Hearing your girlfriend tell you that she’s needing space isn’t the easiest pill for a guy to swallow. In addition to the power of those words, there are so many questions that come along with them. Is she breaking up with you? Looking to date other guys? Unhappy with a lot of things and doubting the future?

To be blunt, giving some dating tips on this particular topic came from one of my good buddies, who, less than a week ago, heard the girl he’s been dating for three months tell him she’s needing space. They had gotten into a few drunken arguments, but seemed to be strong otherwise.

Well, this one’s for you, pal, because hearing those dreadful words have led to his mind spinning — so we wanted to clear up any gray area as to what your girl means when saying she’s needing space.

She’s bored

You don’t want to hear this, but, let’s face it, when a relationship falls into the whole Netflix and chill kind of evenings, things can go stale pretty quickly. That doesn’t mean she doesn’t still care about you or doesn’t still want to be with you, but she may just need to spend some time with her girlfriends more and find herself a little bit more. Relationships are tough, and there are a bunch of dating tips out there to read to help with making them work, but when a girl’s bored, sometimes, it’s just a matter of some time on her own to come back energized.

She’s not convinced you’re “the one” yet

This is one of the most common reasons why she’s needing space. Again, this doesn’t mean she doesn’t care about you, but, in the current state of the relationship, she just isn’t sure if keeping this thing going is best for her — and you! Guys are competitive and think they can make any girl happy, but, sadly, sometimes she sees the flaws in you and they just don’t mesh with what she’s looking for. There are a lot of reasons why she may think this, none of which should be taken as faults of yours; sometimes, it just isn’t meant to be and needs some time to think about stuff.

She’s got barriers up because of insecurities or past relationships

In our buddy’s case, this may just be the issue. Without going into too much detail, essentially, this girl he’s been dating was in a bad relationship prior to meeting him. Sure, it was a couple years ago, but those cuts can cut deep, and, if/when she sees similar traits in a current relationship as a previous one, she may become guarded. For this reason, taking some time to clear her mind and remind herself that you’re not him and she’s grown herself may be what she needs. This is usually when her friends come in and remind her how great she is and how the two of you are actually really good together.

She really cares about making it work

At the end of the day, she probably just really cares about you and wants to see what’s best for the both of you — even if that, unfortunately, means some time away from each other. Needing space can actually be a good thing, it’s just a matter of staying positive, recalibrating and asking yourself how the relationship can improve moving forward. It’s a time to find yourself and change up some of the things that got you in this spot in the first place. So stay positive and don’t let a little space get you down.