When in a relationship, it is normal to have problems. We all have problems. But what happens when the problems persist and it doesn’t seem to be getting better? What if you are running into the same issues over and over? Sound familiar? If so, you may be considering taking a break from your partner and the relationship.
Taking a break is no small step. In fact, it could be the end of your relationship without intending it to be that way. You see, when you take a break, you both are essentially saying “We’ve had enough of each other!” and by doing so, you may end up happier without them. Usually when a couple takes a break, the intention is to get back together afterwards. But taking a break is tricky business. Let’s dive in to some of the potential issues that may come up, and how to handle them.
Is a Break Right For You?
A lot of couples when they get to this point might feel like it is more of a break-up than just a break. If you cannot mentally handle the fact that you will not be with your partner for a period of time, it can make the break extremely difficult. But just know, that if your partner is the one asking to take the break and you don’t want to, then you may want to give it some serious thought.
Reason being is that, the other person is already fed up. And if you keep trying to push your agenda over theirs, it is going to further the tension in your relationship. This is the last thing you want to do when you are at such a fragile point. Taking a break may not sound ideal at first, but consider the positives that come along with it:
- You get a chance to find out if you are right for each other
- You can start enjoying the things you like doing without your partner’s input
- There is room to improve the relationship
- Missing each other may show how much you truly care for each-other
- You may decide you are not right for each other
- You will face a feeling of rejection
- It may seem like your partner is enjoying the break more than you
- Thoughts of your partner with someone else can be hard to deal with
Set Some Rules
The rules a couple sets will vary depending on the desired outcome of the break. If you plan on getting back together, the rules might be different than a couple that is open to a potential new relationship. For example, if you wish to get back together maybe a rule of the break could be that you are allowed to see other people, but not allowed to have sex.
On the other hand, if you are both truly sick of each other, it might be OK to have sex with new people and what you want / need. Other rule examples might be, no contacting each other for at least 2 weeks after the break starts. Also you might say, you are allowed to date other people, except close friends of each other. Whatever the case may be, make sure you are both on the same page and agree to the terms of the break.
Decide If The Relationship Needs Space or a Break
There is a pretty big difference between the two. When you are with your partner 24/7 and you find yourselves bickering over every little thing, but you know that you still love each other, then it is most likely space that you need. If you both are at the point where you cant stand each other and fantasize about having time away from them, a break may be more in order. Make sure you understand the difference and your individual needs and what will have the most positive effect. Space is healthy for any relationship, but a break can have a 50/50 chance at leading to an actual break-up.
Figure Out The Logistics
If you live together, taking a break can be very challenging. It is vital to decide WHO will leave the house, where they will stay and for how long. Ideally, the person leaving should either stay with a friend or family member. A hotel is a BAD idea, as it can make the other person feel too lonely and that can lead to making bad choices. I think you know where I am going with this, so I wont go into the details.
The important part is to agree ahead of time how the living situation will play out. If you already have your own places and do not live together, obviously this part will not be a problem. But is still important to talk about having new love interests over at your place. Decide if this is something that will be allowable or not.
Spend Time With Friends and Family
After the break starts, truly give yourself a break from the other person and the relationship. Spend time with others who you know care for and love you. Going on a break can feel a lot like an actual breakup, so it is important to surround yourself with people that will support you no matter what! This will keep you positive, optimistic and give you hope of reuniting.
Give Yourself Time To Think
Regardless of what your intentions were before going on the break, start looking inside to see if this is what you really want. How do you feel now that your partner is out of the picture? Do you feel relieved, sad, happy? It is vital that you get in touch with your emotions and intuition here. If you know that you are happy for the most part without your partner, then maybe it should be a break up and not a break.
The last thing you want is to be with someone just because you are lonely. I know a lot of people make the mistake of doing this, but they are miserable in their daily lives with their partner. The reason is because the relationship is unfulfilling in numerous ways, and you would be better off alone, or finding a partner that you truly love and WANT to be with.
Give it Time
There are no hard and fast rules to how long a break should last. This will also be different for everyone. But it is a good idea to setup some expectations from the beginning. Maybe you say that you will take a 2 week break, and then see how it goes from there. Or you might be thinking a little longer like maybe a month or two. Figure out what will be the best time period for the both of you. Then, once the time is up, agree to meetup and re-assess your feelings for each-other.
Do Things You Love
One of the best parts about taking a break, is getting to enjoy life again. If you are on a break, it’s probably because things have been miserable for a while. So use this time to feel happy again. If you love playing a sport or going for walks, then start doing it regularly. It can be a huge breathe of fresh air to start doing things again that you either did not have time to do in your relationship, or that your partner did not enjoy so you stopped doing them. Doing this will make the break feel much more productive.
Take a Trip
If you are really feeling adventurous, plan a true getaway. Not only away from your partner, but away from home and everything you know. Go somewhere new! It doesn’t have to be by yourself, but if you do go with someone, it would be best to go with only a sibling or really close friend or family member.
Don’t go with a new potential love interest. This is a great way to ensure you probably do not get back together, unless that is your intention. If that is the case though, a break up is more in order for you than a break and in that case, you probably want to read this article here. Going away is a great chance to get a fresh take on life. To see new places and meet new friends is great for the soul and can have excellent benefits for any major life change, including taking a break.
Understand What Led To The Break
Usually a ton of fighting and general disagreement got you here. So what is it that you both cannot agree on so much? Figure out if these issues are major or minor. Are there simple solutions to the problems? Maybe you can be more flexible or compromising if you really love your partner. Now that you are apart, it is an excellent opportunity to “see things from the outside.” Try to understand what the other person is going through, and see it from their perspective. It will help you see the issues present that maybe you could not before.
Take Some Responsibility
Everyone has heard the phrase “it takes two” and it goes both ways. Obviously there are some things you cannot stand about your partner, and maybe even led to the break. But consider what are some of the things your partner cant stand about you? Are you always leaving your dirty laundry laying around? Or always criticizing the other person? What can you do to improve yourself to be a better lover and partner.
Think back to some of the fights you had, and the criticisms your partner made about you. At the time, you were probably too angry to consider these criticisms for self improvement, but now is the time! Decide if these negatives that were pointed out about you really do exist and how you can fix them.
Consider The Possibility This Might Be The End
If you started the break with the intention of working things out, thats great. But despite this, it can still go the other way. Regardless of who puts the final nail in the coffin, it doesn’t really matter. What does matter is that you are mentally prepared BEFORE you begin the break, that you might not get back together.
A full on break up may not be what you want, but if it ends up being what your partner wants, there really is not much you can do. Sure you can cry and beg, but that will only leave you feeling humiliated and feeling worse. Know that if this happens, it is what your partner really wants and you need to accept it. And, have some sore of “Plan B” in place. Already know that if you do end up fully broken up, how you are going to handle it, even if that was not the initial intention.
Don’t Give Up
The last thing I wanted to mention might sound ironic considering the paragraph above. But you need to have hope. If you want to end up back together, then don’t give up! Focus on the points above to figure out what led to the break and how you can fix it.
Chances are, if the intention is to get back together, the other person is still thinking about you too and wants to get back with you. The challenge will be having the ability to change and evolve as people, in order to get along with your significant other.
I’m not saying to change who you are as a person, but I am saying that you need to flexible. If you love the other person enough, then after some time apart, the things you were fighting about probably won’t seem that important any more. And if they were important, then you will be able to find a way to get past those differences together.
Good luck, and I hope this article was helpful if you have been thinking about going on a break or are on one already. Leave a comment below, let us know how the break has worked out for you.