Asking for some space in a relationship is often very different IRL than in popular culture. When we picture Ross and Rachel on a break in Friends, it's pretty hilarious (and frustrating since that was a whole debate that really has no easy answer and which fans are still unsure about). When we think about Rory and Logan taking a break from each other in Gilmore Girls, we feel her heartbreak because she learns that he was with another girl during their time away from each other.
In real life, it's an awkward and complicated situation. When our boyfriend asks for space, we're not sure what is the best course of action here. Do we break up with him? Do we agree and see if that makes the relationship happier than before... and is that even something that could happen? Everyone is different, and every relationship is its own thing, but we can all relate to feeling confused if this is something that we're dealing with. And if we're confused, it's possible that our boyfriend is, too, and maybe even more so.
Here are 15 reasons to dump him and 5 reasons to keep him and try the relationship again after a break.
20 Dump Him: He's Done This Before
It's one thing if our boyfriend asks for space... and it's another if he has done this once (or even more than once) before. If that's the case, it's possible that he's not ready to really commit to us and be in a long-term relationship.
He might not know how to tell us that he doesn't want to be in the relationship anymore. He feels that it's easier to keep asking for some space instead of breaking up with us. He also might be concerned about hurting us, which is definitely noble but it's worse to keep doing this instead of just making a cleaner break.
19 Dump Him: He's Never Been In A Serious Relationship
The truth is that some people haven't been in a serious relationship before and once they're in one, it's hard for them to truly commit. Our boyfriend cares about us and enjoys the time that we've spent together but it's too much for him so he asks for some space.
He might not be ready for something so serious and so he feels that the best thing to do is take a step away from each other, try being apart, and see how he feels then. The problem, of course, is that we've been in serious relationships before and we know that asking for space might be mean speeding right toward a breakup.
18 Keep Him: You Both Have Gone Through A Tough Time And Would Benefit From The Break
Just because we hit a rough moment in our relationship doesn't mean that it's an automatic breakup (or at least it shouldn't be). It's possible to experience a low point and realize that we would benefit from taking a break from each other.
When this is what we're going through, it's a good idea to try taking a break instead of parting ways. It really could clear our heads and make us understand how to be better partners to each other. And it could work out even better and make us a stronger couple and we'll be so happy that he asked for space.
17 Dump Him: He Doesn't Believe In Commitment
We always have to dump someone when they don't believe in commitment. It's just not okay to date us and not want to actually act like a boyfriend.
We're all unique and different, which is awesome, and yet there are certain aspects of a relationship that we all want. We want to be able to go to events and social gatherings with our boyfriend. We want him to celebrate holidays and all of the good things that happen in a year with us. We want him to be there all of the time and be someone that we can count on. If the commitment isn't for him, that means that he's not for us, and it's time to break up.
16 Dump Him: He's Talking To His Ex Or Even Spending Time With Her
It's sketchy if a guy says that he wants space and has been talking to his ex-girlfriend. It's even worse if he's been hanging out with her.
Do we think that he wants to get back together with her and that's why he's asking for space? Do we wonder if he's going to take this time to explore a relationship with her even though if we're technically on a break we're still together (although as we know from Friends this is truly complicated)?
This just isn't a good situation. We should dump him if this is the case and we need something that is much simpler and less complex and weird.
15 Dump Him: He Has Mentioned That It Might Be Over
Our boyfriend tells us that he needs space and that he's been wondering if things are over between us. We might want to tell him that, no, of course, it's not over and we'll do what we can to save things.
Do we really think that's the best approach here? Being told that a breakup might be in our future isn't really the greatest thing to hear. When he feels this way, we should feel like it's time to break up with him. This is honestly what he wants and he's just not able to actually do it for whatever reason. We'll see that this was the right call.
14 Keep Him: He Makes It Clear It's Not A Break-Up
He could word this super delicately and carefully and say that although asking for space might look like he wants to break up with us, that's not what he wants at all. He wants to be with us and he's not intending for this to be an ending.
He just needs space for whatever reason. Hopefully, he tells us what that reason is. If we're not going to break up and are just taking a bit of time away from the relationship, then we would feel much better about the whole thing if we knew what he was actually thinking and feeling. That's the only way to be sure that we should keep him.
13 Dump Him: You're Heartbroken But Want To Get Out Sooner Rather Than Later
Let's say that when our boyfriend asks for space, we're completely heartbroken. We can't believe that he said those words. We can't wrap our heads around the fact that this is really us and that this is really happening.
Being this heartbroken and upset is a clear sign that something isn't right. We should never feel this way. If he really loved us and it was meant to be, he would never want to hurt us in this way. When this is the case, we need to dump him so we can get out before getting even more hurt. He could just break up with us in a few months and hurt us even more.
12 Dump Him: He's Changed A Lot Lately
It's tough to realize that our boyfriend isn't the same guy he was when we went on our first date. We know that people do grow and we want that to happen. It's just tricky when someone has changed so much that, to be totally honest, we're not sure that we like them anymore.
If he's changed a lot lately, then hearing that he wants and needs space could make us realize what we really want, and that's to break up with him. He might be shocked and act like we're being unfair, but what did he really expect when he brought this up? It's perfectly normal to recognize that he's not the same person and that we don't feel right about him or the relationship anymore.
11 Dump Him: He Doesn't Want To Get Married And It's Something You Really Care About
A guy asking for space in a relationship when he doesn't want to get married could be a clear indication that this is why he's saying these things. He could be trying to let us know that he doesn't want to be with us anymore because he knows that we want to marry him and it's not what he wants.
