When men are overwhelmed by emotions and sudden developments, they often withdraw to their cave to mull things over. This process can’t be rushed.
The only way you can help is if you give him space.
A man that’s pulling away isn’t necessarily losing interest in you, but just wants some time apart.
That will make your time together even better, as long as you use these 11 strategies to give him space.
11 Strategies for Giving Him Space
Women aren’t used to withdrawn men and to them it feels like they’re sulking.
These strategies will help you keep your wits about you when he seems to pull away, but really just needs some space without you so that he can process his emotions.
#1 Ask How He’s Doing
Men are taught from an early age to tough it out and never complain or report how they’re feeling. They bottle it up but all those emotions have to express themselves in some way.
There’s nothing wrong with saying “Ouch” or “I like that”, it’s just that men never do it and know that other men will get the hint. However, it’s the women that get stumped and can’t figure out what they’ve done wrong.
It’s not your fault, so don’t get upset or emotional. Instead, take this wonderful opportunity and make it a habit to ask your man how he’s doing.
Don’t judge or be pushy. Simply ask, give him space to figure things out, and let your man vent little by little. Over time, you want to start a conversation and show support to help him deal with his issues.
#2 Ask How You Can Help
A man that’s gone into isolation would want to deal with his problems on his own, which can take quite a bit.
You can cut the wait short if you ask if there’s anything you can do to help. This makes the man feel in charge and takes his mind off of thinking about his internal state.
Instead of mulling over his emotions, he gets to think about solving specific problems and you get to be a part of the solution.
#3 Let Him Initiate Intimacy
I understand if you can’t bear the thought of there being a rift between you but you shouldn’t rush things or be clingy.
Instead, you should carefully observe, give space and wait for your man to initiate contact and intimacy first.
Men who are going through emotional turmoil need to be touched but have to do it on their own terms.
Don’t take it personally and be grateful he’s back in your embrace. Sometimes some much needed space is all it takes to make you both fall in love all over again.
#4 Take His Mind Off Of Trouble
You should plan out quality time together for when your man emerges from isolation.
My advice is to find content you know he enjoys, such as animals, cars, tech or what else, and share it with him when he’s out. In other words, if he loathes talking about history or politics, don’t bring those up and focus on what he does like.
You’ll have blessed moments together where you just snuggle, watch the content together and forget time exists. These moments are your most effective tool because they give a guy space but also remind him what he’s missing.
#5 Appreciate His Hobbies
You don’t have to actually do anything, you can just sit and watch. You can also ask him to teach you the nuances, which is another way to get him out of isolation while still giving space.
Throw in an occasional “you’re doing great,” since men are starved for compliments and appreciate them dearly.
When talking to your man, it’s important to not overwhelm him with updates about people and topics he might not know enough to have an opinion.
Bring it out piecemeal, mention one tidbit of information and wait for his response. If there’s none, he’s not interested so change the topic and again wait for his response.
I suggest you aim for the kind of conversation where you both get to equally share how you feel and what you think. It should be pleasant, cordial and without hesitation, censorship or arguing.
#7 Wait For The Right Moment
Timing makes all the difference in the world and you can broach any topic, as long as you time it right.
The same applies to a man that asked for space — let him have his peace and wait for the right moment.
I think the best moment for discussing any issue is when the man brings up a related topic.
Don’t have an accusatory or critical tone but simply ask questions, wait for his response and let the conversation unfold on its own.
#8 Respect His Choice
For men, this kind of solitude is nothing special and they can commit to it for years.
You making a big deal out of it, especially by poring over his behavior with total strangers, can hurt him a lot and compound the feeling of isolation.
In that case, he will want to stay isolated even longer just to avoid the discussion.
Discuss his behavior only with professionals who are bound to keep secrets, such as lawyers, priests and the like, not total strangers who will air your dirty laundry for the whole world to see. With everyone else, be terse, especially if they are known to gossip.
#9 Don’t Pester Him For Updates
Don’t intrude or invade in his emotional and mental space by asking for updates but wait for him to want to share on his own.
Over time, your man will change his attitude, becoming more optimistic and him seeming to have made a breakthrough.
When that happens, you can expect an update, where he will tell you that he’s figured it all out. That means the isolation is drawing to a close.
#10 Don’t Intrude On His Friends And Family
If a man has gone off the radar, it means he doesn’t want contact. When that happens, the last thing he expects is to keep hearing about you contacting his friends and family.
Be polite, reserved and treat his friends and family using these same strategies.
If you push your man’s friends and family for answers or updates, they will feel obliged to defend him or avoid you altogether.
Doing that means you’ll be cutting all of your social connections to your man in one swipe.
#11 Lower Your Expectations
There’s no telling what might happen with your relationship and, while you shouldn’t expect the worst, you shouldn’t be oblivious to the fact that something is not right.
You should ideally get a status report from your man when he does emerge from solitude, so be mature about it and, first and foremost, be grateful for the nice moments you had together. Everything past that is a bonus, not a given.
FAQs About Space in a Relationship
We all need personal space but there’s also the mental and emotional space, which I closely connect to the idea of privacy.
Each partner in a relationship should have their personal time apart and choose when to spend time together, so here’s an FAQ covering crucial areas of the topic.
How Much Time Do You Give Someone Who Needs Space?
You should be prepared to give as much time as it takes. If your man asked for space, it means his tolerance is running thin and he’s planning to put some distance between you two unless you take it easy.
Give him space, be sensible and don’t fret about the process but don’t take it lightly either. The best attitude I can advise you to have is cautious optimism.
Why Do Guys Need Space?
They need to process the emotions they’re feeling and come with a logical way to deal with them in the future.
While it can seem the man is wasting his time or idling, he’s actually engrossed in intense thinking and trying to figure out what the world is trying to tell him.
What I know but these men don’t is that friendly, objective input speeds up this thinking process. Whenever you can, reach out to your man that’s gone into isolation and let him know he’s not alone.
Will He Come Back If I Give Him Space?
There’s no guarantee for anything but you definitely risk alienating your man if you become pushy or intrusive.
The best advice I can give you is to arm yourself with patience and create a welcoming environment, where he can feel at ease and not be judged.
Once he comes to a realization his emotions are a normal part of life and there’s no putting life on pause, he will spend less and less time apart. Eventually, if it is meant to be, he will feel like it is time to come back to you.
How Do You Give Him Space But Still Show You Care?
You create an environment outside of his cave where he feels comfortable and welcome.
One cause of the man withdrawing to isolation is that he feels like he has to be on guard all the time, so he finds a safe space to spend his time in.
Pay attention to signs of discomfort, such as tense body posture and stress positions (crossed arms and legs, bent spine).
As you see him open up, you can come in closer, and as he closes up, back away.
Do You Struggle To Give a Man Space?
If you’ve recognized yourself and your relationship in this article, feel free to comment below with your advice and opinions on the topic.
I’d like to hear what your experiences are with your man and how you give him space and make him feel loved.