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couple having a disagreement taking a break in relationship
Relationships

How to Deal with Taking a Break in a Relationship – The Only Rules You Need

Learning how to deal with taking a break in a relationship is never an easy task to do. 

“Let’s take a break,” I told her while we were coming back home from a date. She was taken aback and asked, 

  • “Is there someone else?”
  • “Did our last fight affect you deeply?”
  • “Do you not like/love me anymore?”
  • “Are you tired of this relationship?” Etc

A series of questions were thrown at me— all filled with fear & self-doubt. I took a deep breath, held my girlfriend, and explained,

“No, it’s not that I don’t love you anymore; it is just that we have been fighting a lot more for the last few months and aren’t able to focus on ourselves. Taking a couple of weeks of break will help us clear our minds.”

Hearing your partner consider “a break” is scary. The thought of losing them will chill us to bones. However, ‘taking a break’ doesn’t equate to ‘losing them.’ Instead, it’s just a slight pause that allows both partners to tend to their personal issues before getting back in the relationship. 

“You cannot love others until you love yourself.” 

Is ‘taking a break’ in a relationship a bad sign?

No, it’s not! In fact, ‘taking a break’ is reasonably healthy for a relationship, and it might as well save you from a harsh & rushed breakup. When your partner suggests ‘a short break’ instead of a breakup, they are willing to make changes and think everything over.

Breaks in a relationship also allow couples to discover themselves and cherish personal space and boundaries.

To be honest, taking a few months off from the relationship was highly beneficial to me and my bub. We matured emotionally, psychologically, and mentally. Not only that, but it strengthened our bond, and we now have more intimacy with each other. 

Taking a break from a relationship does not claim an official breakup; it’s just a short break to work on yourself. 

Even if everything with your partner is going well— taking a vacation to spend time alone will always aid your mental health.

You may be thinking, “…but, what if your partner decides to take a break forever from you? Well, that will work in your favor, too, honestly. “If it didn’t last, it was never meant to be.”

So let’s discuss,

  • What does taking a break in a relationship mean? 
  • When should couples take a break?
  • How to deal with taking a break in a relationship?

Taking a Break in a relationship.

Even if you go to the gym, the trainer suggests taking two-three daybreak, aka rest-day, to allow your body to repair. Likewise, your emotional and mental health will benefit from a respite.

8 Hints That Are yelling loudly, “You need a Break.”

When you notice these signs, take a break as soon as possible. It will be better for you and your relationship in the long run. Or, at the least, you may discover what is beneficial for you!

1. Alone, when together/ FOMO:  

Being with your lover makes you feel like you don’t need anything else in the world. However, if being with your partner still makes you feel lonely, it’s a clear sign that you need a break from this relationship! 

girl enjoying her time at a bar

Please note: This can happen in a healthy and romantic relationship as well! So, don’t dismiss your feelings & the whole relationship for fleeting thoughts or overthinking. 

Instead, talk about taking a break with your partner to understand what you want from this relationship. There could be multiple reasons you feel lonely in a relationship, and each is curable.

  • Different interests and perspectives 
  • New relationship 
  • Communication issues
  • Tired from working
  • Distracted or stressed

Having different personalities isn’t a bad thing— in fact, you learn something new and different every day with your partner. Don’t disregard their interest just because you don’t connect with them. Instead, take time out and enjoy both of your personalities with the same enthusiasm. 

2. To achieve your personal goals: 

Sometimes, when in a relationship, we forget to pay attention to ourselves, our needs, and our desires and solely focus on our partner. This will affect your career, work, passion, and mental health. 

To pursue a passionate life, you must equally balance all your happy elements. Take time out for self-care, me-time, self-talk, alone-time, family, friends, career, and partner. If you only focus on your partner, you will be leaving every other thing behind. 

3. When you are ignored: 

The best part about a relationship is that it helps you feel like you are the most important person to your partner. True no! However, if you feel ignored and unvalued— take a break! 

Distance in a relationship can literally increase intimacy and spark romance. When you are apart, you understand their values and why you love them. It clears your mind, and it will also clear your partner’s mind.

4. The source of your arguments is petty: 

As I said, fighting is an essential component of a healthy relationship. However, suppose you notice that you or your partner have started fighting over lame excuses and aren’t backing out.

In that case, it’s a proper indication that you guys need a break to sort things out by yourself. 

couple arguing with each other by yelling

This will help you resolve your anger issues and subdue your frustration. 

5. If you feel you are in a cage of space: 

“Saying and implementing are two different aspects of life.” 

Your partner may tell you that they are ready to give you personal space. However, if they end up continuously asking you about your whereabouts— they clearly have a hard time understanding boundaries. 

