Honestly, you haven’t been happier in any other relationship. You spend the majority of your time with him, thinking about him, or talking about him—it’s literally ridiculous how much you love him. The initial first couple of months you two have been together had been damn near perfect, then one day he says it, “Baby, I need space.”

As a woman, this stings—there’s no need to deny that. Instantly, we start contemplating what we did wrong that would cause him to need space apart.

We start asking questions like, “Are you thinking about whether or not you want to be together?” and that honestly just make things worse. Don’t get me wrong, I totally understand your concerns, but I’ve learned from the few times I’ve been through this that lashing out is the last thing we should do. I think I’ve finally figured out what we should do instead. Here’s how to survive when he says, “I need space.”

  1. Acknowledge and respect his request. Don’t argue with him or become upset when he tells you he needs space. For one, there are a lot of men who don’t even have the balls to say this. Instead, they just ignore you and expect you to ‘take a hint’ or ‘get the picture.’ So do your best to respect the fact that he was man enough to trust you with how he is feeling right now. Also, acknowledge that you understand and care about how he is feeling right now and more importantly that you support his decision — even if your feelings are a little hurt.
  2. Remember that you’re probably not the problem. Most times, it’s not you—it’s him. Well, it’s not really him either. It’s life. We’ve all had times in our life where shit is just difficult. Unlike women, men don’t call their girlfriends or their mom and cry or make decisions based on their emotions at the moment. They often take time to think things through, hence their needing space. So, try to understand that he isn’t asking for space from you because he doesn’t like you anymore (most times), he is asking for space to get his shit together. Let him get his shit together. It will pay off, I promise.
  3. Remain confident—in all areas. This is kind of hard to do when your feelings are hurt and your perfect relationship all of sudden isn’t so perfect anymore, but you MUST remain confident. Don’t let your mind defeat you by making you assume the worst. Stay confident in yourself, stay confident in the strength of your relationship, and stay confident in your partner. You can trust him. The fact that you’re even reading this right now proves that you want to give him the space he needs, but you want to make sure you won’t lose your baby either. I get it. Just stay confident that you two will make it through this small test.
  4. Take advantage of the time apart. Don’t sulk. Don’t overthink. Don’t tell all your friends so that they convince you of anything negative. Take advantage of the space you two are giving each other. Do a few things that make you feel good. Give yourself a makeover so that when you two do see each other you can’t resist each other. Learn a new sex trick to spice things up when it’s time. Whatever you do, just take advantage of it. Doing this will help you stay positive about the situation and it will make the time go by a hell of a lot faster. Trust me.
  5. Give him his space. At the end of the day, you’ve gotta give the man his space. If you have a good man, don’t worry about him doing anything he shouldn’t be doing. Remember, all of this is so he can get his shit together—for both of you. Your relationship will benefit from this in the long run.

As we all know, there is no recipe for the perfect relationship and figuring out the ingredients to a healthy relationship isn’t any easier. This might work for you and it might not. It’s helping me, that’s for sure. Just remember, if in the end, he decides that he doesn’t want to continue on in the relationship, don’t freak out. You’ll be alright, girl.

This article was originally written by Editor-in-chief of Prime Fifty-Two, Isis Nezbeth, and can also be seen on Thought Catalog.