What does it mean, when a man says he needs some space?

United States
November 21, 2007 5:57pm CST
If your boyfriend or significant other told you that he needed space, would you automatically assume that he was trying to break up with you? Or, that he wanted to see other women? Has it ever happened to you before? What in the world does a guy mean, when he says he needs some space? How much space could a guy really need? I've always suspected that it's a guys way of keeping his options open. He doesn't want to be crowded or rushed into any permanent decision, so he gets cold feet and pulls the "space" defense out of his goody bag. Or, maybe it's a phrase used by commitment-phobe guys who aren't ready to settle down with one woman. I wish women relied on that one phrase as heavily as guys. Wouldn't that be funny? But, maybe that phrase has other meanings as well. Can someone tell me what the phrase, "I need some space", really means?
5 people like this
34 responses
@kokopelli (4842)
• United States
22 Nov 07
it could be literal like your physical presence is overwhelming him. it could be figurative like he needs some time to think so you could still be together but wants you to quit pressing him on some issues. and it could be just a crap line used for him to be able to step back, turn around, and be with someone else (urgh). either way, any girl got her heaven-given instinct, she'd know. she just refuses to understand what it tells her most of the time :)
• United States
22 Nov 07
Interesting commentary. I guess it pays to go with your gut instinct. Thanks for the insight. Will consider carefully.
@kokopelli (4842)
• United States
22 Nov 07
been busy with work, haven't been in mylot for a long while. now i got time bumming around again so you'll see more of me here, hehe.
@kokopelli (4842)
• United States
23 Nov 07
threat? that's no fun! :) see you around razcal!
@jennyp08 (68)
• United States
22 Nov 07
In my opionion, I feel that when someone says that, they are trying to keep their option open because they don't want to committe to the wrong kind of girl or boy. Hey, everyone needs space sometime just to think for themselves and clear up some old ghost before making new ones.
1 person likes this
• United States
22 Nov 07
There's a lot of wisdom in your comment. You must have dealt with this situation before. Thanks for taking time to post.
• United States
9 Dec 08
I need a Answer!! I've been talking to a guy for 6 months we live in attend different schools in different cities and he told me he need some space. I honestly believe that no one wants to leave some one to be lonely my only guess is another girl. i know he likes me alot, I know he is working internships school BUT he been doing this for 6 months so I don't excuse it. I know he is graduating in less than a week also I wonder if Im being selfish. Im so confused
• United States
25 Nov 07
It doesn't necessarily means he wants to break up. In fact, women who break of with men who "need space" find that the man is shocked and hurt by it, when the woman thought that it meant goodbye. It could mean that you are smothering him. Maybe you are very needy. Or maybe some stressful thing is going on that he is dealing with and keeping up with the normal courtship rituals of making sure he calls at specific times or takes you our on certain days - he just can't promise you he can keep up with worrying about all that right now. Just go about going out with your friends and pursuing your hobbies.
• United States
25 Nov 07
btw, this happened to me. his family was really going through dysfunctional stuff and he wanted to protect my feelings (and the relationship was newer but definitely strong at the time). He felt it was not right to pull me into it, and he felt like everything was pulling on him and I would be the only one who cared about him enough to understand and the only one who would listen and back away for a short time. He didn't stay away long. He actually called me the next day but we didn't do any typical dating stuff for weeks. and that was okay. A relationship is not all about "dating".
22 Nov 07
In my experience, the phrase 'I need some space' loosely translates as 'I want to sleep with other women, and have you waiting for me at home' - mind you, my experiences with men haven't really been the best, so maybe I'm slightly biased? I think, for some guys, it really is quite innocent - they merely mean they need some time to think, depending on the situation. I do have a friend who cheated on her boyfriend, then couldn't understand why he said he needed some space!
@klaudyou (501)
22 Nov 07
I know this phrase and i can tell you that at some point every man feels like saying it. Well, it's really not a big deal...this thing usually cannot harm your relationship. Let me explain. Men like to feel free from time to time (i don't think women don't). If the woman wants love proofs more and more, and she wants to be cared for all the time and so on, the man usually wants something else. He's more like into passive love, sometimes just knowing you are there for him is enough. He thinks more of the material things. "Some space" for me, can translate into time, space or silence. This is a man thing. Oh, and one more thing: if he tells you that in the first two or three weeks, then you should worry. My explanation is valid only if you are the one he loves.
@nkhanna (925)
• India
27 Nov 07
hi beutyqueen.well i think that when a guy says that he needs space it means that he wants to keep all the options available to him,open so that he can make a better decision for his life.and i think everyone has this right.i am sure this might seem a bit rude to you.but this is the fact of life.everyone has the right to choose what's the best for themselves.and furthermore everyone,be it a man or woman needs some space for themselves as well.a space where they can really think for themsleves,wholeheartedly without any interference. i hope you got my point.there is nothing to worry about.if one needs space give him.once he has made up his mind then he will not ask for anymore.
@Aussies2007 (5339)
• Australia
26 Nov 07
Well... to me as a man... it means that I want some peace and quiet... and be allowed to do my own things without you standing over me. There are many men out there who likes nothing better than being alone for a while so that they can relax. It has nothing to do with chasing other women or being sick of you. Well... he might be a little bit sick of you... because you won't leave him alone for 5 minutes.
@2btrueinu (703)
• Philippines
25 Nov 07
My opinion with what he say he need some space is that he wants to be alone to think coz he may be have a problem to think about and he want to decide with out you near to him. He maybe have a problem with your relationship or someone involve so he needs space to balance every decission he will make. get it...
