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Importance of space in a relationship

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Space in a relationshipThere is much hype about the need for space in a relationship. Is it really important for a couple to have space in a relationship or is it some fancy talk doing rounds in the town?The need for space is not so much about the need for physical space in a relationship but more about defining the identity of a partner in a relationship. The space here means -where do you fit in the relationship.

Kausalya and Purohit got married and settled into their own house. Things were ‘lovey- dovey’ initially but started going downhill when Kausalya felt the need to express herself as an individual. Purohit, who had grown up seeing his mother accept the demands of his father, could not understand Kausalya’s need for individuality.

His rationale made him think that she was rejecting his opinions and by extension rejecting him. This conflict ended up in frequent spats with each hurling abuses and throwing accusations at each other.

Kausalya was on the brink of frustration. She could not make him understand that her need for individuality in their relationship was not her way of rejecting him. Purohit was unable to express that his actions were not to make her feel subjugated rather he wanted to care for her and protect her.

Both are right and wrong in their own ways.

Kausalya’s need for space in the relationship is very justified. As any modern educated woman of today, Kausalya believes in being independent. Moreover, she had been given that freedom by her parents. Having grown in that set up, she is unable to fathom the inhibitive reactions of Purohit.

Purohit’s father was patriarchal like any other man of his generation. His father was the provider and his mother was the caregiver. The roles were clearly defined and marked. His mother’s implicit acceptance of her husband’s orders was not because she was meek. That was how she was brought up. She was conditioned to that way of life, as so many women of her generation had been.

Where both Kausalya and Purohit went wrong was in their assumptions of each other. 

Both need to realize that their conflict is because of their failure to comprehend about their respective backgrounds. They need to understand they come from different styles of upbringing and there is bound to be differences. It is imperative to realize this and more importantly accept this. By accepting the reality half the battle is won.

The next step is to understand that despite their differences each can live harmoniously within the relationship by recognizing the need for space.

Space here means – giving room for each others foibles and eccentricities. Making allowances for both their personalities and respecting their different needs.

Therefore, Kausalya’s individuality should not threaten Purohit. He should be made to understand that it is her desire to be a thinking individual in the relationship. This does not mean that she does neither appreciate him nor love him. Similarly, she should also be made to understand that his excessive nature is his need to protect her and be the provider in the family. His objective is not to stifle her rather it is his way of expressing his love.

However, having said all that, unless one is comfortable in the relationship with the other, no matter how much or how little of space is there does not matter.

So when couples enter into a relationship, it is important to make room for space and privacy – privacy to include time to be spent together as well as time to be spent apart individually. Being a couple does not mean being with each other 24X7. That would be a surefire recipe for a break-up. People and that includes couples need time for themselves. A time to be with their respective friends and families, time to pursue their dreams and ambitions, time to pursue their hobbies and interests.

This is what making space for in a relationship is all about.

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