BY S. NICOLE LANE
It can be an easy routine to fall into: texting constantly, spending every free moment together, making future plans for every weekend. It’s normal to want to be with the one you love. However, it’s inevitable that some distance be inserted into the relationship. And honestly, it’s better to start sooner than later.
Eventually, he will mention that he needs space, or that he feels disconnected with his friends, or that he’s being (ugh, this dreaded word) smothered. It can be hurtful, scary, and confusing to realize your boyfriend doesn’t want to spend every minute with you. You can begin to doubt your relationship or feel that you care for him more. Zap those thoughts from your mind. You are enough, and he cares for you. In a lot of ways, a little distance is going to help you, too.
Give your boyfriend some space by putting down your phone
In a world where we are attached to our screens, it can be difficult to remove yourself from your device. A New Mode says that it’s okay to send a text to your boo every now and then, but don’t bombard him with constant phone calls, texts, or photos. He doesn’t need to be attached to his phone. Remember, he has a life, too.
It can be easy to become slightly discouraged from the time you begin dating (commence the texting!) to when you’ve been dating and things slow down a bit, but don’t be alarmed. He won’t forget about your existence in the few hours he’s at work or at the gym or just chilling at home alone. Moreover, this will help you enjoy your own life without staring down into your hands every few minutes (via P.S. I Love You).
Encourage some space by planning separate trips with friends
It isn’t just about you giving him space, it’s you enjoying your own space, too. Remember that this is a positive thing and try and be productive with your time. Planning a getaway weekend trip is a perfect way to treat yourself and spend quality time with your friends, and allows him to do the same. Paired Life promises that this will recharge your man, and make him feel more alive. In fact, a 2013 study found that men “must physically meet with four friends, two times a week, in order to reap the benefits of male friendship” (via National Post). It’s healthy to have hobbies, differing interests, and independence. Having your own friends, identity, and future plans can encourage confidence and prevent co-dependency (via Bustle).
So book those flights, pack your bags, and go get that needed vacation time. Tina Wilson, a dating and relationship expert explains, “Most people think that time apart can be toxic, but we’ve learned from our Assisted Romance surveys that many people say that they are better in a relationship when they spend the occasional evening all alone.” We promise he will be fine without you (and he’ll probably miss you a lot).
Giving your boyfriend space doesn’t mean you’re going to break up
The most important thing to note during all of this is that you aren’t going to lose him. The stress and anxiety of giving him space may heighten insecurities at first and it may take some getting used to but overall this will benefit the relationship and make it more solid. Stay calm, don’t freak out, and don’t make the situation more of a “thing” than it already is.
Take time to talk to one another, express your feelings (dive into those insecurities) and be completely transparent. Giving one another space doesn’t mean you’re shutting off how you feel. It’s focusing on yourself and allowing things to be better for your future together (via Make Him Yours).
BY S. NICOLE LANE