“Space…the final frontier.” Star Trek. You may have said to at least one person in your life that you need your space. Usually this comes out when someone is crossing your boundaries. Some of you use this as an excuse to end a relationship but most of you probably express this need when someone is crossing your boundaries in a way that makes you feel uncomfortable. Sometimes in a relationship, people forget that their partner is an individual and needs space to just “be”. What does that space look like in your life? This can vary from person to person and can vary with each relationship. It depends on what you and your partner’s individual needs are.

Some of you may require more alone time than others. Some of you need your own room to sleep in. Whatever the case may be for your relationship, it is important that you respect your partner’s space and honor their request. If you have been in a serious relationship for a while then you should well know what that looks like. Does your partner need some time to wake up before talking to you? Does your partner need quiet time before bed? When your partner is engaged in a task that requires their attention, can you wait until they can give you their full attention for the request that you have? Check this out:

Susan wakes up every morning an hour prior to when the family awakes. She does this so that she has time to meditate, make the morning coffee, and start breakfast so that she can give her full attention to her family when they wake up.  One day, her partner awakened early and just started talking to her about the day that was ahead. Susan got flustered and told her partner that she needed some space.  Her partner then got upset. Susan had not meditated, the coffee didn’t get brewed and now breakfast was behind because her partner was demanding her attention. Susan did not get her cup of coffee and was a little grouchy with the kids because she was now running behind to get to work.  Susan was late to getting to work and was now behind with her daily tasks. Mid-morning, she took a break and went outside for a little fresh air. She reset her day.

When these things happen in a relationship, it is usually because one or both partners either do not understand or do not respect simple boundaries.  Susan needs this time in the morning so she deliberately plans this. What Susan’s partner does not understand is that what she does is for the benefit of herself and her relationship with her family. Do you take the time with your partner to let them know what your boundaries are and why they are in place for you? Does your partner respect those boundaries? Do you respect your partner’s boundaries?

Take time to have that conversation with your partner. Maybe you haven’t had that conversation for a while. It is worth revisiting when these boundaries are crossed. And…it’s a great opportunity to practice those listening skills!

Kari Petruch

The Relationship Reigniter

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