If your partner utters the words “I need space,” don’t assume your relationship is doomed. People ask for breathing room for many reasons, says Arthur Aron, Ph.D., a research professor in social and health psychology at Stony Brook University. And they’re not all bad.
A little space can even be healthy. “It’s probably good to have some strong connection and interaction with your partner but also some other space in your life,” says Aron.
Chale, let us not kid ourselves, here in this part of the world, ‘I Need Space’ has never been healthier and stronger by making connection and interacting with your partner easier. Most of the time, it brings ‘hatred’ and ‘bad wishes’ to the partners.
Your partner might feel lost.
“Normally, it’s a good thing to be connected, and the more connected the better, but there’s a certain extreme point where you feel like you’ve lost who you are,” says Aron. “You’re completely absorbed in your partner, and at that point it becomes uncomfortable and you may want to have some room to be an individual.” Spending more time with friends, playing music, meditating, or pursuing other interests on your own can bring some diversity to your life that can make you happy and enrich your relationship.
Your partner might just be in an exploration phase.
“Our theory and one of the main theories in the field is that one of our main goals in life is to explore and expand oneself, and it’s really good to do that with your partner, but not all the opportunities are with your partner,” says Aron. “You want opportunities to do it on your own.”
Some people just need alone time.
For example, “some highly sensitive people need downtime,” says Aron. “They need breaks from everything, including from interaction with their partner, just because they get so easily overwhelmed.” Introverts might need extra alone time, too, and extroverts might crave more time in larger groups instead of one-on-one.
Most of the time, ‘I Need Space’ doesn’t end well for the partners, it brings heart breaks and a lot of bad wishes especially when one is seriously hurt and has been promised several for good.
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