• Philippines
25 Nov 07
For me, as a man, I did it once, but not for finding or seeing anyone to change her in my heart. I just feel crowded with her love for me, but after realizing the thing that I do, I am the one asking her to back into my life and system.
• Philippines
25 Nov 07
for me, when a man says that he needs some space, it doesn't mean that he wanna break up with you.. i guess he want to have some time to think, to refresh everything that is happening..i hear guys saying this when their girls are getting all over thrie life..when they think that they are overpowered by their partners and they can't act the way they must act..it doesn't mean that they are afraid of commitments..it doesn't mean that they are not yet ready to settle down but they are using this to test their selves if they are really ready for that commitment to pursue and if that woman they are with is the right girl for them..as the saying goes..you'll know the woth of a person if they are gone..that's why give them the space they want because it's for the good of your relatinoship.
@theprogamer (10539)
• United States
25 Nov 07
"I wish women relied on that one phrase as heavily as guys. Wouldn't that be funny?"-[/quote] Queenie, women rely on that phrase more than men. I've heard and read "I need more space" from women thousands of times. I don't see it as often with guys (though some do use it). Most times this statement with either gender just means "I'm sick of you. Goodbye." "maybe it's a phrase used by commitment-phobe guys who aren't ready to settle down with one woman."-[/quote] Or its a phrase used by backstabber harpy women who have used and abused their current "love of their life" to the limit. And now they want to move on. "I've always suspected that it's a guys way of keeping his options open."-[/quote] Same with women. Though more with women its just a "dump you" statement. Or its an "I'm cheating on you" statement. "He doesn't want to be crowded or rushed into any permanent decision, so he gets cold feet and pulls the "space" defense out of his goody bag."-[/quote] Some men may be this way. But I've heard the space excuse and have seen it in other cases and it comes more from women.
• China
24 Nov 07
I am a girl,and I often find that I don't have my space after falling in love with my boyfriend.I think everyone need some free time.
• United States
24 Nov 07
ughhh!! ohh girll..im soo sick of this freakin phrase!!O think its there way of no pi$4ing us off about the trusth or hurting our feelings..orr they have been cheating and they dont want caught..it means so many things..for me it was..give me some space.....while i get JIGGY WITH UR BEST FRIEND!! and they did..many many times even when i was in the hospital and in HER CARE WHEN I GOT OUT!! YAAA!! WHATEVER!! but if a guy says that..i say they arent worth the breath anayways..they can be sooo mean and cruel..
• Malaysia
23 Nov 07
hmm I never thought about that. To me, when a guy says "I need some space"- I always thought that meant he needed his own time to do his own stuffs, and he doesn't want to feel as if he has to dedicate all the time in the world to that girl. Like maybe he's overwhelmed with a girl's attention or the girl's too clingy or dependent, and he just cannot do things that he used to do before, so he feels like he doesn't have his own space. but i dunno, that's just what i think .
22 Nov 07
"I need some space" is never a good message from a man. Unless you were trying to find a way to dump him. Then it's great news! And if any guy says this to you then you are well rid - it is a very cowardly and cliched way to get out of a relationship, and not very honest. So if a copwardly, cliched and dishonest man says this to you then - hey- maybe it is good news after all. He didn't deserve you, and now you are free!
• United States
22 Nov 07
Maybe it means he is thinking if he should be committed to a realtionship or not.
@wisedragon (2330)
• Philippines
22 Nov 07
Yes, you can assume that when a guy tells you that, it means he loves you less and wants to try other women. Because if a guy really loves you very much, he wouldn't say such a thing. Sorry if this blunt comment would hurt you or make you sad. I just can't imagine saying that to a woman that I love. The complete translation is actually: "I need you to stay away for a while so I can check out this new hot chick that I met. If it doesn't work out I'll get back to you."
@joahnna18 (368)
• Philippines
22 Nov 07
I don't know if the situation of your bf is ok now. but in my opinion that word means he wants to break up with you. He just can't tell it straight to the point that's why he's using it not totally hurt you. It's much nicer word to use than he used i want to break up with you. He doesn't want to see you also or all the communication you have with him will be cut off. It's much easier for me if he say he wants to break with me than that because when he says space your just waiting there when he's ok or when he wants to come back again. How about your feelings? You will keep waiting and waiting with no specific time when he will be ok. I also have the situation like yours but when he tells me he needs space.. i tell him it's much better we break up than i will wait for nothing in the end i will just waste my time and effort. If he don't want to see me then be it. I don't want to push myself when he doesn't like me.. there's many people around there that worth my love:) happy posting my friend:)
22 Nov 07
To be honest my gut instinct when I hear that line is *ok, he wants out* It's usually accompanied by *it's not you, it's me* and although it's hard to hear, sometimes it's the best thing to simply walk away.
@jimbomuso (950)
22 Nov 07
What "I need some space" really means is dependent on what you asked about/discussed/put forward to him. By the sound of it you've asked him to make a long term commitment, in that case it could mean "You've thrown me a curveball and I'm scared and need time to evaluate/think". the phrase itself is a way of preserving the situation without a confrontation.
@tainpai (18)
• China
22 Nov 07
Maybe he feels so close about two people's existence that he doesn't like this. When he said that, the best way is that keep a little more distance from him and care more about your own affairs. Never promote another why and just do what he wants you to do. But show him that you love him and you respect him and you will do what he wish you. At the same time, you should stress your principles and your view for your relationship and your worry about your future. I believe he will love you more than ever.