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How to Keep a Relationship Together When the Boyfriend Wants Space

by Mitch Reid, studioD

There are various reasons a boyfriend might ask for space in a relationship. For example, perhaps he feels smothered by your attention. Or maybe you have done nothing wrong, and he simply wants time to reconnect with his own sense of self and independence. In either case, for the sake of the relationship, you will need to adopt a few strategies to provide him with space while controlling your own urges.

Respect His Needs

There are several things you should avoid when your boyfriend initially tells you he wants space. For example, don't argue, plead or get upset in front of him, suggests relationship coach Lisa Hayes in the Your Tango article, "Expert: When He Says He Needs Space." Instead, respect his wishes and end the conversation. Resist the urge to contact him first unless there's an emergency

Address Your Emotions

Once you are away from him, take care of your own emotions. The request for space can lead to uncontrollable emotions such as anxiety, anger or sadness, warns dating coach Kristina Marchant in the Your Tango article, "What To Do If Your Boyfriend Says He 'Needs Space'." Don't judge yourself or assume the worst. For example, steer clear of thoughts such as, "He wants a break because I'm unattractive." Instead, practice self-soothing activities such as meditation or aromatherapy, if necessary.

Focus More on You

Picture this break as an opportunity for you to reconnect with your sense of self. Focus on aspects of your life that were important to you prior to this relationship, suggests Marchant in the Your Tango article titled, "How To Act When He Needs Space." For example, return to your past hobbies and have nights out with close friends. You might even aim to pick up new skills or meet new people.

Make a Wise Return

Don't be too eager to jump back into the relationship when he's ready to end the break, warns Marchant. You don't have to stonewall him or play hard to get, but remember to make a slow and cautious return. If you haven't already, this is the time to talk about the causes of the break. Determine if he has solved the problem he wanted to solve, and isn't just returning out of loneliness. The latter could lead to more breaks down the road.

About the Author

Mitch Reid has been a writer since 2006. He holds a fine arts degree in creative writing, but has a persistent interest in social psychology. He loves train travel, writing fiction, and leaping out of planes. His written work has appeared on sites such as Synonym.com and GlobalPost, and he has served as an editor for ebook publisher Crescent Moon Press, as well as academic literary journals.

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