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giving space to your significant other


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so my bf of five yrs just got into a huge argument with me out of nowhere, saying how he feels suffocated in our relationship and needs space.


I must admit that we have been hanging out practically everyday, but he never said he didnt like it.


My problem is that how do you go from hanging out everyday to not hanging out everyday after five yrs? and how many times out of the week should you not hang out? what is normal???

My other issue is that sometimes he will ask me why I'm not hanging out with friends, why dont I go out so he can go out, but the truth is that most of my friends are guys and when I tell him that I went out with a bunch of guys he starts accusing me of flirting with all of them and them wanting me. I just dont get it, but then he tells me that when he goes to parties he talks to girls.


I'm actually pretty ashamed to say that a couple thats been together for so long has issues like this and I would appreciate some advice on how to solve them because I have no idea how.


Thank you!

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Sounds like a total hypocrite.


Do exactly as he says. Hang out with your own friends more. 2-3 times a week is perfectly normal to hang out with him. I generally don't like to spend more than a day or two per week with the girl at hand. Simply because the excitement is lost quickly.


You don't have to compile full reports of who you're hanging out with, either. Tell him 'friends'. If he presses on, and makes comments about your guy friends, tell him to quit being a hypocrite or to grow a pair. If you can handle him talking to other girls, he should be mature enough to handle you having guy friends.

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When a boyfriend says right out of the blue that he feels "suffocated" and "needs more space" it usually means someone else has caught his eye and he suddenly feels he doesn't have the freedom to pursue it.


I hope I'm wrong but I've seen it so many times I'm worried this is what might be happening to you. He may have been perfectly happy being with you all the time until he saw something else he liked.


Who knows, it could be something else, but it's such a common thing to happen.


What if he is attracted to someone else? That's a difficult one. Sometimes it's first-meeting-lust and it burns out, sometimes a person will cheat, sometimes they'll grumble and complain and then, if the other person shows interest, break off the relationship.



I guess you have to find out if he's simply feeling a sameness in your relationship that is "suffocating" him that can maybe be fixed with some variety or communication, or if he's got eyes for someone else. That might be hard to determine but how else can you work out the problem unless you know which it is?

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A couple of thoughts.


There is no "normal" in terms of frequency of how often you see each other. Each couple works this out for themselves. Of course in a marriage type relationship, you see each other all the time. But I think that in any relationship each partner needs enough space to do other things, be with friends, pursue hobbies, maybe have alone downtime and the like. It's important to discuss needs in these areas and be accomodating to a certain degree.


Having said that, he can't suggest seeing friends and then get pissed because your friends are men. Can't have that one both ways. If he thinks it's important to have apart time a couple of times a week, that seems fine, but he can't get pissed at you hanging out with your friends -- he needs to get the jealousy under control a bit there.

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It seems odd that he would have a problem seeing you "all the time" after 5 years. A lot of people are living together after 5 years. DO you mind me asking how old you both are? I wouldn't jump to the idea that he is into someone else, but if it feels really out of the blue maybe you should sit down and talk to him more about it. Or if feelings keep getting high maybe write him, so you can state your ideas clearly.

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I was thinking about that too, but didnt know if I should mention it.


God forbid he leaves you next week? You seem like you've put a lot into him. So if he does leave, you're left with just that, nothing. And that hurts unbearably.


I feel like a jerk for saying this for some reason, but you can never put full trust into your SO.


If you're thinking "What about marriage?", my friend's mom upped and left him and his dad a few weeks ago. There was NO trouble in the relationship. She took a ton of their stuff, while at work. It really annoyed me how she left her son, my buddy, without a word. Know her reason? She found a guy in San Francisco. That's it.


So the message remains the same.

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If you were married you'd see each other every day, so it doesn't make sense from that standpoint.


When someone does this, it means he is not that into the relationship anymore, or else he has other places he'd rather be (and possibly other people he'd rather see).


The way to handle this is to IMMEDIATELY give him his space, but you take control of the situation by saying something like, fine, see you in a week, then drop out of sight for a week. If he's interested in someone else, he'll leave you eventually anyway, and if he's just being petulant or THINKS it will be more fun without you, he may discover he is wrong.


The appropriate response to someone asking for space is to give it to them, in fact give them MORE space than they want, and take control of your own time and life. If you matter to him he'll be asking you back again, and if you don't, he'll be gone anyway so better to find that out now.


And do what you want during that week off. If he demands time away from you, then he can't demand what you do with your own time, that is just not fair! You're either a couple or not, and he can't have it both ways.

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I can feel suffocated in a relationship, so I have some sympathy with your bf. I like to go out with my friends or just relax at my house, so I know what he is saying. People like me do not make very good marriage partners, we are too independent. See if you guys can hang out less. If he doesn't like you hanging out with your guy friends, too bad. If you are looking for marriage in the future, you may have to look for someone else.

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