We all need a break sometimes. Maybe you’re feeling overwhelmed and need some time to yourself, or maybe there’s a difficult situation going on in your life that’s causing stress.
Whatever the reason, taking a break from your romantic relationship and giving each other space can be healthy for both you and your partner. Here are a few things to keep in mind if you’re considering putting your relationship on pause.
Whether you’re thinking about ending things or want to make your current relationship stronger, we can help. Here’s our relationship advice guide!
Signs that it might be time to take a break in your relationship
No relationship is perfect, and sometimes it can be hard to tell when it’s time to take a break for a period of time. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, frustrated, or like you’re constantly fighting, it might be time to step back and reassess your relationship. Here are some signs that a break could do you both some good:
1. You’re constantly arguing
If you and your current partner can’t seem to stop arguing, it might be a sign that things are headed in the wrong direction. Constant fighting can be a sign of unresolved issues or incompatibility. Taking a break can give you both a chance to cool off and reflect on your relationship.
2. You don’t feel like yourself when you’re around your partner
If you find yourself constantly suppressing your opinions or feelings around your partner, it’s a sign that you’re not comfortable being yourself around them. This can be a major issue in a relationship and can lead to resentment down the road.
3. You’ve stopped doing things together that you used to enjoy
If you and your partner used to go out on dates or spend time together doing activities that you both enjoyed but have stopped doing those things lately, it could be a sign that you’re no longer interested in being together. It’s important to have shared interests in order to maintain a healthy relationship.
4. You’re constantly feeling stressed out and overwhelmed
If you’re feeling overwhelmed and stressed out most of the time, it’s probably not a healthy relationship for you. When we’re constantly feeling bad, it takes a toll on our physical and mental health. If you feel like you can’t take it anymore, it might be time to take a break.
5. You don’t feel the same passion or excitement that you used to.
If you’ve lost the spark that you once had in your relationship, it’s a sign that things might be coming to an end. Passion and excitement are key components of any relationship, and if they’re gone, you are probably going to face difficult times.
It doesn’t have to mean the end of your relationship if you decide to take a break. However, you will have a difficult conversation ahead of you if you want to try and make things work. A break can give you time for reflection.
6. You’ve become more distant from each other emotionally.
If you’ve both been feeling more distant from each other emotionally, it might be time to take a break. This could be a sign that you’re no longer interested in investing in the relationship. If this is the case, it’s likely that things won’t get better on their own and will only continue to deteriorate.
7. One of you cheated or had an affair.
If one of you has cheated or had an affair, it’s a good reason to take a break. This is a major betrayal and can be difficult to recover from. It’s important to give yourselves time to heal individually and as a couple before trying to move on.
Don’ts of taking a break in a relationship
Couples often take breaks for different reasons. Sometimes it’s a mutual decision, while other times, one partner might feel like they need some time away. No matter what the reason, taking a break can be a healthy way to recharge and recalibrate your relationship.
However, there are a few things you should avoid if you’re taking a break:
1. Don’t use the break as an opportunity to go on a couple of dates
When you’re taking a break, it’s important to focus on yourself. This means not using the time to date other people. It can be easy to get caught up in the excitement of a new relationship, but doing this while you’re on break from your current one can cause more harm than good.
If you want to date other people, you should talk with your partner first and come up with a plan that works for both of you. Otherwise, you could wind up hurting your partner and damaging your relationship beyond repair.
2. Don’t use the break as an opportunity to wallow in self-pity.
It’s natural to feel down when you’re going through a tough time, but try not to dwell on your negative feelings. Doing so will only make things worse.
Instead, focus on the good things in your life and what you can do to improve your situation. This includes spending time with friends and family, doing things you enjoy, and looking for ways to boost your self-esteem.
When you’re feeling positive, it will be easier to handle the challenges that come your way.
3. Don’t use the break as an opportunity to drink or party excessively.
Partying can be a lot of fun, but it’s not the best way to spend your time when you’re on a break from your relationship.
Drinking and partying can lead to bad decisions and may cause you to do or say things you later regret. It can also damage your relationships with the people you spend time with.
4. Don’t use the break as an opportunity to argue or fight with your partner.
Arguing and fighting are never productive, especially when you’re on break from your relationship. It can lead to more resentment and bitterness, which will only make things worse.
In fact, it’s probably best if you don’t talk to your partner at all during this time. If there are things you need to say, write them down and send them in a letter or email. This will help avoid any potential arguments.
