My Boyfriend Says He Needs Space But Keeps Texting Me | Why?

It hurts, right? Feels heart-wrenching to hear your boyfriend wanting space from you. How can someone you love with all your heart despise your presence? Is he pulling away? Is it something you are doing wrong?

If your boyfriend says he needs space but keeps texting you, it means he is missing you. He can’t stay away for long as he is habitual to your presence. However, don’t take his texts as a signal to try and rush things back to normal. Instead, let him be and do it on his own.

There are many other aspects to this that we will discuss in this article. However, as of now, you need to understand that wanting space in a relationships is natural and healthy.

Pro-tip: Emotional distances only increase if nothing is done about them.

Since he is still texting you, use this awesome resource that is specifically made to make him crazy about you. Check out His Secret Obsession now!

What Does It Mean When He Says He Wants Space But Keeps Texting?

If he explicitly asked you to leave him alone but now his behavior contradicts his demand, here are a few possible reasons:

1. The Attachment-Detachment Conundrum

People with attachment and detachment problems find it equally challenging to make connections with others as they find staying away from them.

In short, when he is with you, he needs to be alone, and when alone, he misses you.

TABLE: Why Men Feel Detached?

Top Pain PointPercentage
Intrusion in personal space23%
Insufficient intimacy21%
Too little communication18%
Insufficient emotional support from partner15%
Increased dependence of partner11%
Physical separation11%
Source: Based on a research by consisting of 509 men between the ages of 18-65 years and who have been in at least 2 relationships.

If a day hasn’t passed where he doesn’t text you or call, he is having attachment-detachment issues.

Separation from you is difficult for him, and he is not able to keep his distance.

He is habitual to your presence and your absence makes him restless. So, now even after wanting space, he can’t stay away from you and keeps texting you.

In this situation, you can’t do much, and he is the only one who needs to work on himself. Just let him be.

However, if the way he is behaving troubles you, tell him clearly.

Don’t be pushy, needy, or rude while saying so. Telling him is purely about keeping your point. Don’t do it while expecting a favorable response.

The Attachment-Detachment Conundrum

2. Wants To Test Your Absence

Another reason for your boyfriend’s such behavior could be that he is running a test.

If you guys have been together in a relationship for a long time, now he wants space, but he is also doubtful about his survival without you.

He wants to see how well he can do when you are not around, but he also wants you on the side just in case he wants things to be just like before.

A small set back and he is going to come running back.

You should be wary of such manipulative tactics because it is a very selfish thing to do without taking your feelings or emotions into consideration.

If he can live without you, he won’t take much time bringing another girl into his life. And if he can’t, he feels that you aren’t going anywhere either.

He wants to create a comfortable win-win position for himself.

3. Options vs Priorities

Let us elaborate more on the previous point.

Your boyfriend is looking for other opportunities, but at the same time, he has this thought of coming back to you in case things go wrong.

You are the one he comes to when he feels bored or lonely.

Now your boyfriend keeps texting you so that you don’t get used to his absence and refuse him when he tries to make a comeback.

You will know from his texts that he is not interested in chatting with you, but he is still doing it for some reason.

You are an OPTION for him. Certainly, you won’t like to be someone’s option if you have made him your PRIORITY. If this is the case, dump him right away.

But what if you can’t? What if you are too emotional? Is there a way to turn the tables so that he focuses only on you?

Considering the fact that he ignores you and takes you for granted, His Secret Obsession seems tailor made for you.

To invoke the same attraction in him that he felt for you at the beginning of this relationship is a tough task.

But this guide does a great job here.

Read our His Secret Obsession review to know about the book in depth.

4. It Is A Trap

This happens a lot with guys who are possessive about their girlfriends. They are in the habit of keeping an eye on their girl.

Your boyfriend wants space, but he also wants to make sure that you don’t leave him for some other guy.

He keeps a check on you so that you don’t end up doing what he fears and wants to see whether or not you are a loyal girlfriend.

The ‘I need space’ is just a façade here. You will know this if every time he texts, he is asking only for your whereabouts and whom you are with.

He fears that if he is not around, then someone else will steal you from him or you will get attracted to someone else and dump him.

Even if he’s planning on dumping you, he doesn’t want to be the vulnerable one. And before we move on, what he is trying to do is not cute. Insecurity isn’t cute.

5. The Image Conscious ‘Nice’ Guy

He decided to take some time off and think about your relationship.

But now he realizes that his reputation is at stake in front of common friends and your family members.

He wants to break up, but without being a jerk about it. If he texts you but the conversation is not going anywhere, then for sure this is the case.

Those casual chats are his way of not being the bad guy in your eyes. By being in contact, he is minimizing the impact of either of you getting hurt.

