5 Honest Reasons Why He Needs Space & What To Do

5 Honest Reasons Why He Wants Space or Time To Think

In this article you’ll learn:

  • What it means when a guy says he needs space or time to think.
  • The answer to your question: “Does he need space or is he done?”
  • How long you should give him space when he says that he needs time to figure out what he wants.
  • What to do when he wants to take it slow.

Most women don’t know what to do when a guy says he needs space

Recently I received an interesting question in my inbox:

“My boyfriend says he needs time to think. Does he need space or is it over and he’s done?”

I understand that this can cause quite some confusion, because what does it really mean when a guy says that he needs space or time to think?

To help you better understand what’s going on inside his mind… In this article, I will explain what it means when he says that he needs time to figure out what he wants.

One reason might be less pleasant than the other, but at least you will know the truth and where you stand.

Here are the 5 reasons why he needs space:

Reason 1: He just needs some alone time

Man needs space to do his own thing

To avoid any misunderstandings, this does NOT necessarily mean that:

  • He doesn’t like you.
  • Or that he doesn’t love you.


It simply means that he wants to spend more time alone.

This might be a bit hard for some women to understand, but men simply need time to themselves sometimes.

This survey taken by 2000 British men revealed that 85% of them said that they need time alone. The average man only gets 8 minutes of “me” time a day, and 58 minutes total for the week!

That number is absolutely absurd to me. A good healthy relationship typically consists of two independent individuals who have their own friends, passions, and goals – and then they meet somewhere in the middle. Their time is divided into different things that are separated from each other.

Here is the bottom line. It’s extremely unhealthy and unsustainable to spend 100% of the time together. Even if you love each other very much. It’s unsustainable and will eventually take a toll on both of you.

Reason 2: He has found somebody else

5 Honest Reasons Why He Wants Space or Time To Think 1

Sometimes when a guy says he needs space or time to think, it means that he has met another woman that he likes, and now he’s questioning whether he should stay with his original girlfriend or break up with her.

Some guys could drag this out for a long time and lead the woman on, because he’s afraid to tell her the truth and “hurt her feelings”. Which in this case is unavoidable, but they’ll do it anyway because they are weak-minded.

Others might just start to ignore her until she “eventually gets the point”, which is another cowardly way of handling the situation.

If you have given him time and he still hasn’t made up his mind… What you could do to get some clarity of the situation is to text him straight out if he has met someone else.

But make sure you give him enough time to think.

If he has met another woman, well then you have two options:

  1. Wait for him to make up his mind and hope that he wants to be with you over her
  2. Dump him and move on

But if he has met somebody else behind your back, the question is whether you can still trust him. Because it clearly has been going on for a while behind your back.

Reason 3: He has doubts about the relationship

5 Honest Reasons Why He Wants Space or Time To Think 2

This is something that happens to many couples who are struggling.

If things haven’t been going well in the relationship for a while, he may have doubts about whether he wants to keep going or not. And he’s probably not the only one thinking this way…

It could be because you’ve lost the passion in your relationship, the sex life isn’t what it used to be, you’re starting to become more like friends, or simply because it seems that you’re not heading in the same direction.

Whatever it might be, the best thing you can do is to give him time to figure it out.

You can’t rush this.

In fact, if you were to interrupt him and ask “if he has made up his mind yet”, you might just reset the process. And worse off, you’re not respecting his decision and therefore not him as a person, which is absolutely terrible.

I don’t think I need to explain why that’s not good.

So give him that space. Give him time to miss you, let him work it out whether he wants to stay with you or not.

You have to wait for him to come to you, even if the uncertainty is driving you crazy and all you want to do is to text him and get clarity.

Reason 4: He feels things are moving too fast

How to finally understand what it means when he is sending you mixed signals

If you have been dating a guy for a while, you can ignore this reason as it’s not relevant to you.

‘Here’s a scenario that happens to many people when they just meet someone they really like.

A woman just started dating a guy and all of a sudden they start hanging out every day and spending every minute together.

The next thing you know, he tells her that they need to take things slow, or that he needs space.

She doesn’t understand it at all, they had such a great time together.

This scenario is very confusing to a lot of women.

Because why would he want to take things slow, when they’re clearly enjoying each other’s company so much?

A guy usually hits the breaks like this when things have been going very fast. Two people meet and immediately spend almost all of their time together, often move in together and neglect other friends or passions.

For an initial amount of time they’re both on cloud nine. Until he and realizes that other important parts of his life are falling apart.

When he eventually realizes this, the whole situation might overwhelm him. And as a result, he needs to take a step back and think about what he’s doing.

That is not a problem.

He simply needs some time to himself to put things into perspective.  Just take a step back and realize that he has other parts that are important to him as well besides you (and as you do).

Let the relationship take the time it needs to build and don’t rush things.

If you have given him time and he still finds it difficult to commit, he might be suffering from fear of commitment. In this article, you will discover what you can do in that case.

Reason 5: He doesn’t like you anymore

5 Honest Reasons Why He Wants Space or Time To Think 3

This is one of the least pleasant reasons to hear out of all of them.

Because now it means that when he says “he needs time to think”, it’s actually over and he wants out. But he’s waiting for the right moment to reveal it to you.

He needs space because he’s done and it’s over

He doesn’t want to hurt your feelings because he still cares about you. But there is no other way.

If he’s dragging this out for too long, you can help him even though I know it’s clearly not your job or responsibility.

But this way you can get clarity of the situation and set yourself free from the situation faster. It’s going to hurt. But at least you know the truth and can work on healing yourself quicker.

Most men are not going to tell you straight out that they don’t like you anymore, instead they’re going to say something like:

  • I don’t know what I want.
  • Having a relationship is not working for me right now.
  • I want to see other people.
  • etc

If it turns out that he doesn’t like you anymore and he wants out of the relationship, it’s better to just be done with it as soon as possible so you can move on.

Sometimes you can sort of feel that this is the case, but don’t really want to admit it.

So let me ask you this. What does your gut tell you?

Before I end this article, let’s summarize and answer some of the most common questions I get about this subject:

How long should I give him space to figure out what he wants?

When a guy says he needs space, there is no clear time of how long he’ll need. Every man and every relationship is different. Some only need a couple of days to figure things out, others a few months depending on the severity and magnitude of his decision.
Hope for the best but prepare for the worst.
Be prepared to wait up to 3 months if you have to, that’s more than enough time.

Does he need space or is he done?

it’s impossible to give a clear answer to that question, because as you’ve just learned it depends on what he’s thinking and feeling. You just have to wait for him to come to you. But no matter what you do, do not rush this or interrupt him when he has asked for some time to think.

He wants to take it slow but I don’t. What can I do?

Nothing. You can’t force him to be with you or make up his mind. The best thing you can do is to wait and be patient.

Should I check on him when he says he needs space?

No I think I just answered that question for you in this article. Just leave him alone and let him come to you.

If you should remember one thing from this article it’s this:

When a guy says he needs time to think, you leave him alone until he’s ready to talk to you about it. Unless he’s taking too long.



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Tim Veninga is a dating coach, relationship coach and social psychology bestseller author from the Netherlands.  He has been featured in media like Cosmopolitan, Glamour, Marie Claire & Elle.

Hi, I’m Tim Veninga. Since 2008 I’ve been coaching men and women to archieve succes and happiness in their love lives.

For years I’ve only been writing in Dutch, but in 2019 I started writing in English as well after many women asked for it.

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