How does one say "if you need some space, that's OK"?

Looking through ALC, もし考える時間{じかん}が必要{ひつよう}であれば、大丈夫{だいじょうぶ}ですよ。 Which translates as "if you need time to think, that's OK", is there an expression that better conveys the sense of "space", particularly in a romantic setting?

  • ALC? eow.alc.co.jp/search?q=give+someone+space
    – BJCUAI
    Commented Mar 19, 2019 at 20:49
  • @BJCUAI As I noted in the question, I looked at ALC but there seemed to be so many options which is what left me confused.
    – paullb
    Commented Mar 19, 2019 at 23:25
  • 2
    As you are using 'space' in an idiomatic way, there won't be any 'one' possibility, but several. Just as 'Give him space' can be expressed as 'Give him room', 'Give him some distance', 'Give him some freedom', 'Give him some autonomy', or even 'Leave him alone'. So, when using an idiomatic word, try to first figure out how to say literally (in English) what you are trying to convey idiomatically. In a romantic setting, space usually would refer to both distance and time.
    – BJCUAI
    Commented Mar 20, 2019 at 0:19

3 Answers 3


One possibility which I've heard is 距離を置く, literally 'to place distance'. It has the figurative meaning of putting distance between people and is often used when people are in conflict and need some time apart.This is similar to the use of 'space' in English. So a more informal way of phrasing your sentence would be:

もし距離を置きたいなら大丈夫ですよ。If you want some space, that's fine.


You probably want to say that phrase in such situation that you need some time to consider before dating someone? In that case, "少し時間が欲しい"or "少し待ってほしい" also would work as well.


Assuming that you are talking about, more "time to one's self", this may be an option:


「間を置く」is a phrase that means, to put some space or time in between.

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