5. Don’t use the break as a way to end your relationship.
Taking a break from your relationship is not the same as breaking up with your partner. If you’re not sure if you want to be with your partner, it’s best to talk to them about your feelings and see where things go from there.
Breaking up is a very serious decision and should not be taken lightly. It’s not fair to your partner to end things without telling them upfront. You definitely should have a break-up conversation if you know for sure that you want to end the relationship.
Do’s of taking a break in a relationship
It can be tough to know what to do when things feel off between you and your partner – sometimes, the best answer is taking a break. Here are some tips on how to make the most of that time apart.
1. Make a plan before taking a break
Before you take a break, it’s important to sit down and make a plan. This includes setting a definitive time frame, what you’ll both do during that time, and how you’ll communicate. It’s important that both of you have exact clarity of what’s going on; otherwise, the break could wind up causing more confusion than clarity.
Decide if you’ll be talking or texting, if there are any rules about seeing other people, and how often you’ll check in with each other. This will help keep things as smooth as possible during your time apart.
7. Set a date for a conversation
Once the break is over, it’s important to sit down and talk. This conversation should cover how things went during the break, what each person learned, and what you both want moving forward.
It’s essential that you’re both on the same page and have the same expectations for the future – otherwise, you might find yourself back in the same situation. Having this conversation can help prevent that from happening.
2. Take your time for reflection
Use this time to reflect on your relationship. What’s been going well, and what could use some improvement? Are there any issues you’ve been ignoring that need to be addressed?
It can be helpful to do some soul-searching during a break. This way, you’ll have a better idea of what you want when you get back together. If you’re not sure where to start, consider talking to a therapist or relationship counselor about your relationship.
3. Do things that make you happy
This is your time to focus on yourself. Make sure you’re doing things that make you happy, both physically and emotionally. Catch up on your reading, take a dance class, or go for walks in the park.
Remember that you’re an individual, and you need to take care of yourself – even if you’re in a relationship. Indulging in your favorite activities can help you feel more centered and balanced.
4. Don’t contact each other unnecessarily
During a break, it’s important to minimize contact as much as possible. This means not reaching out unless it’s absolutely necessary. If you’re constantly texting or calling each other, it will only make things harder.
Save important conversations for when you’re actually together, and try to keep things light and casual in your messages. This will help make the separation a little less painful.
5. Remember why you’re taking a break
When things get tough, it can be easy to forget why you took a break in the first place. But if you want things to work out when you get back together, it’s important to remember the reasons why you decided to take a break in the first place.
Are there things your partner does that drive you crazy? Do you feel like you’re constantly fighting? If so, those are probably some of the reasons why you decided to take a break. Use that time to reflect on those issues and see if there’s a way to address them before getting back together.
6. Don’t rush things
Don’t try to speed up the process by rushing back into things. If you’re not ready, it’s not going to work. The break is meant to help you figure out what you want and need.
If you get back together too soon, your relationship might evolve into an on-off relationship. So, take your time and make sure you’re both ready to make a decision.
7. Don’t be afraid to end things for good
If things still aren’t right after taking a break, it might be time to call it quits. This is a hard decision, but if you can’t seem to make things work, it might be time to move on.
Talk to your partner about your feelings and see if there’s a way to end things on amicable terms. That way, you can both move on and find someone who is a better fit for you.
Taking a break from your relationship can be a difficult decision, but if it’s what you think is best, then go for it. During that time, focus on yourself and doing things that make you happy.
When you’re ready, talk with your partner about where you see things moving forward. Either you see how much you miss them and want to continue your relationship, or you need to figure out how to end your relationship.
Secrets to a healthy relationship: Books every couple should read
It's no secret that a healthy relationship is key in a long-lasting and fulfilling relationship. This list of books about healthy relationships will help you learn how to communicate better, resolve conflict, and deepen your connection. From classic self-help books to more modern reads, these titles will give you the tools you need to build a strong and healthy relationship.
- Boundaries in Dating: How Healthy Choices Grow Healthy Relationships
- Love in Every Season: Understanding the Four Stages of Every Healthy Relationship
- Love More, Fight Less: Communication Skills Every Couple Needs: A Relationship Workbook for Couples
- Infidelity Recovery Workbook for Couples: Tools and Exercises to Rebuild Your Relationship
- Healthy Me, Healthy Us: Your Relationships Are Only as Strong as You Are