It is an awful precursor to a conversation that usually isn’t favorable: the phrase “we’ve got to talk”. Every word spoken thereafter adds a mountainous weight onto your heart. You listen silently as he mentions that he needs his space for a while and that “it’s not you, it’s him”. After his cliché-heavy speech, he leaves. Left alone to wallow through the muck that your man just spewed is you, confused and asking what, exactly, his version of space is!? Does it mean he wants a mini break, a separation, or—worst case scenario—to go his own way? How can you read between the lines of your man’s need for his mysterious and sudden space? You hope he just wants to work something out in his mind and that there is nothing to worry about. But hoping won’t keep him from wanting to breakup with you if he is already contemplating that path. You need to know why he is leaving and what to do. Your immediate reaction after receiving an earful about him wanting space is critical in mapping out the future between you and your beau. After all, there are only two possibilities for him wanting space. One, he genuinely needs his space. Or, two, he is too cowardly to tell you that he is, indeed, leaving you. How do you know and what should you do?
He Actually Does Need Space
Sometimes men really do need their space! This is especially true if he is introverted, or used to being on his own. Space is his way of adapting to change, companionship and relationships. It does not mean he rather be on his own, or that he has his eye on another catch. Nor does his desire for a timeout mean he intends to be gone long. Usually it means that he simply needs time for himself, without anyone—other than himself—to breathe for a moment. The length of the relationship comes into play also. He could be feeling overwhelmed and maybe even suffocated if you have been spending every waking moment together. Arguing may also cause him to yearn for some space so that he can clear his head and get some perspective from a distance. It does not have to be a bad thing; he could just be adjusting himself for you in the best way that he knows how.
What to Do?
If you panic and try convincing him he is making a mistake, he will be even more motivated to go along with his plan. If your beau has made it up in his mind that he needs some space, it is vital that you agree with him and let him go without a fight. This will go against all of your instincts, but this decision is the best way not to provoke him and escalate the situation. By agreeing with him and letting him go, you are leaving communication open. By leaving communication open you have made big step toward keeping his timeout from becoming a breakup.
He Wants to Move On
Let’s face it, men are sometimes cowards and we aren’t good with expressing our emotions either. Even still, it isn’t right for men not to be upfront with their women and hide the fact that they are no longer happy. Yet, masking our emotions continues to happen all the time. Men absolutely detest conflict with women. Some men will stoop to any level to avoid the most emotional—or hysterical—reaction. Even so, it is his decision if he is no longer happy with you, or that he feels you may not be a good fit for him. That initial, derived opinion you cannot change, but you can, however, control how he ultimately feels about you.
What to Do?
It won’t be easy for you to switch gears from being his girlfriend to his friend, but that is the best you can do under the circumstances that your man wants to move on. By showing him you are supportive and understanding, he will confide in you more freely. More importantly, do not lose sight of the justices of relationships. Everything does not revolve around him, YOU matter as well. Do not feel guilty about taking some time for yourself to evaluate whether or not you want to be with him. He needs his space? Take yours too, and make good use of the time to beautify and enjoy the things you’ve done less in order to be with him. Just be sure to stay in touch with him without overdoing it. You cannot let him think you are trying to change his mind and get him back. Being indifferent, yet supportive, will make him start to wonder whether he’s losing you for good. If he holds even the slightest bit of feelings for you, he will second guess his decision for wanting to be away from you. But, by the time he comes face to face with this dilemma the ball will already be in your court. Maybe you have also decided that you aren’t happy and that the best decision is to give him permanent man-space! But if you do let him back into your life, he will feel pathetically desperate without you. It will be as though he has fully decided that you, and a solid relationship, are the only things he wants in his life right now.