A break in a relationship often leads to a breakup. But it’s not always the case. If taken for the right reasons, a break can breathe fresh air into a dying relationship and give both partners a much-needed perspective.
Here are 3 reasons why taking a break could be a smart choice to make:
1. If you are feeling overwhelmed in the relationship, you need a break.
A lot of times, you just feel overwhelmed in a relationship. It could be because you are both fighting and arguing too much. Or it may be because of some unresolved issue in the relationship.
If you or your partner are feeling overwhelmed to the point where neither of you can go about your daily activities, it’s time to take a break.
A break can be a perfect excuse to take some space from each other without making the decision to breakup. When you decide to take a break, you make a commitment to each other to not date someone else and just take the time to think and get some perspective.
In most cases, you are feeling overwhelmed in your relationship because of fighting, constant arguing or inability to come to an agreement.
Taking a break will not help unless you find a way to address these issues first. And you can do that by figuring out the underlying cause of the issue.
For example, if you are fighting and constantly arguing, it could be that one or both of you may be insecure or lack proper communication skills. If that’s the case, it will help to work on your communication skills while you are taking a break.
One of my favorite books to learn proper communications is Non-Violent Communications by Marshall B. Rosenberg.
The book can be effectively applied at all levels of communication and in diverse situations: intimate relationships, families, schools, organizations and institutions, therapy and counseling, diplomatic and business negotiations, disputes and conflicts of any nature. – Marshall B. Rosenberg (Non-Violent Communication)
In addition to working on your communication skills, you should also figure out the root cause of insecurity that’s leading to these arguments and fights. Ask yourself:
Is it a personal problem or a relationship problem?
For example, if your partner has been completely honest and loyal to you from the starting and you still get jealous every time s/he speaks to another man/woman, then your insecurity and jealousy issue is most likely a personal problem. You developed these jealousy tendencies either from an experience or some childhood issues. If that’s the case, you should use this time to work on yourself.
On the other hand, suppose you were loyal and trusted your partner completely until one day you found a sexually explicit message on his/her phone from another person. You talked about it and forgave him. But you could never trust him again. If this is the case, then you should seriously consider ending the relationship unless you figure out a solution for this insecurity or jealousy. If your partner does not want to work on rebuilding the trust, there is no way this relationship can work.
If you were feeling overwhelmed because both of you couldn’t reach an agreement on an issue, then you can use this break to think things through and figure out how important that issue is to you.
Serious disagreements such as religion, politics, values and career choice usually lead to a breakup. Whereas minor disagreements such as time management can be resolved with proper communication and understanding.
2. If one of you cheated, taking a break can be a smart choice.
Infidelity is usually a deal breaker for most people. But in some cases, you have invested far too much in a relationship to just walk away because of one mistake. If your partner cheated, and you are having a difficult time letting them go, it’s time to ask for a break.
When you ask them for a break, you won’t get too much resistance from your partner. They won’t try too hard to convince you take them back because you are not really breaking up with them. You are just asking for time and space so you can get your thoughts together.
When you decide to take a break from your partner because of this reason, you should make a few things clear to them.
- It doesn’t necessarily mean you are getting back with them.
- You are only doing this so you can process this and decide what’s the best decision for you (and your children if you have any).
- That you will only be getting back with them if you are sure you can trust them again.
- Set a rough timeline for the break but don’t commit to the deadline. Let them know that you will take more time if needed.
3. If you are having doubts about commitment, try taking a break.
A lot of times, people end up in a relationship they are not really sure about. Before you know it, your partner expects you to get married and have children.
Since you have invested so much time in this relationship, you don’t really want to end the relationship. But a part of you doesn’t want to commit either. A part of you thinks that there is something better out there for you. A part of you thinks that your partner is not “The one”.
Fear not, the mysterious powers of a break are here to save you. If you are not really sure about committing to your partner, it’s time to ask them for a break. A break is a perfect way to find out if you are just getting cold feet or if your partner isn’t right for you.
Beware though, before you tell your partner you want to take a break, be prepared for the worst. If your partner did not know about your doubts, you wanting to take a break will come as a surprise to them and it will most likely make them question their commitment as well.
“If s/he is not so sure about this relationship, then why am I?”
You should expect a lot of pain and emotions when you break the news to them. But, in my opinion, it will be worth it. If your partner isn’t right for you, it’s better you find out now rather than years later.
And if they are right for you, you will eventually figure it out and be ready for commitment.
If you decide to take a break because of this reason, you should keep these things in mind:
- Tell them that you care about them, and this is not a breakup. That you are doing this to make sure a commitment is the right step for you.
- Set clear boundaries about dating others during this break. If you want to go on dates, be honest. If not, be honest.
- Set a clear time line for the break to end. You are doing this with someone you love. It’ll be cruel to keep them hanging indefinitely. It’s best to set a clear timeline before you take the break. If you are still not sure by the end of the timeline, it’s best to just breakup with them and let them go.
The Bottom Line
A break can be a smart choice if you are in a tough situation in your relationship. It gives you time and perspective you need to make the right decision.
But when you take a break, you should be clear with yourself and your partner about your reasons to take it. You should discuss the details of the break clearly and set a clear time line.
If at the end of the break, you feel you need more time, let your partner know about it as they may be waiting for you to reach out.
If you have decided to take a break, you should commit to it. Don’t go back to your partner just because you miss them. Make sure you have resolved the issue that caused you to take a break before you end it.