“Space to pursue” is a simple idea… not easy… hardest when we feel scared or insecure or get stuck in our minds… but it is possible to learn and change.
It means allowing a man to be the one who “closes the gap” between the two of you.
Letting a man call, ask questions, propose ideas, ask for dates, pick you up, plan, think about what to do, etc. Seek you out in the other room if you are married in the same house.
Let him initiate, and you respond….
This is a form of giving a man space that he needs in general, in fact it is the main way that needed space can be a part of a close relationship.
If a man starts saying he needs space, certainly lean back and give it to him then… but also ask yourself, have I been pursuing? If he is asking for space, it may mean that you have not been allowing the space in this day to day way because you have become the one pursuing and “closing the gap” between you.
He needs this space in order for him to feel good coming toward you. And to feel free, like he is not trapped.
There are some visceral biological differences between men and women, physiological. We need more oxytocin to feel good than they do. And in fact, floods of oxytocin, while they feel good to both people in a relationship, also decrease testosterone. For a man, this needs a bit of a recharge. If he is getting that recharge in little ways, by not being pursued and fixated on, he won’t feel the desire to take that in big ways like backing away and disappearing altogether.
The tricky part…It is not really space if it is a game or strategy.
It is not the same thing as “playing hard to get”…. It is not “the rules”…. Why not?
Playing hard to get is still about HIM… which is, ironically, a form of pursuit… mental pursuit… There is no real space in a strategy.
He will not feel like he authentically has space if you are pursuing him in your mind by strategizing about him, i.e. playing hard to get.
Nuanced distinction but real…
A man can feel if he is in the clutches of a woman’s strategy.
He won’t truly feel free.
He won’t respect you.
He will sense inauthenticity and eventually he will be turned off.
You truly allow space when you authentically lean back and allow a man to come toward you when he feels inspired… and if it is authentic, when he does, you will be able to respond with openness, rather than feeling furious that it took him so long.
So… how do you authentically do all of this? And why? How does it also benefit YOU? Which is of course very important!
Look at everything, including feelings of longing, pining, fear, or insecurity, as an opportunity, a gift, and enter those feelings fully in your body, not your mind.
If you are in your mind, it will become too hard, you will talk yourself out of it, and you will either pursue or be angry when he does come toward you. This is why it is important to practice being in your body and your feelings over and over again until it becomes who you really are, an authentic feeling woman who can handle her feelings and respect space.
Don’t miss an opportunity to grow attuned to your own feelings… icky uncomfortable ones too… take any opportunity that are given as a gift, a chance to become a fully capable woman, a woman capable of feeling anything… icky feelings too…. not acting on feelings with forms of pursuit, not making it about a particular man or making it his responsibility in this moment… pursuing a man as a way of stopping your discomfort will short circuit your own feelings, push a man away, and stunt your growth as a fully feeling woman.
Instead, own your feelings, even the icky ones, track them in your body, feel in the moment, name them, use moments where you feel insecure as practice for being an authentic fully feeling woman by staying with the feeling in your body.
Once you have honored you icky feelings by feeling them, by not stuffing, then… next… find ways to shift your feeling and find some source of authentic joy in the moment.
Friendships, dates with other men if you are not married, hobbies, colors, sights, sounds, your butt on a comfy chair, fluffy pillows, flowers, your dog or cat… whatever brings joy in the moment that you can really feel in your body…
When a particular man’s energy isn’t coming toward you in a given moment, don’t fixate on him and fill that space by pursuing him in your mind or outwardly.
It pushes that particular man away and it stunts your own growth as a woman.
Instead, become a woman who is fully capable with the uncomfortable.
It is like moving to level 2.
If you have already gotten skilled at identifying basic feelings and good ones… “warm, cold, sleepy, happy, excited”… then, the “space”, when it feels not good, can be a chance for you to get skilled at identifying the feelings that don’t feel as good, feel them, and also the skill of shifting your own feelings rather than stuffing or acting on them.
Doesn’t sound fun, does it?
It is not fun learning how to embrace these feelings but it can and will change your life, heal you, change neural pathways, get easier, break bad habits and toxic patterns with men, and mature you as a woman. To become a woman who is skilled at this… who can feel the full range of her own emotions… and can handle them… will change your relationship with all men (including the one you are feeling triggered by) much for the better… And it will heal and change you too…