We need to honor the fact that we want to be someone's wife and that we want to be someone's family. It's okay to want those things. We shouldn't feel bad for feeling that way. If he wants space and we want to marry him, this could be what we need to tell him that it's time that we left each other and were no longer in a relationship.
10 Dump Him: The Relationship Feels So Different From Before And You're Done
A guy asking for space could totally be the last straw in a very frustrating romance. We could feel that we're done with him and that the relationship has been over for quite some time.
Things feel different and whether we can say when and why that changed (he's working more, he doesn't want to go out anymore, he complains when we do something that doesn't involve him), we have a right to want a better relationship. It might feel uncomfortable to tell him that if he wants space, that means that we're done, but this could be something that both of us have been trying to say for a long time. We're finally being honest about what we want.
9 Keep Him: You've Been Together For Five + Years (A.K.A A Really Long Time)
A long-term relationship is not an easy thing to keep going. If we've been with our boyfriend for a long time, like maybe five years, and he says that he needs space, we might not want to get mad and freak out and dump him right away.
He could be struggling with something else that he wants to go through alone or just feel that we're getting a bit stagnant and that a break could change everything and make our relationship better. It's okay to wish that he didn't want space, but it's also okay to respect what he wants and feels and give it a try (as long as he's being respectful and kind about the situation).
8 Dump Him: You Don't Get Along With His Family Or Like Spending Time With Them
It's easy to assume, "Oh, I don't need to like his family because I'm not in a relationship with them and my relationship is amazing."
Just think about all the things that we would miss out like Christmas and other holidays, fun birthday times, and all of the gatherings that take place in a calendar year. Sure, we might still celebrate certain holidays with his relatives but just not enjoy it at all and dread it every time that it was coming up on the calendar. We don't need that and if we're not big on his family and really don't like spending time with them, then hearing that our boyfriend need space could be what we need to end things with him.
7 Dump Him: You've Been Considering Breaking Up With Him For Other Reasons
We have to break up with our boyfriend when it's something that has been on our mind for a while. It's good to remember that we wouldn't have these feelings unless something really was off. Sure, we can tell ourselves that things will get better and we should just ignore the voice in our head wondering if it's time to dump him, but is that really a way to live?
If we've been considering dumping him for other reasons and he tells us that he needs space, we should take that as the signal that we need to finally end the relationship. He could be trying to do that, anyway, and he just didn't know how.
6 Dump Him: You Were Really Hurt When He Suggested Space
It's never fun to be on the receiving end of a comment like, "I need space and I think that we need to take a break from each other" or, even worse, "I need to press pause on this" (which is something that no girl wants to hear... yikes).
When he says this to us and we're truly hurt, we don't need to stay in the relationship. Even if we think that we should give him space and even if we wonder if trying again in a few months will save everything, we need to dump him. We shouldn't have to feel hurt and he shouldn't have caused us to feel that way. It's okay to admit that we want to feel better in a relationship and have it be easier.
5 Keep Him: His Friends Or Family Have Told You That He Truly Loves You
Sometimes a good relationship needs something big to save it, and this could be it.
Let's say that we find ourselves in a situation where we really love our boyfriend and everything is pretty good for the most part. We just have a few small issues or a few things that could be a lot better. We love his friends and family and they've told us how much our boyfriend loves us. We've heard from them that he doesn't want to leave us and that he just wants a bit of space so he can be a better boyfriend. That changes the game and would definitely allow us to face the situation maturely and calmly and then get back together with him in a little while.
4 Dump Him: It Came Out Of Nowhere
We hope that when our relationship is approaching its end, we would have at least seen some of it coming. It can really be a shock to hear that our boyfriend wants to break up and that he doesn't want to be with us anymore, and we wanted some advance warning (even if we didn't want to take those signs and feelings seriously).
When he says that he wants space and it honestly comes out of nowhere, that's a sign that we should dump him. There was something off about being together and this proves it. If we could be on opposite pages about where things are going, that does signal that it's time to end it.
3 Dump Him: He Doesn't Act Very Maturely
We need to be with someone who is mature, plain and simple.
Okay, it's really not that simple. It's understandable that we would stay with someone and hope that they could grow up a bit and that being with us would cause them to want to do that. If we love them and they have other amazing qualities, like maybe they are always coming up with new jokes or we have a lot of fun together, then we could ignore the fact that they're just not that mature. But at a certain point, we have to recognize that they might not change and become more mature. If they're already immature and they say that they want space, that's like the icing on the cake of this relationship which isn't actually right for us.
2 Dump Him: It's Hard To Talk To Him About Your Emotions Or Anything Serious
It's not a good idea to date someone who doesn't like talking about emotions and serious subjects. These things will come up from time to time.
It's easy to assume that it's okay because we can talk to our family and friends about this stuff and we don't need to talk to our boyfriend about how we feel, but is that really the way that we want things to be? Don't we want a relationship that involves sharing feelings? We shouldn't have to feel that it's just so tough to bring up serious subjects or mention that we weren't happy today. That might be okay for a little while but it's not what we deserve from an adult, healthy relationship, and it's time to dump him if he asks for space and we already have this problem.
1 Keep Him: You Don't Want To Break Up, But Something Needs To Change, So This Could Fix Things
Sometimes a couple really does need to take a minute away from each other. It doesn't always mean that breaking up is the best thing for both of them.
If we find ourselves in this situation and our boyfriend asks for space, it could be a good idea if we know that something needs to change but we don't want to break up. This could fix things and help us realize what is wrong in the relationship.
It's not what anyone wants to go through and yet it could be what allows us to move forward and stay a couple. Not every relationship is smooth sailing all of the time and it's honestly okay.