If there’s one area of attraction that mustn’t be ignored, it’s the concept of space. Space, or a lack of space, is responsible for more breakups than just about any other relationship problem. You must give your girlfriend space for attraction to grow and to help you maintain a healthy relationship.
Space is so powerful and important it is, in essence, the means by which attraction either thrives or dies. Men and women are born into the world as single entities.
The moment we come out of our mother’s womb, we start to develop a sense of self and a sense of our own individual identity. We begin to separate ourselves from our parents as we come to see ourselves as unique individual beings separate from other people and the world around us. This separation of self drives our need for space. We need space to grow.
We need space to develop. We need space to think. And we need space to have a sense of our own individual identity.
In most relationships, when two people come together, the concept of space is usually forgotten. Most relationships start with a bang. The man and woman come together with passion, frequently “love bombing” the other person, only to discover later that they’ve squeezed all the life out of the relationship.
This is the great paradox of space—we want to be free and separate from others, yet we also desire closeness and connection at the same time. Introducing space is not only important in the early stages of a relationship where coming on too strong can have disastrous consequences.
Why You Must Give Your Girlfriend Space
Space must also be present in long-term relationships as well. When a woman loses attraction for a man, it’s usually because the man failed to bring enough space and distance into the relationship. In the same way, when a woman loses interest in intimacy, it’s usually because she feels deprived of space, and as a result, her attraction has begun to fade.
Attraction doesn’t grow in close proximity, it grows in space. When space is introduced, the focus comes off the self and back on to the other. When we feel suffocated in a relationship, this is because the focus is on the other as opposed to the self.
Only when our partner grants us space do we crave intimacy and turn our attention back to our partner. This is a cycle that all healthy relationships must strive to balance, a balance that is often hard to accomplish if one person requires more intimacy than the other.
People who are insecure, lonely, or have a personality type that makes them feel anxious often oppose the idea of space, preferring instead to live in a co-dependent relationship.
For the vast majority of people, introducing space shouldn’t be a problem. Most people have a secure attachment style (approximately 59 percent of the population); 25 percent of people have an avoidant attachment style that requires fewer close connections and a reduced need for intimacy; and 11 percent of people have an anxious attachment style that lends itself to feelings of insecurity, anxiety, and the fear that their partner will one day abandon them.
Regardless of a person’s attachment style, you must always allow space into your relationships, even if it feels like space is the last thing the relationship needs.
Space Increases Tension
In Esther Perel’s Mating in Captivity, eroticism and attraction are said to exist in an ambiguous zone between anxiety and fascination. The amount of attraction we feel for another person is often in direct proportion to the amount of anxiety and uncertainty the other person stirs within us.
The moment a woman feels smothered in a relationship is the moment she begins to feel a slew of emotions ranging from boredom, apathy, suffocation, and restlessness.
On the other hand, the moment the all-important element of space is introduced, the woman is no longer assured of the man’s presence. It’s at this point that the woman begins to feel anxious and excited, becoming more and more fixated on the man the longer he’s away from her.
Whether you find yourself in a new relationship or a twenty-year marriage, you must learn to embrace space and welcome it into your life. In the same way, you must resist the natural temptation to close the distance between you and your lover.
Men are often plagued by the thought that a woman will forget about them, or, worse, find someone else and move on the moment space is introduced. Just as your ability to introduce anxiety into a relationship is often commensurate with the amount of attraction a woman feels for you, your ability to introduce space is also a direct reflection of your mental strength and character.
There’s nothing more terrifying for a woman than the prospect of losing her freedom and being trapped within the confines of a suffocating relationship. Of all the values we hold dear, freedom is the most important.
Yes, we must eat and breathe to survive, but without freedom we lose our humanity and the will to live. This is true of all animals, not just humans. Only an insecure man would deny a woman space in a desperate attempt to bind her to him.
To give your girlfriend space, you must have the confidence to allow her to pull away from you (go no contact the right way) and come back to you in her own time.
Many couples try to spend as much time as possible in each other’s presence, especially when passions run high. You must learn to appreciate the speed with which a woman falls in love. A study published in the Journal of Social Psychology revealed that men fall in love faster than women and they also want intimacy a lot faster too.
Men and women frequently destroy the element of space by making themselves too available—they talk about everything, they see too much of each other, and they spend too much time together. This lack of space often leads to a severe drop in attraction. To overcome this problem, you must actively enforce the element of space, even if the thought of bringing space into the relationship makes you feel uncomfortable.
Case Study: Suffocating Attraction
Jacob and Emily had been married for seven years when Emily dropped an unexpected bombshell: “I want a divorce,” she told Jacob without a shred of emotion. Jacob was shocked. What about the kids? How would this affect them, and why… why did she want a divorce when their life was so comfortable? Jacob knew their relationship had problems but was it so bad that they had to get divorced?
The truth was, what had started out as an intimate and loving relationship had quickly disintegrated into a marriage devoid of passion and intimacy.
Despite this, Jacob still thought their marriage was worth saving. Emily, however, wasn’t convinced. She wanted more, she wanted love, she wanted passion, and she wanted to feel alive. As far as Emily was concerned, her relationship with Jacob was dull and lifeless. Their days had become routine and predictable.
After work, Jacob and Emily would come home and watch TV together. They would talk about their day and hold each other close. At night, as they got ready for bed, they would often shower together and brush their teeth at the same time. In fact, they were so comfortable being around each other, they often left the bathroom door open when they went to the toilet.
Now, when Emily looked at Jacob, it was like she was looking at a close friend. She no longer wanted to have intimacy with him, and she no longer thought about him or wondered what he was doing during the day.
Emily remembered how, almost a year ago, she had tried bringing the element of space into their relationship. Emily knew she needed time to herself—time to think about their relationship and their future together. But every time she asked for space, Jacob would get upset and complain that she didn’t love him.
Emily felt trapped and suffocated. She now knew, without a shred of doubt, that she had no choice but to leave Jacob and never look back.
The moment you become predictable (either in thought or deed), is the moment you become boring, tiresome, unexciting, and unattractive. An attractive man doesn’t make his romantic partner his primary concern. He doesn’t need to be with her twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. When you live a full and active life, the element of space will naturally be present in your relationships.
Space in Long-Term Relationships
When a man and woman live together in a long-term relationship, it’s still possible to introduce space by living a life that’s separate from your partner. Whether this means working out separately, meeting your own friends, seeing family, or working on your own hobbies and projects, you must take the time to focus on yourself as opposed to cruising by in a co-dependent relationship.
If you find it difficult to avoid being in the presence of your partner (for instance, if you’re married with children), occasionally sleeping in separate beds is a great way to restore attraction.
The idea of sleeping in separate beds often induces a sense of panic among couples, as though their partner has somehow lost interest in them and is about to exit the relationship. Research, however, shows that sleeping in separate beds when in long-term relationships often helps to bring the element of space and attraction back into the relationship.
Many of the most successful long-term relationships, where both partners have a sustained, long-lasting desire for each other has come as a direct result of space being introduced through separate sleeping arrangements.
For the insecure and possessive man, the thought of giving a woman space is enough to send him into a downward spiral of frustration and anxiety. A relationship, however, should never feel like an obligation. You must have enough strength to give your girlfriend space even when it’s the last thing you want to do.
There’s nothing more unattractive than someone who forces their presence onto another person when that person has already expressed their desire for space. If attraction is to exist, the element of space must be present regardless of whether you feel comfortable with it or not.