A relationship without space will soon become toxic and suffocating. So, taking a break early on and explaining to your partner the importance of personal freedom will save your relationship in the long run. 

Even though your partner might just be asking out of care, they need to understand the boundaries you wish them to adhere to. 

6. When your relationship has an absence of commitments: 

Relationships are built with trust, care, loyalty, emotions, and commitments. Commitments tell how serious a person is in the relationship. 

Please note: Don’t force commitment on a new relationship. However, if your relationship has reached the perfect stage for commitment and your partner still runs away from the discussion— you may want to reconsider. 

Talk to them about your future needs from this relationship openly. If they are not ready, take a break to stop overwhelming yourself with too many emotions. 

7. Sex is not fun, and your partner doesn’t turn you on.

Sex not only builds a physical connection but also benefits couples emotionally. Sharing intimacy in bed with your partner always turns you on! Right? No? Hmm, then there is a problem. There could be multiple reasons why you don’t feel sexually attracted to your partner;

  • You or your partner are shy in bed. 
  • Sex is still a foreign concept for you.
  • Too much sex has stolen your drive, and you don’t want to continue it! 
couple being intimate

You can simply take a break to understand what’s bothering you and stopping you from enjoying intimate hours. This short break will definitely spice things up and bring your libido back!

How to deal with taking a break in a relationship?

Some of us are still not prepared to take a break! In such a case, here are eleven excellent points on how to deal with taking a break in a relationship! Take it easy! Continue reading because I am about to put your mind at ease.

For starters, never consider ‘taking a break’ through phone calls/texts. It will hurt and confuse your partner! You need to discuss this in person and explain how it’s not an end.

Here are some narrowed-down tips to consider while dealing with a relationship break! 

1. Establish some definitive rules: 

Ensure that you both have similar thoughts on the matter. It will create multiple problems if you and your partner interpret the break differently. 

Create a blueprint of rules that you both have to follow in this process. It will help you stick to your goals and work as a foundation to support your intent. Have a serious talk with your partner and create some ground rules like,

  • “How often will we communicate?” 
  • “Does ‘taking a break’ mean we can date others?” 
  • “Can we kiss?” 
  • “How many times can we meet every week?”

These QAs will help you and your partner understand the concept behind ‘taking breaks.’ Of course, couples on a break can meet and laugh together, but I highly suggest not indulging in physical intimacy! 

2. Stick to the boundaries:  

Yas! It is imperative to stick to the boundaries, and boundaries will allow your partner the much-needed space. 

  • Don’t try to organize a meeting if they are not ready for it! 
  • Don’t call if they ask you not to for a certain period. 
  • Don’t force kisses if they are not comfortable. 

3. Don’t be too accurate with the time: 

Although ‘reaching before time’ has been considered good manners, it’s still best if you cut some slack when it comes to concluding that break. 

We never know how long it will take for us to process our problems entirely and how much personal space we’d need before we get back in the relationship again. 

Don’t set a specific time to be back in a relationship— not only will this pressurize you but also distract you from focusing on other essential things. Discuss it with your partner and let them know of your choices. Avoid being too accurate to be back together.

4. Prioritize yourself: 

Remember that you are taking some time off from your relationship so that you can work on yourself or towards your goals. 

girl feeling confident in her own skin

Don’t just waste your time thinking about your relationship or your partner. Use this time to do what you want to. The more you spend time with yourself, the more you get stable with your visions, life, and mental health. This time that you have will also tell you a lot about your motives for your bond.

5. Don’t send sentimental messages: 

Initially, the ‘break’ will seem weird, and you would want to go back to your old habits of texting/calling/meeting/kissing the first thing in the morning. 

However, you will have to control yourself. Even if you are missing your girlfriend/boyfriend, stay under the rules you created— it will benefit you, your partner, and the whole relationship.

6. Involve yourself in stimulating activities: 

It is terrific to indulge yourself in activities that you find exciting or try new things you have always wanted to do. ‘Taking a break’ will offer you a significant amount of me-time. 

guy swimming in water enjoying his life

If you don’t know what to do now, create a list of all the fortes you have enjoyed— swimming, traveling alone, painting, etc. Invest your time in self-care routines and creative hobbies— it will stimulate your brain and ease mental stress. It will also keep you away from overthinking, relationship hassles, and thoughts about your partner! 

7. Uncover the reasons for a break: 

So, finally, you are free to be your own person. Utilize this time, go the extra mile, and keenly look into your relationship issues. It will resolve your tangled brain and give answers to your unquestioned dilemmas. 

