“Should I give him space?” 5 signs he needs more (and what to do)

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If you’re wondering whether you need to give your man more space, you’re not alone.

Relationships, especially as they’re forming, can be tricky to navigate.

Nobody said meshing together two separate lives into something more cohesive would be easy.

The thing is, everyone loves their independence; for many, it’s been hard won.

Some of that independence is taken away when a romantic relationship is formed.

So if you’re asking yourself, “should I give him space?” you’re asking a really good question.

But knowing how to give a man space might be easier said than done. There’s the fear that he’s just not into you anymore, or he’s asking for it because he wants to move on.

While your concerns are valid, there are a lot of reasons he might need space, and most of them have nothing to do with him wanting to leave you.

This article is going to highlight 5 key signs that reveal if you aren’t giving him enough space. Then I’ll go through 5 things you can do to give him space, along with some ways to make that personal time constructive.

5 signs you might be smothering your man

1) You shower him with attention

Everyone loves praise, there’s no denying that fact.

But there comes a point when that can become too much.

Giving all of your time and attention to someone else is not healthy. Other relationships begin to decay, you might start neglecting things that were once very important to you.

And your man might start to feel a bit smothered.

If you’re always there at his every turn, how is he going to have time to miss you? He might feel closeted in or even annoyed.

If your showers of attention are almost entirely one sided, he might begin to think you’re clingy, which we all know isn’t the best relationship trait to have. Here are some signs you might be a clingy girlfriend.

Or he might ask you to give him space.

That might be kind of confusing to hear, especially if the relationship is still new and you’re still head over heels for him.

It’s not because he’s less in love with you now, or he doesn’t want to see you anymore.

It’s probably just because he’s craving that independence, the time he’s used to having for personal pursuits and endeavors.

Too much attention might make your man want more space. If you’re forgetting to take care of yourself and relationships you had before you were dating, you might be showering him with too much attention.

If that’s the case, it could be time to give him some space.

2) You accommodate his every need

This point may also seem a bit backward or confusing.

Shouldn’t I be doing everything I can to show love to my boyfriend? Isn’t being accommodating part of a healthy relationship?

The answer is, of course, yes. Being kind, considerate, and helpful to your significant other is key to a happy and healthy relationship.

However, being overly accommodating can work against you. It might come off as trying too hard.

Are you worried about making plans with other people just in case your boyfriend wants to hang out and you’re not available? Not only is that unfair to the other people in your life, but it’s also unfair to you.

Anticipating his every need and want will become emotionally exhausting; trying to follow through with that will wear you out quickly.

If it’s something that he’s asking from you, he might be taking advantage of you.

But if it’s something that he doesn’t necessarily want, he might quickly feel stifled and smothered by your constant accommodation.

No doubt you have strong feelings for him. Here are 25 things that happen when you love someone deeply.

If you realize you’re trying too hard to accommodate his every need, it could be that you need to give him space.

3) Over-texting

Over-texting is less about the exact number of texts you send your boyfriend in a row, and more about the occasion, frequency, and your personal reasons for texting.

I send people a lot of texts in a row, and I’m not afraid to repeat text. While some might find that obnoxious, my reasons for doing it aren’t usually because I’m anxious for a response or begging for attention.

When you’re wondering why he’s not responding, demanding a reason for his lack of response, constantly checking in on what he’s doing, or just hounding him for attention, he’s going to think you’re being clingy.

It’s a big sign you’re not giving him enough space.

If you’re constantly showing up in his notification bar, he’s not going to feel like you’ve given him any space at all.

Show your concern, let him know that you’re there for him, and then leave it alone. There’s no use texting over and over again in the hopes of getting more of his attention.

If he suddenly seems distant, here are some big reasons why your boyfriend might be ignoring you.

If you have the tendency to over text, it could be because you’re being too clingy and you need to give him space.

4) Cyberstalking

Along the same lines as over texting, cyberstalking your boyfriend will do more harm to the relationship than good.

Do you hound his social media pages for the first sign of his whereabouts? Do you watch his stories the instant he posts them, hoping to see what he’s up to, and with who?

He’s probably going to see signs of your cyberstalking, and it might put him off. He might feel like he’s unable to just be himself and relax without you watching his every move.

That’s not good. It’s important to not only be yourself in a relationship but to feel comfortable being yourself.

When he feels smothered or stifled because of your cyberstalking, he’ll start to feel unhappy in his relationship with you.

Giving him space is going to help him feel more free, more comfortable, and happier with you.

5) Future-tripping

I’ve been known to be guilty of this. When I first fall in love with someone, I become a total dreamer.

I fantasize about all the travels we’ll go on, all the things we’ll do in the summer, or the winter. If I’m really head over heels, I’ll start dreaming years ahead and making big plans.

While I tend to get carried away–and while simple daydream fantasies like that aren’t necessarily detrimental, it can be a bit of a red flag for your boyfriend.

He might not be ready to think that far ahead, especially if it’s early in the relationship. It also could make him think you’re being kind of clingy.

It’s important to take things slow, and “play it cool,” as they say.

As this article from Every Day Health says:

“Rushing through the initial stages of a relationship — from the first date to moving in together — can put a damper on your partnership and decrease the odds that your relationship will last long-term.”

It’s exciting falling in love with someone. It’s one of the greatest feelings in the world. However, keeping space and independence in that relationship is important, from the beginning infatuation all the way to decades into it.

