Hey and Welcome.
We all clamor for space and/or distance but what does this actually mean? Whether for alone time, personal time for working, sleeping, creating, crafting or even when bike riding.
First off let’s distinguish the difference between distance and space and how I apply it in my personal relationships. FME (from my Experience)
Distance: stepping away physically or mentally for a “pause” – generally to shift my perspective, or allow another person to shift there’s. (maybe they will, maybe they will not) – First Stage of the “not my circus not my Monkey’s.”
Space: Separation with intention (does not always have to totally inclusive) Physically or Mentally. This is when a Horse and Pony join that Circus with the Monkey’s. Time for a duration break to be followed by a boundary check, new boundary and eventually mutually agreed actions.
Needing distance in the COVID era gave rise to the – 6 feet if you must, or please factor! The number gives rise to defining quantity to what distance is but distance is not just a number – anyway 6 feet makers would be really hard to paste all over ones living quarters! LOL. Generally, moving to another location, a pair of ear buds or a simple statement of “taking pause” is needed. Gently leaving and going to another room while keeping the door open. Leaving the door open implies “pause” closing the door implies “space”. Many people know this with or without explanation. It is ok to need some distance and to even plan for space. Being in a relationship takes work and given that no two people are the same, it often makes sense.
Now some people have boundary issues and will enter and start all over again – assuming you wanted a difference seat for the same show!.. Oh no. when this happens it is a quick redirect to distraction (kindness and compassion) and if that does not work then space is necessary. It takes time to know each other and sometimes people find what works best by trail and error. The more you step back a bit the easier it is to get out of the personal zone. Sometimes, I use little sayings to shift me from being rubbed the wrong way by something that is being done. “How that really was all about them” they are “taking there dump truck and getting out of the sand box,” etc. It’s ok, let them go because distance and even space can be very healthy. Of course, all this requires that you are at the peak of your game, no stress, gliding through your intake of the world in top form and feeling joyous. Are you not always like that? It is your birthright. But we are not always mastering our own domain of perception and mindset along with emotions, hormones etc. But we can make a little distance to shift us through processing whether to let go or to create a pause from ourselves.
Space on the other hand is a valuable tool but to be done successfully when living or highly connected to another takes two. An agreement without reservation, illusion, creating disillusionment and just plain knowing the boundaries what really work. Often times one partner is more forthright in needing space or better yet recognizing the need for space. Space 101: know your own need for space. How much quiet time do you need, sleep time, play time, work time, kid time then know your priorities which some of them should include your partner.
Here is an example of space: Given a wide, wide difference in sleep habits and patterns, work and otherwise. We just could not agree on a bed size or type that would accommodate us. I suggested two twin beds with options to be side by side or with a small bedside table between them. This would help with 70% of the issues. This idea was not agreed upon as the person was a rather all or nothing kind of person. Interesting? So slowly, very slowly, I moved my time and almost bed habits to another room and coupled with a job that required me to get up way, way early. This change afforded me 100% of productive sleep and other issues while honoring the all or nothing choice which the person wanted and then excused as not having to be awakened early or have to go to bed earlier or worry about snoring. Since that move, we take big bedroom time (haha) and often nap together on the weekends.
So using “space” while a demarcation can be an excellent solution depending upon the people involved and the agreement to do so without regret or withholding. I am not in anyway suggesting that making “space” or using “space” will solve problems and magically make everything ok. Both people have to know themselves and establish what a bond means to them. If there are issues of abandonment in either person then these need to be worked out ahead of time. Space is not an excuse to “get ones shopping cart out” nor should it be used to justify fear of losing someone or fear of not letting go of someone. If your relationship is not bonded then “space” needs to be handled with greater care and respect.
So here’s to “Space” may you have just enough of it to be the most successful person you can be.