He does not want to be the guy who broke your heart. Instead, he wants to be remembered as the ‘great’ guy who was there with you till the end.

Also, this way, he can easily dodge the tough talk of a breakup and leave without drama.

Clearly, his actions are more about him than worrying about not actually hurting you.

The Image Conscious ‘Nice’ Guy

6. You Are His Ego Feed

So, your boyfriend tried to play smart and took a break for a while in the name of space.

Now he is continuously being rejected by other girls he might be after, which brings him back to you.

You are his ego feed as you entertain him despite his flaws. He is using you to make himself feel better.

Maybe he is already dating someone he likes, but that girl is not treating him nicely.

He is comparing you two, and this reminds him of your virtues. How you made him feel, how great you two were together, etc.

These feelings make him text you. Or it can also be possible that he realizes that he is happier with you and other girls don’t see him the way you do.

He may want to come back, and that’s why he is texting you.

The real question you should be asking yourself is that if he is willing to leave you now for other girls, what makes you so sure he won’t do it again in the future?

7. Back To Square One – The Friend Zone

Okay now, this is a situation you don’t want to be in. This is equivalent to never being in a relationship with him in the first place.

Treat this as the dreaded friend zone. Your relationship has become monotonous, and your guy knows it.

Thus, he now wants a breakup but at the same time realizes it will be a great personal loss to lose you as a friend too.

It happens quite a lot that guys say that they like you and love to be around you, but for some reason, they can’t be your boyfriend.

Read my article on why guys will keep you around but still not want a relationship.

The only difference here is that he has been in a relationship with you but now feels that you two are better off as friends.

He will keep texting you and telling you all the good stuff which will make you feel as if you also don’t want to be his girlfriend.

He will literally treat you like a long time friend and avoid any form of flirting.

You may feel you are happy with the way things are, but hey that’s not what you want, right? If you do, just go along.

You are free to find yourself a new boyfriend. However, he is steering the ship here and trying to get things done his way.

If you are uncomfortable, don’t let him do that, cease all forms of communication and ghost him.

8. He Is Going Through A Rough Patch

It’s common to experience conflicting emotions in life.

There are situations where we feel burdened with lots of things, and at that time, relationships can feel like added stress.

Wanting some time off to sort the unresolved issues is natural.

If your boyfriend is actually going through rough times in his life and he genuinely needs some space to sort things out, then he texting you in between is okay.

He wants you to know that he still has you in his thoughts. He misses you and wants you to stand strongly by his side till things get better.

Try to find out what exactly is going on in his life. The key here is communicating your thoughts patiently instead of escalating the issue.

You’ll know in your heart whether or not he is going to come back.

Is it a temporary phase and he still loves you, or is this his way of escaping the nastiness of a breakup?

These are some of the things you should try to figure out during the next few days and weeks. There are plenty of signals.

You just need to see them more clearly.

What Does It Mean When A Man Says He Needs Space?

When a man says he needs space, it means that he is not attracted to you anymore. When crazy about you, a guy would never ask for space. You’d have to push him away. Focus on being an alpha woman and recreating the attraction that once existed. Keep in check any needy and desperate behavior.

Clingy behavior is a huge turn off. Shift your focus from him and back to yourself. You are the only person who’ll be around yourself when no one would.

Don’t take yourself for granted! Here are a few more reasons why he needs space.

1. He Needs Time To Recharge And Refresh

If things were great between you and your boyfriend and suddenly you hear him wanting space, it is normal to worry but doesn’t always mean what you fear i.e., getting dumped.

It might not be because of you at all, but because of something else in his life that make everything look dark.

Sometimes a person is so consumed by the things going on in their personal life that all the stress and pressure make the need of space inevitable.

With all the other stuff going around, relationships can feel suffocating not because they are so but because of other things crowding the person’s mind and leaving no space to breathe.

It does not necessarily always mean that he is bored with you and wants to break up with you.

It doesn’t mean that you failed to keep your guy happy and attracted. It’s just that he is not in a position or in the right frame of mind to see your efforts.

Give him some time and space to recharge and be himself again.

This solitude might prove to be an excellent opportunity for self-reflection and corrections.

He Needs Time To Recharge And Refresh

2. He Wants To Reconsider Being With You

If your relationship felt gloomy and there have been constant arguments and disagreements in the recent past, then wanting space was long due.

You, too, could have done the same, but he did it sooner. He wants space to rethink this relationship.

Maybe he is not happy with the way things are going and is still unsure about what he wants to do because he still loves you and doesn’t want to leave you in an instant.

If there is no significant improvement even when both of you try to talk things out, and instead things get more ugly, then a person often sees no other option but to leave things the way they are.

Possibly he wants to make things right between you two, and he thinks that giving each other space is the wisest thing to do now.

