man vs. woman breakup, sad life

5 Rules for Taking a Break in a Relationship

You (or your partner) want a pause in the relationship. You both want to take a step back and see if your paths align and you’re getting what you need/want.

Do you both want kids? Careers? Do your values align? Regardless of who wants the break, this is a time you can use to really answer these questions and grow as a person.

With that being said, here are our five trusted rules for taking a break that will help you avoid turning your life into a Friends skit.

What is allowed during this break? Can you see other people? 

Your partner may be extremely against the idea of a break altogether.

You and your partner need to discuss how long this break is going to last. As difficult as this might be, it needs to be clear at what point the two of you will reconvene and either continue in your relationship or end things. Without a timeline, fallout is inevitable.

For example, if you frequently go on business trips for a week, doubling that is not too excessive. If you see each other every day, 2 weeks apart might be harder to accomplish, but more fulfilling in the long run as you grow as an individual. Regardless of what timeline you pick, consider your partner and what is fair to them as well.

If you are not the one instigating the break, you may be tempted to push for a shorter timeline. This is completely natural, although consider if this is best for the relationship. If your partner needs more time than you are willing to give, it will create more animosity and prevent them from going through the growth they need. If you are instigating the break, consider your partner cares about you and the distance could eat at them. 

Don’t waste the time you are asking for and don’t be excessive.

It is too easy to take a break from a relationship to avoid the issues at hand. 

Consider if a therapist would be helpful on personal problem resolution. They can help address insecurities and get to the root of the issue in a clearer way for you. 

Even if you are not the person that wanted the break, do not panic! This is an excellent time for self-improvement. Just because you didn’t want the break initially does not mean this is wasted time apart. You also need to evaluate what you want from life and your relationship, and this space from your partner is an excellent opportunity to do so.

Now, you’ve done the work, put in the time and mental space, and came to a conclusion about what needs to happen with your relationship. Do not ignore what your heart is telling you. 

It is easy to fall back into the lull and comfort of the relationship you’re in, but that isn’t helping you or your partner. You took this break for a reason, so use that to drive you through this point of self-growth.

If your conclusion is to stay with your partner and grow as a couple, consider your relationship may not just pick up where you left off. Your partner may have some pain from the break, especially if they were caught off-guard by it. The two of you need to work together and use the growth you went through to build an even healthier and stronger foundation than you had before.

Accept your decisions.

There isn’t much more to say about this. If you decided to move on and are now wondering if you made a mistake, remember to trust your heart on why you left. 

Perhaps the reverse is happening. You decided to stay but now your partner is unsure. Consider the conclusion you came to and why you want to stick with your partner and fight for them. 

Taking a break is not a decision you should take lightly, whether you are the one to initiate it or not. This will give you space you may need, but can also be a time of unnecessary worry and pain if the reasons for the break are not pure or can be resolved without space.

Take the time to consider if this is something essential before committing to it, and most importantly, stand by your principles and speak your mind. You are half of something that should be powerful and beautiful. Don’t let your fears and insecurities get the best of you.

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