Find answers to some of the more frequently asked questions on the Forums.

Forums guidelines

Our guidelines keep the Forums a safe place for people to share and learn information.

Does anyone understand my need for space ?

Community Member

Hi to one and all.

l'm really hoping this might be a thread that runs awhile because things often get nutted out and lots of ideas get tossed around. So if your a spacey person or just have something to say, please just go for it . l mean it might be something very uncommon and so this could be it, but l don't really know. l do know though if l don't get a grip on this and figure it out it might end up costing me dearly, again.

The problem is , although l absolutely love my gf's company and we co exist beautifully , she's even a reasonably spacey person herself , at times, l just need more. She sometimes says l run from her , ex w said similar, and tbh, sometimes l do but just to get some space and a need to just be on my own again for awhile.

l've had this thing my whole life , with friends, family, even my ex w. She'd finally come home from work hadn't seen her since 8 that morning, yet be home 2 or 3 hrs and l'd need to be alone awhile.again And when l am, hrs or even the rest of the night could pass and l'd hardly notice , apart from feeling guilty.

lt's very very hard on a relationship and many times l've thought maybe , l just can't be in one. Any friends over the years l could easily move off when it's time, but you know , you can't just consistently keep doing that in a relationship to someone that loves you and naturally wants to be with ya. And l do them , but it's more a sort of when l feel like it thing , that's all. And the amount l feel like , even with any woman l've ever been with, would only be about 30 or 40 % of the time give or take , maybe less. l often , even pass up curling up on the couch with a movie together , by the time it comes around of a night l'm often just needing some alone time again.

l can even easily just sleep on my own and l don't even miss them , l actually love the space when l can get it..

l really don't understand why the hell l'm like this or if l could ever change now at this age anyway, or if l should or wth to do about myself or relationship.

lt's not a personal thing , l've been this way with anyone l've ever been with and l'm very very fussy so if l'm with her it's because l thoroughly enjoy her , Buttttt, yet l am also like this. Unless l just never met a woman l wouldn't feel like this around, couldn't see that though as l'm like this with anyone everyone.

Does anyone have any understanding or experience with this sort of thing , any ideas , thoughts .?

12 Replies 12

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi randomx,

I think the most important thing is not to beat yourself up about it. From my experience in relationships, finding someone who likes or needs the same amount of space as you do is one of the most important but also difficult things to find. I personally need more space than my partner, not necessarily because I desire it, but because I run my own business as well as work full-time so there are days on the weekend where I need to work and I need him to be able to do his own thing. So he has taken up cycling and does that on a weekend. I previously dated a guy who required A LOT of space, we lived in separate cities and saw each other once a week and he only called or texted me once a week. This did not suit me and tbh it hurt my feelings a bit that he didn’t want to text me more etc, despite knowing that he was like this with other people. The thing that I found hardest was that he would just disappear. So it was that lack of communication that I found hardest rather than anything else. I think maybe sit down with someone and explain to them that you need a lot of space, you’ve always been like this, and that you are only doing X Y and Z (ie not cheating on them with other women) then I think they will understand. Maybe a compromise might also be good, like not spending time with them in the afternoon if you know they want to watch movies together etc and you think your threshold for company might have been reached by that point.

Hiya juliet and thanks for the thoughts.

You know , sometimes l've hated myself for being like this and had the worst guilt. my ex w def' never was a space person , she could spend 24 7 together day in out. Apart from needing to take off down to her mums for the wkend every 4 or 5 weeks , she just didn't need it and could never understand it. so one thing l have learned over the years , and of course especially with ex , but anyone really , is that non spacey people just can not get spacey people. Even if they leave you alone after awhile or you take off to be alone for awhile. They do learn to know when it's due sometimes but that doesn't mean they understand it.

l work from home too, there ya go. And gf helps out in that as well but we don't work side by side or anything like that. l work outside on jobs and she'll just wonder out any ol time to do her thing then disappear again , often we hardly see each other through the day or maybe for lunch. lt works out great because she's a huge help and l do love us both having this nice stay at home cruise work thing and lifestyle.

Sometimes l won't see her at all through the day for maybe 3 days running apart from just in passing. She's got an online going as well or she'll get involved in the kitchen ,garden or round the house or outside somewhere, often l don't even know if she's even home.

