There is little to no concrete definition of "space" when it pertains to a certain closing stage of a romantic relationship. When someone you were dating claims that he or she needs "space," the recipient has no idea what this person means other than the fact that they aren't going to see or talk to each other as much as usual.
It could mean many things, ranging from "I need to able to hook up with somebody else and not feel bad about it" to "I need to prove to myself that I can go through the day without seeing your face and hearing your voice" to "I'm so sick of hanging out with you but I don't have the heart to say it."
The one conclusion we can draw from these different interpretations is that "I need space" mostly always has a hidden meaning or intention. We are here to shed some light on this misunderstood sly from the truth and lend you a hand on what is trying to be communicated when you hear those fateful three words the next time in your life.
Let's start out by understanding that in my various dating experiences, I have been on both sides of the spectrum. Someone has told me she needed space and I have also told a girl I needed space as well. This is why I can now proclaim that this statement is bullshit. The most truthful of the vague descriptions of what "space" insinuates is the idea of "I need space to find myself."
This is because asking for space is an attempt to see if one can handle the strange new relationship with their former partner they are about to find themselves in. This person isn't sure if they want to continue or end the relationship they are in, so to safely get a peek of what both outcomes would be like, they request a more liberal code of conduct with other people while still staying relevant in the eyes of the unfortunate recipient.
They have their own rules and stipulations as to the level of intimacy and communication that this new relationship will entail because the current traditional romance they are involved in isn't satisfying them as much as it used to.
Basically, what the person asking for space is requesting is to break up all ties and scheduled meetings but still maybe go out and occasionally hook up. This way, they can slowly wean themselves off of their partner by hoping that once their meetings become more awkward and therefore less frequent, they will get sick of this new relationship and just break the whole thing off completely.
Think of it as seeing other people but in case they can't get a date or get laid or find anyone appealing there's the safety net of the person they were formerly with who has no idea what he or she is allowed to do, so if the option of returning to the relationship comes up, at least it's better than a relationship status unknown.
If you had to compare whether needing space was more like staying together or breaking up, it's most definitely the latter. People who say that they need space do this because their intention is to break up but they are afraid of the immediate reaction their mind and body will have to this action so they fool the mind into thinking they are sort of in some twisted relationship.
It's like getting a hall pass but instead of just coming out and asking for it, it is demanded in the form of "space" which deprives the hall pass of all of its foundation and purpose. The point is, anyone who asks you for space doesn't care enough about you to both be honest with you and respectful to your own say in the relationship. If someone asks for space it is an insult.
In other words, having space means being in someone's life without putting in any effort to do so. In fact, this is the complete opposite of what they're doing. It's cheating without actually cheating. They wish to test themselves and the relationship by seeing how they will turn out after going out and see what the rest of the world has to offer. So, why shouldn't you be able to do the same?
The next time someone says "I need space," take this as your cue to to run away because this person doesn't deserve to be cared about at all. They are going to engage in a series of behaviors in order for them to try and forget about you. Forget about them, and forget about ever giving someone a chance if they ever tell you "I need space." Saying "I need space" is the same thing as saying "your time has expired with me". It's just a nicer way to break up with someone and leave them confused. So don't fall for it ladies and gentlemen.
Chase Hitchens | Elite.
Chase Hitchens is a dating coach for both men and women. He travels around the world sharing his insights on dating.