How To Master The Art Of Giving Loving Space
Overcoming The Wounds of Abandonment and allowing your relationship to grow
Space: in my opinion is one of the hardest to give and most misunderstood need in a relationship. Without space both parties feel suffocated, frustrated and confused, the relationship becomes a breeding ground for toxic energy. There’s no concise beginning or end to each partner, both people become so over merged into one another that it feels like the oxygen has been sucked out of the room which leads to a breakup.
With an adequate understanding about receiving a giving space, I believe a lot of people can save their relationship from a breakup.
So What is Space and Why is it Needed in a Relationship?
I like to use the analogy of building the perfect campfire. The purpose of a campfire is to keep people warm, and the things needed to create a campfire is the following: wood, brush or thin sticks, air, and patience.
You can’t smother a campfire and expect it to warm you in return, just like you can’t stifle a plant growing and wait for a flower to bud.
Smothering never has and will never help anything grow, its a fact, that’s just how it is. This includes relationships with other’s; if you’re serious about developing with someone, you have to be willing to receive, give and allow the necessities of growth.
In its laymen’s terms: giving space to someone sends the message that your partner can be him/herself and not demanding that they share all of themselves with you. A relationship without the demands of merging into one person, without the pressure of being someone you’re not just to suit your partner’s need’s and an environment you can both be yourself in.
Why is it Hard For Certain People to Give and Receive Loving Space?
Abandonment issues are widespread, and the way they show up is through the inability to release ourselves from a person, relationship, thought or beliefs a.k.a attachment.
When someone carries the scar of abandonment giving and receiving space can feel similar to being abandoned.
Until this wound is healed, it won’t get any better. It doesn’t matter whom you’re in a relationship with, the level of love between both parties; if abandonment issues or any issues for that matter are not handled and healed they are bound to show up in love relationships.
Primarily, it becomes hard to give space to the ones we love even if we want space ourselves. For the main reason of fearing we will be abandoned or the relationship will fall apart without constant attention and analysis. This becomes a headache for everyone involved, for example:
Partner 1 (Male): Men have an intimacy cycle where they tend to pull away as the relationship gets more in-depth. They pull away to return to their cave, in which no one is allowed, in this cave, they figure out their life and self. When a man tries to go into their cave and is faced with negative feedback it sends the signal that they are not accepted and feel unloved.
Partner 2 (Female with abandonment issues): When suffering from abandonment issues, it scars very deep into the psyche, when the partner tries to pull away and distance himself. It can cause partner 2 to go into an anxiety frenzy, feeling as if she is losing the relationship. In partner two’s head, her partner is losing interest; he’s seeing someone else; he’s having second thoughts; all these thoughts are primarily stemming from the scar of abandonment. They are not loving, and they are in a way selfish because now partner 2 will force her partner to consistently reassure her of love instead of giving him the space he needs for himself to regain energy.
How to Overcome The Fear of Giving and Receiving Space
It is possible to overcome the fear of giving and receiving space, it is also possible to provide space without paranoia and fear of losing our loved one.
The first step is: HONESTY
You have to start by being honest with yourself about why its hard to give and receive space. Why that gap in communication, temporary withdrawal of affection or attention causes so much pain.
This is the critical part of being in a relationship which is healing. This is what relationships are for; to create stronger individuals by exposing our limits and unhealed wounds that prevent us from receiving and giving healthy love.
Accept these feelings and take time (by yourself) to uncover the belief systems that are keeping the fears of abandonment alive.
The second Step is: RELEASE
It’s important to remember that accepting our unhealed wounds is only one stage. You have to eventually release the memories of abandonment because as long as you are clinging to the idea that you will be abandoned your mind will look for any experience to make it so. Which will cause you to be ill-equipped to give and receive loving space.
The Third Step: FORGIVE YOURSELF
It’s easy to fall into the trap of feeling ashamed for our past wounds and how they’ve affected our relationship. Personally every time I would calm myself down from reacting to abandonment issues towards my partner, I would feel upset and unworthy of love because I felt like I was too broken and regularly brought burdens.
This is false, and I had to cut away from feeling unwanted and unloved by becoming the sole source of constant love and not allowing any person, experience or circumstance sway that.
The goal is to get to a point where this wound is no longer triggered, your world doesn’t flip upside down just because someone is unable to reassure you of love consistently. You want to get to a place where you are a sufficient source of self-love and worthiness, and your partner is just an addition to this.