“I need my space.” However many times have you said that, does it work?
Over the years, I’m sure being together has been quite a journey. You’re used to each others' idioms and quirks. You know when to back off when your partner is steamed and when to prod when you feel they’re shying away from their potential.
But do you? Do you know when to ebb and flow with the climate of emotions? It’s not as easy as it sounds. Especially if you’ve created bad habits and routinely give into them because that’s the way you are.
The phrase “I need my space” is certainly better than blowing up or giving the silent treatment. But is saying that doing your relationship a favor at that moment? What do we learn when we walk away?
In our experience, it was a partial way to diffuse tempers, but it also trained us to handle anger and stress in a quitting attitude. Let me know if you were ever in these situations where sh*t just got real:
We snapped at each other in a public place. Back off, say nothing and be doomed to occupy a gloomy existence until you leave that public place.
Can’t agree on where to eat. Go home, give each other space still feeling hungry, but your appetite is ruined.
You want to go out, and your partner doesn’t. You go out anyway, and your partner is a sulky, miserable hot mess and exchange one-sentence liners all night. Yay.
Giving each other space just doesn’t work sometimes and it trains your mind that quitting and hanging on to child-like behavior is okay.
Here are five things to do when “you need your space”:
1. Text each other.
When you’re angry, it’s hard to have a rational conversation. But texting is a chance to still be polite to each other, explain how you feel and cry without feeling eyes on you. It’s a safe environment that keeps the connection alive while actively working towards solving the issue.
2. Establish equal ground.
Arguments lead to blame. It’s so easy to want to blame each other. Please don’t do this. Accept that if you’re both arguing, then you both have some fault in the matter. All arguments are missteps in communication. So if you can both acknowledge that you both simply feel disconnected from each other, blame leaves the conversation.
3. Agree to switch course.
There’s a moment right before you decide to quit and retreat to your space, before you clam up and the negativity begins to flow from everything you do. At that moment, decide that you both will handle stress and anger better. Come up with a plan. If you’re frustrated, the last thing you want to do is direct it at each other.
4. Let it out!
Everyone gets angry and it’s a valid emotion to have. So while I’m not saying not to get mad or frustrated, I am saying you should strategically let it out so that it isn’t used selfishly. Directing your anger or stress from the day or the task in front of you is selfish because it only caters to how you feel. Scream out! That’s why curse words are awesome; they give language that extra Umph! to help you release your stress. Then turn to your partner and smile or laugh or kiss them or hug them.
If these little hacks feel weird to you, good! It’s the weird and uncomfortable things we feel that are often the things we need to prioritize. Learning to love your partner better is definitely a priority. Things are so much more fun and less stressful now that we’ve done this ourselves.
We’ve chosen to be together for the rest of our lives, so we better have a good plan for seeing it through. I like to think of loving someone as a decision. I choose to love every day because there’s just too much other stuff to worry about like business, marketing, branding, etc. Running your life is enough. The choice to love is easy, executing can be more taxing some days, but as always it’s the only choice and act that I’ll never think twice about.