For now, you’d want your foot in the door through this window of texting. If you’re seeing his texting phase out gradually, read my article on how you can make him text you.

3. He Wants To Break Up

Okay, time for the worst news. Your boyfriend is looking for a breakup. He wants to end things with you subtly so that you don’t feel hurt.

At least this is what he thinks. You should know it because it has been coming for a long time.

You may have felt him detaching himself and spending less time with you.

Not making much effort towards the relationship because he knew he wanted to get out of it.

He uses space as a weapon because, in the process of giving each other space, you both will get enough time apart.

He will emotionally distance himself from you, hence making you habitual to his absence.

According to him, when he says those final words, it will hurt less because you saw it coming, and you were prepared for it.

This way, both of you get to end this relationship in a less painful manner.

How Do You Respond When Your Boyfriend Says He Needs Space?

When your boyfriend says ne needs space, do not respond with aggressive behavior or try to guilt-trip him into making things right. This will further push him away. Instead, take a step back and re-evaluate where are you going wrong? Correct the flaws in you and leave his flaws to him.

It can be tough to stay in the right mindset when your boyfriend says he needs space, but it’s essential to behave in a dignified way.

If he leaves you forever, you don’t want him to remember you as crying and begging.

1. Don’t Try To Fix Things Immediately 

However hurtful those words are, you need to remain in your senses and stay calm.

Hear him out because when a person needs space, he is already going through a lot, and an immature response can worsen the situation.

The last thing you need right now is an ugly fight with your boyfriend.

Show your best behavior, and if you can’t, just excuse yourself politely from the room or whatever space you are in. Try to hold back tears if you can.

Remember, how you behave right now is how he will remember you if you two do end breaking up.

If you act all needy, desperate, and beg him to give the relationship another chance, not only will you come across as unattractive, but in his eyes, his actions would seem justified because you were a ‘psycho’ after all.

How you feel doesn’t matter much to the person in front of you anymore, and it is important to keep your dignity intact.

Many girls make a huge mistake by behaving like a foot mat and let the guy walk all over them under the constant fear of a breakup.

Your efforts to fix things immediately might even ruin the chances of getting back together.

2. Give Him Space

The best thing to do is give him what he is asking for. It is about meeting his needs. Don’t argue or be childish about it and just let him be.

You making a scene and fighting about it can drive him farther away.

If your bond was strong enough and this is just a rough patch, he is going to come back no matter what.

If not, you will need to reflect upon your relationship as the bond was not as strong as you thought it was.

Give Him Space

3. Take A Step Back

When he says that he needs space, he may break up after some time. It doesn’t mean you should dump him first, not to end up feeling like a loser.

Just take a step back for a while. Reduce your time and efforts in the relationship.

If your boyfriend is going through some loss or stress, then keep checking on him but not to the extent that he feels invaded just by keeping distance.

Follow the no-contact rule for 30 days. For 30 days, you won’t be the one to initiate a conversation.

If he calls or text, make a quick small talk and end the conversation within 5 minutes. If he doesn’t, you will not do it NO MATTER WHAT!

Let him miss you. Sometimes absence makes the affection grow stronger. Be there like before, but at the same time, understand his need for space.

4. Work On Yourself

In the meantime, you should work on yourself. Make a timetable, try something new in life, and stay fit and attractive.

Become the same girl you were when you first met him or even a better version of that. Make him want you back and miss you.

Don’t spend all your time bugging him. Try to create a separate life without your boyfriend.

We have always emphasized the importance of having your own separate life.

Because when you know how to enjoy your own company, you stop expecting and demanding more and more time from your partner.

This way, none of you would ever feel the need for space.

5. Know When To Call Things Off

It is humane to give him his space, but don’t forget that you also have some needs. You also want a partner who can be there for you.

When you think that you have given him enough time and space, then remind him to talk.

If you haven’t heard from him for 30 days in a row, it is time to make a casual call.

Do not lose your temper or show your frustration even if you are burning with rage from within.

Again, remember that if he has decided to dump you, how you behave now will be his last impression of you.

If you believe that there is no genuine reason for his need for space, then you should be brave enough to walk away. But do it politely.

Don’t stop yourself from breaking up then and there because it is going to happen sooner or later.


It is good to take care of your boyfriend’s needs. If he needs space, give it to him, but we don’t want you to end up in an emotional mess.

Be careful and know when to pull the plug. He can’t take forever to be like he was before, and you can’t wait that long.

Play along till you feel comfortable, but don’t let him have his way all along. We hope we were able to help you.

Now tell us in the comments section below, how you dealt with your boyfriend’s need for space?

Shashank Verma

A trained theatre actor and a STEM graduate who brings perspectives and methods from these worlds into dating and relationships. Also a big time Krav Maga enthusiast and practitioner.

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