One of the greatest benefits of being in a relationship is having someone to do fun things with. We often fantasize and romanticize about all of the things that we can’t wait to do with our partners and all of the time we wish to spend. We talk about things that we need or want in a relationship, but one of the most underrated, overlooked and unexplored aspects is the concept of giving each other space.
When we don’t give each other space, it sets us up to move too quickly, stunt each other’s growth and eventually get on each other’s nerves.
When we find someone we like, we are often so quick to let someone monopolize our free time that we think we know them better than we actually do. We spend all of our time on the phone like teenagers and spend every weekend together. This can lead to rushing decisions like moving in just so you can spend more time together.
It’s funny how some women will say they don’t want a needy man, but have no problem admitting that they themselves are needy. Well ladies, I’ll gladly tell you why the concept of giving space is highly underrated.
Spending time is cool until it becomes our lifestyle or our relationship becomes our identity.
When we don’t give each other space, we often neglect the other relationships that are important in our lives. How many of us have gotten in a relationship and all of a sudden forgotten or not made time for our friends? We miss important moments and accomplishments, yet we want them to pause everything to rush to our side in our moments of sadness or breakups. No. Keep that same energy. Friendships are relationships that have to be worked on, too. They don’t necessarily just un-pause right where they left off when you got into your relationship and left them lingering.
How many of us have thrown so much of ourselves into our relationship that we forgot to work on ourselves? Sometimes we let up off our hustle because we have a new love interest. How many times have your work ethic and performance been affected by what you thought was love? How many times have we put aside a hobby or a passion? Just imagine the opportunities have you may have passed up on.
It’s all about balance and boundaries. It’s great to have mutual interest and things that you can share with your partner, and it’s awesome if they will do things they don’t necessarily like to do (and vice versa) just to spend time together. But it’s totally fine for you to have some “me time.” Both of you should have time and activities outside of each other. It’s OK to have regularly scheduled guys’/girls’ night out, an annual trip or some big event to look forward to with your friends.
Space is important so that you don’t lose yourself in a relationship.
Space ensures that you don’t give up all that makes you unique. Absence does make the heart grow fonder; so if we crowd each other, we don’t give each other time to miss each other and remember why we like spending time together.
Not having space in a relationship is something many men fear, and it’s why we cling to our singleness so forcefully. For many men, settling down means giving up. There’s an entire generation of men who believe long-term relationships and marriage equals them doing all of the sacrificing, having a life of boredom where they don’t get to do anything and not seeing their friends. There’s a reason a lot of men think of relationships as being anchored down, losing freedom, or ball-and-chain—It’s because we don’t get the space that we need.
In every part of the relationship, space (or the opportunity to get or give it) is critical. It shows understanding and it speaks volumes. Think about it: when break ups happen, we talk about all of the sacrifices that were made and the amount of time invested. Space will give you both room to breathe, grow and build trust. If you don’t trust him to live life, have personal time or have fun when you’re not around then you don’t need to be in a relationship.
Written By: Johnny Brownlee II
Follow Johnny on Instagram: @slin_k_polymath