"It's not you, it's me. Okay, it's totally you." That's usually what you think when you hear this classic break-up line... at least when you're not fighting the urge to start sobbing hysterically. But there's another super normal and classic line that guys tell you and it can be just as confusing... if not more. Okay, definitely more. When your boyfriend tells you that he needs some space, it's hard not to scream at him and ask what he could possibly mean. This is even worse depending on how long the two of you have been together. But no matter how tough it may be to hear these words, he's saying them to you for a reason and you have to listen and figure out what's really going on. While it definitely sucks, it's not impossible to know the truth. Here are 15 things he means when he says he needs space.
15 He Doesn't Want To Break Up
If he wanted to dump you, he would, right? So when he says that he needs space, he honestly wants some time away from you... but he's not necessarily thinking about breaking up with you. Guys are pretty honest and they don't like to mince words. They're going to be harsh and blunt rather than try to dance around something or spare your feelings. So if he says that he wants space, it's very possible that he literally wants space but not to end things altogether. If you feel in your heart that you two are meant to be together, then you might be right to think that he doesn't want to dump you and that a break might be just what the two of you need. Maybe you just need to spend some time thinking and regroup a little bit. This really depends on what kind of relationship you have, of course, and it definitely depends on how long you've been together.
14 He Wants To Break Up
On the other hand, he's thinking about breaking up or he wouldn't have brought up needing space in the first place. Yes, this is super confusing and yes, you're not sure where to turn or what to do. But no one ever said that love was easy, right? Sometimes your boyfriend will test the waters and figure out how you feel about ending things by saying that he needs space. He's not officially breaking up with you or even moving in that direction so he figures that this is a safe thing to say and a good place to start. If you want to be super naive and innocent (sorry but just being real here), then you can believe that he doesn't want to end the relationship and that he really does want is a break. But unfortunately, breaks often turn into break ups, so it might be best to stay realistic here and expect that to happen.
13 He's Feeling Pressured
You probably already know that if there's one thing that guys hate when it comes to being in a relationship, it's being pressured. He doesn't want to live someone else's life or feel like he should be doing something according to what society wants. So if he feels that you're putting any kind of pressure on him, whether you want to move in together or even get married, then he might say he wants space because he doesn't know how to tell you that he's not ready to commit that much yet. Or he knows how to tell you that but he doesn't want to because he just doesn't want to hurt your feelings. In that case, you might want to thank him, right? Sometimes you really want the person that you care about to be super honest with you so you know exactly what's up... but other times, the truth can hurt and you don't want to face that kind of painful rejection. So maybe he's giving you a chance to ask him how he's feeling and he might be opening up a real conversation that will lead to some real answers and change.
12 He Thinks He Made A Mistake
On the other hand, did the two of you recently commit to each other? Maybe you're a new couple and you finally had the talk that officially made you boyfriend and girlfriend. Or maybe you've been together for a while now but finally moved in together or decided to think about marriage or even get engaged. If your boyfriend says that he need space in this kind of situation, then that means that he thinks that he made a mistake. Unfortunately for you, this doesn't bode well for your future relationship. If he was truly cool with the choice that he made and the changes in your lives, then he would never, ever say that he needed space. He would be too thrilled and excited with the changes and he would want to just live his life with you and get started as soon as possible. It can be tough to accept this reality, especially if you were so excited about this new stage in your relationship.
11 He's Unsure About You
It can be tough to feel like you should be with someone because you've been with them for a certain amount of time. You feel super guilty for even thinking about ending things and you wonder if this is just a weird phase or something that's going to pass. If your boyfriend says that he needs space, it's totally possible that he's unsure about you. Yeah, he gets that you're a completely amazing person and that you're essentially a catch. And yeah, he cares about you. It doesn't mean that he doesn't. But he's just not super certain that you're the right person for him right now and in the future, too. While it sucks to learn this, it's better to know sooner rather than later, don't you think? Wouldn't it be much worse to expect him to come crawling back to you and then be totally devastated when that didn't happen? So much better to face reality.
10 He Met Another Girl
Yeah, you probably don't want to think about this. Okay, okay, you definitely don't want to think about this. No one wants to even consider the remote possibility that the person they love could have fallen for someone else. But sometimes a guy will tell you that he needs space and it's because he met another girl. He doesn't want to rock the boat of your relationship by breaking up with you right now, but he doesn't want to let this girl go, either. He wants to explore the possibility of being with her and so he's going to say that he needs some space for you so he can go and do that. It really sucks if this is what's happening because you really have no choice or say in the matter. Sure, you can cry and beg and scream, but if he's always got one foot out the door, your emotions aren't going to help matters.
9 He's Scared
Yup, guys get scared of falling in love... even when they're already in love. Sounds crazy to you because you're in love with this guy and you think that he basically makes your entire world sparkle. He makes your world go round, as they say, and he's brought so much joy into your life, you can't even believe it. You tell everyone that he's your one true love and soulmate and best friend and you just can't imagine him not being in your life. But if he's afraid of being in love with you, then sorry but there's absolutely nothing that you can do. You have to let him go be on his own for a while so he can figure out his feelings and basically so he can man up. But if he comes back and says that he just doesn't think that the two of you should be together anymore, you can't be surprised. And you can't be divested. Because if you're smart enough to read between the lines, then you will realize that he's just not ready for a real relationship.
