
If you really had good chemistry she will remember that and be calling you just as soon as you fall in love with someone else... lol
My guess is that you were pressuring her into a more serious relationship then she wants, and that got to be your focus rather than just having a good time.
If this is the case she's trying to find out if you can backtrack to the kind of relationship you had a while ago that she was comfortable with.
One of my best buddies is in the same boat. His gf says she needs space quite often.
He gives it to her by crying on the phone, pining, sending her flowers, and poetry.
He of course calls me when this happens... like I know what the H E double hockey sticks I'm doing when it comes to women. I've told him that space means 'c-ya', but he insists on grinding his pride in the dirt.
Better to be alone and a prideful DJ than a sorry SOB crying to a chick who doesn't even want him anyway.
Clue: It's the woman's job to 'get serious'. If you try and 'get serious' on her she won't like it and it will make her feel uncomfortable. (No challenge -> less interest.)
I'd say it's already over. After you get the 'I need space' line you can drag it out for months or even years, but it's incredibly rare for it to turn into anything happy and serious after that.