So she's great like that and it still works out with my thing. she does like space too , it's just that as usual , l like a lot more. so maybe l haven't even seen her all day , but after work l'll still just need to kick back alone , could be all night or just a few hours, anything. Where as if she hasn't seen me all day , she'd like to be together all evening n night later, even if we have she'd still rather spend say most together, me on the other hand , it could be anything. But l do love some of that too, of course .

l dunno , like ya said , it's just the way l am. funny, my daughters exactly the same and her mum always jokes at how alike we are. She'll get sick of company, friends , or mum, or me haha, and just need to spend a few days completely alone just doin her thing, she was the same even preteens. Friends would just get kicked out sent home and that was it for a few days , few weeks, or whenever she felt like company again.

And thanks to yeah , l def' have to talk it all over more with gf ,so l will make sure we do.

like she's midway , between ex w and me , at least she does like some space too, just not as much as l do. But she also does take the amount l need a little to heart too. l do keep reminding her that l do usually bounce back with a vengeance and l'm def' up for some fun when l do. So at least that's something l hope.

Hi randomx,

I’m glad that you’ve found someone now and the arrangement does sound more sustainable than with your ex. I definitely think getting on the front foot and having the discussion is important before it becomes an issue. Just saying “I don’t know why I’m like this, but I need a lot of space, I’ve always been like this etc” just reassures her that it’s not something to do with her. I think people just have different levels of extroversion and introversion, I’m definitely one of those people that needs to go off on my own after being around people as I find it a bit draining. life would be boring if we were all the same 🙂

Thanks for that.

looks like we're the only ones around here haha, quite funny really. And God yeah l'm the same , when l've had enough of a group or party or whatever, l've had enough. l always find it weird though the way yeah , l find it really draining too l certainly hear you on that one, like the differences in people. l 've hot a mate that runs his own business too but he can be on that damn phone doing deals 24/7 , and be talking in person to a few dozen people through the day too, plus his wife and 3 kids. funny really , you'd have to put me down , couldn't do it. l do most of my business via text and work it so that l only deal with a few people a month.

Anyway yeah , gf is the closest to me in space l've ever met in a partner, so considering , she's pretty good. but yep , good idea , l must talk to her more about it and clear things up better.

Thanks juliet and all the best.


Hi Randomx and Juliet_84,

Thank goodness others are similar. Time alone is essential for me too. I think it is part of what I find so utterly exhausting about being a mother. I am rarely alone and it makes me feel so angry and frustrated.

When hubby has days off he finds it hard to deal with or understand why I get snappy and irritable.

It is hard to explain that yes I want to spend time together and do family things but there is also a part of me that desperately wants him to just take the kids away and let me be alone!

I don't have any suggestions that have worked... just wanted to say thank you for writing about this topic.


Hi Querc

Oh God , l just read about rx in your post, funny really .

And l use to feel so damn bad with my daughter too, loved all our time together just loved it , but hell it was draining and l had usually had to escape for down time sooner or later.

Hear you on the snappy too , that's one of my faults and it can get a pretty big deal, when l'm tired or peopled out , l'm fine if l can just wonder off or drift into a tv show or some time out on the computer or something, but at that point if l'm pushed , l could crack. When l've had enough l've had enough. That happened just last night actually with my gf, we went shopping , well l drove she went shopping , so we were together all day, 7 oclock last night that was it. Please leave me alone, well l didn't say that. But anyway she came in crapping on about something, l was drained, l tried to be polite but it kept going and l snapped. She does get that when l'm tired and had enough , l will snap if l'm pushed , she just doesn't see it coming or understand the whole timing thing. Needless to say l'm in the dog house again.

Thanks for that querc , what a relief to see l'm not the only one with this weird thing.


Fuuny too , with my daughter that was back when she was younger , even though she was already like that herself even with her friends and stuff as l was saying but now she's even moreso , exactly like l am.

Hi RX,

That struck me how you said your daughter is the same. My Mum is like this too. Maybe it is a learned coping mechanism.

As a kid it hurt a lot. We'd get home from school and want to chat and she would explode... Just go away and give me quiet for half an hour. Now I find myself doing the same thing and feeling crap because I know how it feels to be rejected.

Sometimes I find it helps to have a routine (unfortunately hubby works shifts so it never works). I like to be able to count on time alone.

A community midwife told me once that it isn't weird or wrong to feel this way. She said everyone needs an "hour of power" (time alone) every day and we need to be able to rely on it.

It struck me that most of the time I need more than an hour and she said that is probably because I have spent so long without time alone that I need the extra space.

Do you ever find yourself unable to reply to texts or emails or calls too? Sometimes it is just beyond me. I wonder if this is related.