Space in Relationships

Space in RelationshipsUmpteen articles talk about ‘tips’ on Dating, on Relationships, on how to please your Man/Woman and so on. But do we really abide by them? Forget about abiding, do we even remember the so called tips? Is love a book, some science, which can be read, analyzed, explained, and then implemented? Are human emotions so facile to understand?  There are numerous questions with almost no convincing answers. 

Love is beyond comprehension. And we mortals make it even more complex. We meet people, we like them, love them, share a special bond, a relationship buds. Some relationships are already there since our birth and some we beget with time, with age. Not all are complex, yet some are.  

​When two individuals, of disparate persona come together, they don’t just share their ideas or feelings, they share their entire world with each other. It may sound like a cliché but the root of a harmonious relationship is ‘mutual understanding’. There are a lot of successful couples, who are together since years. It’s like eternity (for example, our parents). They have not only sustained, rather grown as a couple and individuals as well, that too triumphantly. And our generation often wonders, what it takes to win the trophy of a ‘successful couple’. We fail to understand that what it takes to win this trophy is a ‘healthy mind’. A mind that understands the meaning of love, respects the value of relationships and knows that the significant other is an individual, an independent soul that cannot be caged or possessed.

Relationships usually orbit around three words –I love you/I hate you/I like you/ I need you/I want you and the new flavor enhancer is –I NEED SPACE!

Firstly, by space we mean the freedom or opportunity to express oneself, be alone, and express individuality. While many of you reading this might be nodding your head in compliance; for some, relationship means ‘no space’. There is no ‘need’ of space. In fact they have this big question mark on their face when you talk about it. They are like what kind of space? Why this space? What does Space mean?

According to some of my friends, one doesn’t feel the need of having ‘space’. (A friend of mine expressed his view on this and said, “I don’t think in a relationship you feel the need of having ‘space’.) They say, “I have an understanding partner and we always talk out our issues. Communication has been the strongest key’’. I quite agree with it but up to an extent. There are many such couples who do feel the need of having space. Now the question arises when do we feel the need of having space? What compels us to say these three words? Well there can be many denoting reasons.

It is natural for couples to desire to be with each other all the time and be glued. A word of caution here is that while we desire to be with each other, there is a need to be alone as well. This may sound callous to some; when one is in a relationship, one gets offended when the significant other expresses the need to have space.

The reason for getting hurt is insecurity and fear; fear of losing the person. This feeling is often taken as a personal attack. A lot of questions might germinate in the mind. They might ask themselves, if they are the reason for this indifference or how did they offend their loved one? What went wrong? How come he/she wants to be alone when they share everything? 

Often when one half of couple states the need of having space, it has nothing to do with the other half of couple. It has nothing to do with the amount of love one has for his/her partner. We as individuals come from divergent facets of life. The way each and every individual has been brought up is completely different from the other person.

Let’s take a scenario here. Your partner has lived certain years of life away from family and has not shared any responsibility. He/she has developed a nature, which is way too independent. Now if you keep poking, act clingy and need details of every activity of your partner, you are intervening in that space.

Yes, you might think that after all you are a couple and how can you ‘intervene’?  Here you need to understand and adapt to the nature of your partner. By consistently clinging on to your partner you will certainly suffocate him/her! Do not try to control your partner.

Even as a couple, you are still two individuals, and to grow as a couple you must also grow individually. You need to give room to your partner to think, introspect, and get in touch with his/her inner self to understand himself/herself better. Rather than trying to fix their problem, it’s better to concentrate on your own self and do some self-introspection. Of course you do care and love your partner and know what suits him/her best, but it is healthier for them to learn for themselves instead of expecting you to always come to the rescue, when it is least needed. A relationship requires two mature and healthy minds that understand and respect the need of giving space. The best thing to do when your partner needs space is to give it.

Allow time and space to the person whom you so dearly love. This will lead to a positive experience for both the individuals and strengthen the relationship rather than diminish it. 

The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves, and not to twist them to fit our own image. Otherwise we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them.”

-Neetu Khanna

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