Your girlfriend says she needs to find herself. That’s one of those puzzling things women say that men can’t fully comprehend. Does it mean that she’s just taking a step back from the relationship so she can focus on her own needs? Is it a sign that she’s so in love with you that she feels she’s losing her own identity or is it something else? Unfortunately, when a woman says she needs to find herself it means she’s being kind in telling you that she’s not happy or feeling fulfilled in her relationship with you anymore. If your girlfriend tells you that she needs some time or space to figure things out, you need to scramble if you have any hope of saving your relationship.

When your girlfriend says she needs to find herself you have to take that statement very seriously. If you tell her that she’s being silly or overly dramatic, you are going to damage your connection with her in a very long and lasting way. She’ll feel that her voice isn’t being heard and she’ll resent you for not understanding her needs. In turn, her desire to find herself will lead to an eventual break up and any future that you may have been planning will never happen.

Being considerate and compassionate during this time will go a long way towards helping her to feel closer to you again. If you tell her that you understand that she needs to find herself, she’ll probably be pleasantly surprised by that. She’ll feel respected and valued as a woman and as a partner. She’ll see you as someone who truly wants the best for her even if it doesn’t seem like the best thing for yourself.

Encourage her to explore her life on her own for a time. Don’t mention the idea of a break up at all. Allow her to set the pace for how long she needs and how she uses that time. Stay in contact with her while you two are exploring your lives separately. Ask her questions about how she’s doing and what’s going on in her life. Be invested in those conversations and be interested in what she’s feeling.

If you show your girlfriend that you can be a supportive and strong friend through this process, she’s going to feel closer to you. In many cases a woman seeks to find herself when she feels neglected by her man. If you work on being a better partner by being more kind-hearted and considerate to her, she’ll rethink her decision to find herself. She may just realize that she’s at her best when she’s with you.