8 He's Going Through A Tough Time
The crazy thing about being in a relationship is that you take on the stress and personal issues of the other person. Of course, that's a given and you don't even mind, because if you care about someone enough, you will be there for them 24/7 and 100 percent. But sometimes, guys don't want you to have to deal with that, and they're not super comfortable with emotional stuff. So maybe when your boyfriend tells you that he needs space it's because he's going through a tough time and wants to be on his own to get through it. It might not be that he doesn't think you can help and support him. He might feel guilty about upsetting you or ruining your life (even if he's not ruining anything at all, that's what he might be thinking) and he might feel like being with you right now is just way too much. Unfortunately, you have to respect that.
7 He Wants To Be Single
Some guys get it into their heads that it's better to live the single (aka the bachelor) life. They don't want to be "tied down" or saddled with a girlfriend. And it doesn't mean that they don't care about you. It just means that they're getting pressure from their friends or, worse, all their friends are single so they figure hey, they might as well be, too. It's not super mature or even great to do things according to what your friends do, but you won't be able to stop your boyfriend if this is the road that he's going down. All you can do is breathe a sigh of relief that he's out of your life sooner rather than later because, if you look on the bright side, he could have wasted a whole lot more of your time. Of course, he's being stupid and ridiculous right now, but remember that and use that when you start feeling like it's all your fault. It's his issue, not yours.
6 He's Confused
Love and romance are super confusing, and unfortunately, things don't get any less confusing when you're in a long-term relationship. If only that were the case. If your boyfriend gives you the line about needing space, it's completely possible that he's confused about something. It could be how he feels about you. It could be about how strong his feelings are for you. Or it could be about something else in his life that's not even related to you at all, from his work life to where he wants to live. He could even be facing some serious family pressure to follow in his dad's footsteps or join the family business or even get married at the same age as his older brother or something like that. It sucks to realize that sometimes the person you love is confused about his life and it might mean that he wants you out of his life entirely, but again, it might be your reality.
5 He's At A Different Stage
This is especially true if your boyfriend is younger than you, or if he's still in school (whether college or grad school), or if he just hasn't figured out what he wants to do with his life yet. If he's still partying with his friends on weekends and working crappy jobs that he hates, then maybe he's right to say that he needs some space from you. No matter how hard it might be to hear him say this to you, it could be totally for the best. The truth about relationships is that, sure, they involve having a certain amount of respect and compassion and love for the other person, but you also should be in similar stages of your life. It's hard when you're trying to save money and be responsible because you're working hard and you know that you have bills and groceries and rent to pay... but your BF is spending all his cash on beer and video games.
4 He's Insecure
If your BF doesn't feel like he's good enough for you, then he might be letting his negative feelings and insecurities get the best of him. And that might be exactly why he's told you that he needs some space from you. Maybe he feels that he can take some time to think carefully about whether he even has a place in your world anymore. Or maybe he's trying to break up with you because he doesn't think he's worth it. This is a super tough thing to deal with because you can end up feeling super guilty and pretty much absolutely horrible. It's not your fault because you can't control how someone else feels, and you obviously haven't done anything to make him feel so insecure. That's all on him and it's not your job to be anything other than his girlfriend. You can't give him so much emotional support that it's like that's your full-time job.
3 He's Changing His Life
Maybe your boyfriend has just changed his life in a totally crazy way. Maybe he's gotten a fancy new job or is even thinking about moving. Unfortunately, those future plans might not involve you. So if you know that he's recently changed something about his life, then you just might not be on his mind right now. He might be letting his excitement about his new plans cloud his judgment and totally forget about how much he loves you. There's not much you can do about this. Okay, there's nothing you can do about it. It's his choice, his life, and his future. It can really be painful to realize that the person you care about doesn't consider you an important enough part of their life to factor into their future but think of how much time you've been saved. You're still young and you still have time to figure out who you really want to be with and what you really want from your own life. Focus on that, not on this guy.
2 He's Had Enough
It's totally possible that you might have a tiny bit to do with your boyfriend telling you that he wants some space. No, it's not that it's entirely your fault. But it takes two to date and fall in love and make a relationship work, right? And so it's possible that you and him just aren't getting along these days and so he's totally right to say that things need to change. He might just have had enough with how much you two are fighting lately and how you don't seem to be able to agree on anything, from take-out to future plans. After all, love can only do so much for a relationship, and you've probably heard that sometimes, love just isn't enough. That might be the case for your relationship right now. You and him both deserve to be as happy as you can be, and unfortunately, that might mean that you shouldn't be together any longer.
1 He's Totally Over You
Sorry but you deserve to know the truth. It's better that you figure this out now so you don't get your hopes up and become totally miserable when you realize that you and your boyfriend are never, ever getting back together (in the words of your beloved Taylor Swift). Your boyfriend doesn't want to be with you anymore. In fact, you could go so far as to say that he's totally and completely over you. Yeah, this sucks. And yeah, you're pretty upset and you don't understand how this could have happened. Weren't the two of you super happy just yesterday? Last week? Last month? What possibly could have gone wrong, and are you to blame? The answer is that you may never really know what went wrong and you may never truly figure out why your relationship went off the rails. Sometimes two people just aren't meant to be and you're never going to get any closure. So know that while your former BF is now over you and wants to break up, you're still the amazing person that you always were. Now you're free to find someone who doesn't need any space at all and it's going to be amazing.