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5 Things To Do When Your Partner Asks For “Space”

At some point in some relationships, your partner may ask for that dreary “space” or a break. Most of the time, this is a red flag signalling the end of the relationship.

So what do you do when your partner asks to take a break from the relationship? We have five suggestions for you:

1. Make the rules for your separation

Yes, your partner asked for space. Quite shocking, isn’t it? But remember it’s the two of you in your relationship and you also have a say in it. Discuss topics like sex, fidelity, the amount of contact allowed between the two of you, financial issues, child care, appropriate and inappropriate relations with others and so on depending on which ones apply to you. Also know the length of time the separation will last, after which you two will discuss the next steps in your relationship. Clearly agree on the rules for separation and if there is room for adjustments.

Couple arguing. Photo: Owambe

2. Feel

Allow yourself feel whatever emotions come up. Forcing down, ignoring or surpressing your emotions only makes them build up. when they eventually come out, they will be much more intense. So let the feelings flow freely. Allow yourself cry or get upset when you need to, as long as you don’t hurt yourself or any other person. You’ll feel better in the end. As much as it is advisable to let yoursef feel emotions, try not to stay in them for long.

3. Take care of yourself

As shocking as it is hearing your partner ask for space, you need to consciously try to go through your normal routine. Take proper care of yourself. Eat well, drink a lot of water, exercise, listen to relaxing music, take long showers and do mani-pedis or whatever makes you feel good. If you do think of your relationship, try your best to stay in the present and be true to yourself about what’s happening in your relationship.


4. Have a support system

Friends, family, groups, music, books or other activities that will support and uplift you are very important at this time. Spend more time with these people, doing the things that make you feel good. Let them support you through these times.

5. Work on yourself

Use this separation period as a time to work on yourself and become a better partner. This does not mean that there is something wrong with you or you are to blame for your partner’s desire for space. No. This is just a piece of advice to evaluate, recognise and take responsibility for the role you may have played in some of the challenges in your relationship. How should you act in certain situations? What can you do better? Develop new habits and work on the bad old ones you may have, like jealousy, holding grudges, lacking intimacy after an argument, trust or anger issues.


Regardless of what happens after this separation period, whether you get back together or not, these tips will help you become a better partner and a better person in general. Evaluate your relationship and know what is healthy for your relationship and what isn’t. Feel free also to decide if it is a good idea to stay in the relationship.

This space has given you the freedom to make requests, agreements and decisions that can be better for you. Use it wisely.

In this article:
Relationship Challenges
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