The most successful relationships are a balance of time together and time apart. The time together allows you to be a couple and the time apart allows you to be individuals. All the best couples I know are made of really interesting individuals whose company is easily enjoyed with or without their significant others. If, however, you are not half of one of those perfectly balanced couples, there is something potentially unnerving about giving space to someone you care about.

I’m not talking about a few hours away. I mean real distance; the kind of space in which you don’t see each other for several days and it is ok to ignore text messages and send calls to voicemail; that cavernous, echoing kind of space that shows the gaps you’d leave in each other’s lives.

If you’re lucky there are gaps to be shown.

But that isn’t always the case, is it?

I think it must require faith or, perhaps, just a general sense that things will eventually be ok… Personally, I’ve never been good at either. As a result, I have never been very good at the whole space thing. I can give it, but I rarely ask for it, and I don’t like the silence that accompanies it.

I want meaningful glances and sincere notes and I want to be told that someone loves me. That doesn’t make me needy or weak; it makes me a romantic.

Even when I am away from someone I love—especially when I am away— he is still the first person I want to tell about everything that happens. I always worry he will believe silence means I don’t care or that he must not be missed; not wanted; that I must be happier alone. I know these thoughts are driven by my own fear that, if I don’t hear from him, he must not be thinking of me.

Distill it down and that is the true essence of what makes “space” feel so excruciatingly uncertain: We all want to be missed, but none of us wants to be forgotten.