To sum up these 5 points: Showering your beau with too much affection, attention and time will make him think you’re clingy, will be unhealthy for you and for your relationship in the long term, and can lead to more problems than benefits.

Of course, giving your boyfriend space is often easier said than done.

Maybe you have separation anxiety, trust issues, or a fear of abandonment.

Many people struggle with these feelings, I know I do. These feelings are normal, and it’s okay to have them. They become a problem when they interfere with your happiness, your relationships, and your habits and behaviors.

So what can be done about it? How can you give your man space? More importantly, how can you give yourself space and be healthy about it?

Of course, there are countless ways to do this, but let’s run through 5 key things that you can do to give him space (and what to do with your space).

5 ways to give him space

1) Pursue your own personal interests

Maybe you have a little bit of a hard time when your boyfriend goes over to band practice each week–you might get jealous of his time and wish he’d spend it with you.

But he’s following a passion and practicing a hobby. It’s something that everyone should do, including you.

Making the time to pursue your personal interests, whatever they may be, is a great way to keep yourself independent from your boyfriend, and give him the space that he deserves.

Plus, when you do actually hang out with him again, you’ll have something to talk about. The more mysterious your personal interests, the more intriguing you are to him when you do reconnect.

Here are some big signs he’s starting to fall in love with you.

2) Make your own decisions

Waiting on your man to make all the decisions is a big sign you’re not only being too clingy but also too dependent.

Reclaiming your independence and making your own decisions is a huge step in giving your man the space he either wants or needs.

Beyond that, independence is important in every healthy relationship.

From the smallest decisions to even the biggest, making sure that you’re making it for yourself is a way to assert your individuality and to give your man space.

3) Reconnect with old friends (or establish new ones)

If you find yourself looking for some ways to give your man space, you could reach out to old acquaintances and reconnect with them.

Maybe they’re old high school friends, or people you haven’t seen in a few months. Reaching out to them and reconnecting is a great way to pass the time.

It’s also really important to stay social despite the fact you are in a relationship. In fact, having strong social relationships directly affects your health, for the positive. You’ll live longer and be healthier if you have more friends.

Isolating yourself with your boyfriend can lead to bad codependency habits, and the loss of friends you currently have.

Making sure to keep your network of friends alive and well, even if it means spending time away from your boyfriend, will be better and healthier for both of you. It increases the chances of your relationship lasting longer, too.

More than that, it means he’s getting the space he needs.

If you’ve been in a steady relationship with someone and you’re worried he’s pulling away too much, here are some great relationship-saving tips.

4) Make plans that don’t involve him

Make plans that don’t involve him, and don’t ask for his permission.

Of course, you don’t want to be rude and blow him off or cancel pre-made plans. But, when you make plans on your own, you’re not only asserting your own independence (like we talked about), making your own decisions (like we also talked about), but you’re also making yourself unavailable to him.

So when he asks you if you’re busy, you can say that you are. When he asks you if you want to hang out, you tell him that you can’t. He might be surprised, even taken off guard, but that’s good.

He’ll be intrigued, and it gives him a really good opportunity to miss you.

And it can actually be good to miss our significant others. “Absence makes the heart grow fonder,” as the ancient phrase goes. The data says it’s true, too.

The next time that you see him, he’ll be even more eager to spend time with you, and even happier to see you. And you’ll be really happy to see him too.

This tip is good whether or not he feels like he needs more space. As long as you aren’t making him feel like he’s being neglected, he’ll be even more enamored with you when you deny him the opportunity to spend time together.

He’ll want to see you, even more, the next time you hang out.

5) Ask him what kind of space he’s looking for

All healthy relationships are built on healthy communication, and everyone could do well to try a little better at it.

Always being mindful about your communication habits means you’ll always be trying to communicate well. Whether it’s a romantic relationship or any other kind of relationship.

So, if he’s verbalized concern over needing more space, or you can tell that something you’re doing might be upsetting him or pushing him away, it’s a good idea to ask.

And when you do ask him if he needs space, talk about what that means to him.

Space can mean different things to different guys. Maybe it’s just a small thing that’s making him feel a little claustrophobic. Or maybe it is something big.

In any case, a frank and honest discussion about it can lead to great results.

Plus, it takes the guesswork out of it. Make sure to listen to what he says, though. And make sure he listens to you, too.

You should feel free to voice your concerns and worries about more space with him. It’s okay to talk about why giving him space might make you nervous; make sure he understands where you’re coming from.

His reaction to a rational conversation will say a lot about him. Here’s a list of some of the top qualities to look out for in a guy.


No matter what stage of a relationship you’re in, space is almost always going to be healthy. If you’re wondering if you should give him space, it might be a good idea to try it out anyway, and see how he reacts.

It might drive him crazy, in a good way, and he’ll be head over heels for you all over again.

(Just don’t make too many drastic changes at once.)

The big signs of being too clingy or not giving him enough space are giving him too much attention, being overly accommodating, sending too many texts, cyberstalking, and future-tripping.

Any of these things, when out of balance, will make your guy feel smothered and in need of more space from you.

Giving him space might be easier said than done, but pursuing your own interests, reclaiming your independence, making plans of your own, re-establishing friendships, and talking to him openly and honestly about it will make it that much easier.

And remember, reclaiming your independence is always an incredible thing to do, whether or not you’re in a romantic relationship.

Can a relationship coach help you too?

If you want specific advice on your situation, it can be very helpful to speak to a relationship coach.

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