When someone says they need space, how long do you wait...

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justanotherpersonsomewhere23124
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30 Jan 2024, 9:18 pm

When someone says they need space, how long do you wait until you reach out to them again?
Recently read that some people who ask you for space don't like it when you don't reach back out after some time.



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30 Jan 2024, 9:27 pm

When they don't specify a time it is not easy. Two minutes? Twenty five years? No idea!


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IsabellaLinton
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31 Jan 2024, 1:02 am

imo the person who wants space should give an indication of roughly how long they'll need, and how the "space" will conclude. For example, "I want to take the summer for myself but I'll ring you when I'm ready to talk."

In the absence of that information I'd respect their autonomy and wait.

My partner wanted / needed space last year and said not to contact him, he would contact me. He said it would be at least a couple of weeks for the first check-in. It was really hard to hear that at the time because I thought it was a brush off and I didn't know if I was supposed to initiate anyway, to indicate concern. I sat on my hands and his calls started coming a few weeks later.

That's my only real experience with someone wanting space other than friends.

With friends I let them know I'm there for them whenever they're ready, and maybe send a few words of encouragement now and then, but I don't expect replies until it's right for them.


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shortfatbalduglyman
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31 Jan 2024, 6:00 am

In November 2021, someone emailed me that he was going through a hard time and couldn't take rants. (At that time I had been writing rants). Since then I have not contacted him. He didn't specify how long



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31 Jan 2024, 8:11 am

Must have been difficult Isabella.

I faced that situation and found it was her way of dumping me with my first girlfriend. I was stupid enough to fall in love with her and forgive her time and time again for her lies. My fault really! I should have left her when her sister told me she was already married. I didn't even know! Stupid woman! Even unknowingly kissed her in front of her live in boyfriend who looked at me puzzled. Poor guy was dating her the same time I was and none of us knew! Her Mum was odd as well as she kept asking me up to her bedroom to see her new wardrobe. She was mad! Every time I went to look she had hardly anything on and kept winking at me. What was so special about her wardrobe? Was she trying to hint that she wanted me to buy het some clothes? I had spent thousands on the girlfriend and that was enough! Couldn't afford to buy her Mum clothes as well, but it was strange as she had clothes? Just not in her new wardrobe!


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31 Jan 2024, 9:49 am

Mountain Goat wrote:
Must have been difficult Isabella.



Thanks.

At least I knew what he was going through, and his reasons for needing space. I knew he was actively trying to deal with it too, by seeing doctors and therapists and trying to help himself instead of burdening me. I wouldn't have minded the burden but in retrospect I didn't have enough spoons then, so I think he did the right thing. In total it lasted from April to August.


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31 Jan 2024, 5:21 pm

justanotherpersonsomewhere23124 wrote:
When someone says they need space, how long do you wait until you reach out to them again?
Recently read that some people who ask you for space don't like it when you don't reach back out after some time.
I usually wait until they reach out to me. But if I have not heard from them in a month or six weeks, I will reach out and say that I am just thinking about them and hope that they are well. Nothing intrusive, just enough so that they feel like I am not pushing them but it also gives them an invitation to respond.


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31 Jan 2024, 7:20 pm

I'd ask the person to tell me when they're ready:

"I need some space for a while."
"Okay. I'll wait for you to reach out when you're ready."

I'd prepare myself for the possibility that I might not hear from them again. When people say they need space, I think it's sometimes a hint that they're ending the relationship. I'd almost never understand whether they're need for space is a hint.

For men who are told by a woman to give her space, I think it's a bad idea to "check in with her." If she meant that she was ending the relationship and thinks he should have "gotten the hint," it's too easy to be accused of stalking her. I wouldn't play into any notions of women wanting to be pursued, especially since it should go both ways. It's not worth the risk.



Last edited by PassingThrough on 31 Jan 2024, 11:46 pm, edited 3 times in total.

Juliette
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31 Jan 2024, 7:28 pm

I often need space from friends, people I love … they have never stopped reaching out & I love & appreciate them for that. I literally fight long covid on a daily basis, and want them to know that this never changes how much I think or care for them.

Thankfully, they seem to understand. I’m always amazed at their patience. They are so cherished!



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31 Jan 2024, 9:55 pm

Generally speaking I'd probably leave it to them to get back in touch with me, on the grounds that they've broken contact so it's their job to reinstate it. But there is, or used to be, this notion that women sometimes break contact with a man in the hope that he'll chase her. I tried taking that notion seriously a long time ago, but although it may have rescued a romantic interest or two that I had, the women concerned didn't treat me any better as a result, and didn't turn out to be very suitable for me anyway, so as notions go I ceased to see much value in taking it on board. But I guess it's wise not to be ultra-rigid about "they broke it so they should fix it," even in non-romantic relationships. People can't always be perfect. It can be a delicate balance to figure out whether contacting somebody is appropriate or whether it's counter-productive pressure or undue swallowing of pride. There's no formula that can tell you the answer.



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01 Feb 2024, 9:49 am

I think most people have little idea how much time they need.

I think the most one can do if they do not contact you is every month or two ask how they are doing and make sure they know they are under no obligation to reply until they are ready.


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01 Feb 2024, 5:44 pm

justanotherpersonsomewhere23124 wrote:
When someone says they need space, how long do you wait until you reach out to them again?
I don't wait, and I never reach out again.

Being told, "I need space" is the same as being told, "Let's just be friends".

Both mean that the person wants nothing more to do with you.


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justanotherpersonsomewhere23124
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12 Feb 2024, 10:56 pm

Fnord wrote:
justanotherpersonsomewhere23124 wrote:
When someone says they need space, how long do you wait until you reach out to them again?
I don't wait, and I never reach out again.

Being told, "I need space" is the same as being told, "Let's just be friends".

Both mean that the person wants nothing more to do with you.


That's not true. A lot of times, it just means that they need time to themselves.



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13 Feb 2024, 2:40 am

justanotherpersonsomewhere23124 wrote:
Fnord wrote:
justanotherpersonsomewhere23124 wrote:
When someone says they need space, how long do you wait until you reach out to them again?
I don't wait, and I never reach out again.  Being told, "I need space" is the same as being told, "Let's just be friends".  Both mean that the person wants nothing more to do with you.
That's not true. A lot of times, it just means that they need time to themselves.
I've been waiting for others to get back to me since as far back as the 1970s.  Those people are still enjoying their 'space' without me.

No one who has ever told me that they needed their space have ever gotten back to me.


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Iris.Ell
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16 Feb 2024, 10:57 am

Now I realise it is a way of saying ,please leave me alone for an indefinite amount of time, unless otherwise specified.
Even I have said it :(


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20 Feb 2024, 5:01 pm

I ask the person how much space they need and for how long.


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