How to Give Men Space

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A normal challenge in any relationship comes in finding the right balance between intimacy and independence. While no gender tendencies are set in stone, as a woman you may find yourself in the common position of trying to figure out how to give your man the space he wants while still pursuing the meaningful closeness you crave.

Getting Feedback

In order to give him space and autonomy in the ways that are important to him, start with a dialogue. Ask him to describe a model for his ideal levels and types of contact with you while you do the same; use these two models as a place to start working on compromises. Find out which behaviors he finds invasive and understand that his feelings may differ from yours. Remember that everyone is different, and recognize that you have your own areas where you want space.

Time Space

If you feel like he wants more time to himself, let him take the reins for a while as far as planning activities and time spent together. Let him know what your availability is and that you'd like to have time together. Letting him take control of planning at times makes the decisions about time management a matter of mutual choice. You may find that you have to get comfortable with spending less time together than you want to, but don't allow things to slip to the point of spending less time together than what you feel is necessary for your happiness in the relationship.

Privacy Space

Privacy and trust can be a difficult hurdle to navigate. For example, while you may not have any particular need or desire to have access to his e-mail account, it may also be important to you to know that he's not using it to hide anything from you. Remember, though, privacy isn't always about hiding something; sometimes it's just about controlling how quickly someone gets to know you. In general, privacy should be less of a concern the longer a couple is together and building trust. Let this transition happen gradually without pushing for more access, but if there seems to be an area of his life that stays rigidly off-limits as time goes on, you have a right to ask why.

Social Space

Make sure you're both on the same page as far as sharing your social circles. Some couples may want to share friends, some may want to keep their socializing completely separate and some may want an arrangement that's somewhere in between. Whatever level of social interaction you want to share, allow the mixing of your social circles to happen gradually and naturally. Remember: He has the romantic relationship with you, not them. It's okay to want to spend time with his friends, but also allow him time to be with them without you around. He has a special dynamic with his friends that isn't the same with a new person around, and it's healthy for him to want to enjoy that at times. Make sure, also, that the mixing of your social circles works both ways; yours with him and him with yours.