  • “Am I willing to continue this relationship?”
  • “Can we work things out?”
  • “Am I overthinking?”
  • “Am I happy with my partner?”

If the answer to these questions is a simple ‘yes’— congratulations, you are willing to fight for this relationship. 

Please note: every relationship will have dry days; you just need to figure out if you are ready to cross those hurdles together with your partner! 

  • Take this time to strategize your relationship.
  • Search for ways that can help ignite the spark back in your relationship. 
  • Decide what’s healthy and what’s not. Adhere to those boundaries and discuss the same with your partner once the break is over. 

8. Pen down your thoughts: 

It genuinely works— when you pen down your emotions and thoughts, you understand them a little better. I suggest choosing a good notebook instead of digital notes. 

9. Avoid stalking each other: 

Stalking is a big ‘NO’ in any situation! Don’t stalk your partner, ex-partners, family, friends, or kids! Please, it’s very unhealthy and can destroy multiple relationships. 

You are on a break, so be with yourself, spend time amusing yourself in productive activity. I know we care for our partners, and we want to check on them, but this will corrupt the reason for your break, and trust me, everything will worsen.

10. Stay optimistic: 

Maybe things are not as good as they used to be in your relationship, so you have decided to take a break. But don’t let the negative thoughts dominate you. Stay positive and explore your emotions. 

Have a broad perspective and talk to your partner to grow individually first and be cheerful throughout the process. Don’t forget what I said, ‘taking a break’ is healthy! 

11. Keep in touch:

Taking a break doesn’t mean you have to be rude or ignorant towards your partner. 

It doesn’t mean that you should altogether avoid your partner either. No, have healthy contact with them, talk to them, and go on social ventures as a group (if you are comfortable). 

When should you not ‘take a break’ from your relationship?

Don’t make rushed decisions. Some issues can be discussed; you may never need to take breaks. It’s necessary to communicate effectively about your emotions openly— barriers in communication will bring distance between the two of you. 

On a completely different note, ‘a break’ will never bring any good to couples who have started to like someone else. Don’t take a break to try things over with other individuals— this will hurt your partner immensely. 

In such situations, it’s best to completely break up with your partner before you start a new romantic relationship with someone else. 

1. When you want to share a bed with someone else:

Taking a break from your partner or your fascinating relationship just because you’re physically attracted to someone else or want to enjoy physical closeness with someone else is wrong. 

girl having secretive texts while guy is behind

Don’t keep your lover in a hazy vision by asking for a break. If you are attracted to someone else, you should break up first. I’d advise you to keep your head up, control your feelings, and not drive the wrong path.

2. When your problems can be cracked by communication

We’ve all had those moments in our relationships when we’d rather overthink the matter and avoid talking about it face-to-face than have a real conversation. Instead, schedule a date night and address the issues that are hurting or bothering you.

For example, if you both had a rough fight— try to talk things over more calmly and also try to listen if you want the relationship to work! 

3. When you want to show dominance

When you and your partner are fighting, and you want to show that you have the upper hand— you force your partner to take a vacation from the relationship. 

It’s the wrong way to do things, and to be honest, your relationship won’t last long if you do it this way. Instead, have some therapy sessions and discussions to figure out what’s wrong.

Bottom Line

It’s scary to take a break in person, but you need to do it nonetheless. Sometimes, we don’t want to part with our partner out of fear, attachment, or the consequences. However, it’s necessary to balance your mental health and bring good changes to your relationship. 

Don’t avoid ‘taking a break’ just because you don’t want to hurt them. On the other hand, ‘not taking a break’ & suffocating in the same relationship will hurt you and your partner in the long run! So, take a break if you want to after talking things over.  

It is perfectly acceptable to take a break if you think you are not getting enough time for yourself because of the relationship. 

Remember! Don’t agree or decide for a break when you’re on the phone or in a chat window. Talk in person— it will assist you in maintaining honesty.

But keep in mind that you should not employ this strategy to avoid cheating on your partner. 

  • Make your ideologies very clear and keep your mate out of a fool’s paradise

If you want to work through how to deal with taking a break in a relationship more efficiently, I recommend scheduling an appointment with a relationship coach.

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by Genesis Gutierrez

Genesis is the founder of Harness Magazine, a digital media company that celebrates and elevates the voices of women around the world. A first-generation college graduate, Genesis holds a degree in from UCLA with hopes of going back for a Masters in Social Work.

Through her work as an editor-in-chief of Harness, Genesis has dedicated herself to amplifying the stories of women specifically marginalized communities. She is committed to creating space for those who are often left out of mainstream conversations, and believes that storytelling is one of the most powerful tools we have for building community and sparking social change.


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