How to Understand Taking a Break in a Relationship: When and How
In This Article
Can absence make the heart grow fonder? Yes, it can!
A healthy relationship needs a certain distance to keep the excitement and spontaneity going.
Often, when we hear the term taking a break in a relationship, it sounds negative and sad, but that’s not entirely true.
Taking a break from a relationship is a whole different ball game. It’s not like the couple separating for work or school. It is about a deliberate decision to stay away from each other and re-evaluate their relationship and lives.
Taking a break does not entail a complete separation between the couples but a temporary break to evaluate where you and your partner stand in the relationship.
It sounds like a foolish thing to do, but remember, not all relationships are healthy and blooming; there are suffocating and toxic partners too. Let’s dig in deeper and find out the essential aspects of taking a break.
What does taking a break mean in a relationship?
What is a break in a relationship, and why do you need to have relationship break rules?
When we say taking a break in a relationship, it means that you and your partner both agree to take a break or pause your relationship. It’s usually decided to prevent breaking up with each other permanently.
Sounds confusing? Here’s the deal. It’s not exactly a breakup, but you’re on the edge of trying to fix it or deciding to move on after trying to work to make it better.
You may have felt that taking a break from a relationship is essential so you can find yourself.
Some couples decide to take a break from their relationship because of too many responsibilities. Some people want to prioritize their goals first, or they no longer think it’s working, and so much more. And others want to see if they are meant for each other.
Break in a relationship rules aims to make the break in the relationship as smooth as possible.
Taking a break in a relationship rules are not set in stone. They are flexible depending on why you need to separate in the first place. A cool-off period is already like walking on thin ice, but one rule is thinner than others. It is when you are allowed to see other people.
Other than that, look at your objectives as a couple. What specific issue are you trying to resolve? Taking a break but still talking is possible if it aligns with your goals.
If the couple lives together, it may be necessary for one partner to move out. It’s useless to take a break in a relationship while still seeing each other every day. Cool off couples needs their space, and it’s not just emotional space theoretically, but also literal physical freedom too.
Remember, ground rules for taking a break in a relationship are critical.
Does taking breaks in relationships work?
May will ask, ‘Does taking a break from a relationship work?’
There is no definite answer because every couple and every relationship is different. That is why before taking a break relationship advice should be followed.
We don’t want to dive into something we’re unsure of.
Not all the time, both partners or lovers would agree on taking a break in a relationship. That is why communication is needed to ensure understanding.
The couple needs to talk about the reason, the goal, and of course, the rules of a relationship break – then there is a chance that they will fix their marriage or partnership.
Think of it as your time to reflect, rebalance, and rethink your relationship.
The space and the time you will spend apart will help you both.
Sometimes, no matter how much you love one another, you get tired of being with each other. It doesn’t mean you no longer have feelings. It’s just the phase where you aren’t getting along and need space. This is where taking a break in your relationship can help.
Are breaks in a relationship healthy? It could if you remember the following:
1. Do it for the right reasons
Don’t request taking a break in a relationship if you’re falling for someone else or falling out of love and want to end everything. Do it because there are things that you can only face when you’re apart.
2. Be open to communicating
You can’t promise to be back after a specific time and continue being a couple. That won’t work. Learning how to deal with taking a break in a relationship requires communication. You have to agree on the goals you want to achieve and the timeframe.
3. Set clear rules for a break in a relationship
There are rules if you want to start taking a break in a relationship and come back as a better spouse. You can still talk to each other or message each other. You can also agree to have weekly or monthly dates.
Taking a break in your relationship will work best if both realize their shortcomings, their needs, and the value of each other. Make sure that the rules are clear. This will avoid further misunderstandings and assumptions.
Is it normal to take a break in a long-term relationship?
You’ve been together for a long time, so it was a surprise when you found out that your partner has been thinking of taking a break in a relationship.
Why does this happen? You might think that just because you’ve known each other that long, you will no longer face challenges in your relationship.
In some relationships, it’s still possible to face the urge to take a break from your long-term relationship.
A break does not mean that you don’t want to save your relationship. It’s just that maybe, you’ve been feeling unsatisfied for a long time now, or you feel that you’re not growing together.
Never use taking a break as a slow breaking up plan. If you feel unhappy or need space to find yourself, clear things out first.
Discuss how long a relationship break should be and what the rules to follow are.
Related Reading: 20 Keys to a Successful Long Term Relationship?
Rules for taking breaks in a relationship
Ground rules are essential if you want to how to deal with taking a break in a relationship. So, what are the things to remember while listing out ‘how to take a break from a relationship’ rules?
Here is a list of specific points for discussion to remember.
Don’t lie to yourself or set false expectations.
Be honest with your feelings or the lack of them. Taking a break in a relationship is a work in progress, so if you don’t want to do it or plan to end the relationship, don’t give false hope.
There are properties, vehicles, and income jointly owned by the couple.
Assuming they are not the cause of the separation, they will become a problem if it’s not discussed who owns them during that time.
If there is no time limit, they might as well separate for good because it is essentially the same.
Most couples often neglect to discuss the time constraints for the cool-off period. This is where some of the rules get broken. Around one to two months is enough to evaluate your goals and find yourself. In those weeks, you can work on your goals and find yourself if you need to.
A certain level of communication blackout is necessary, but there should also be a back door in case of emergencies.
The goal of taking a break from a relationship is to have space and assess the relationship without your partner influencing your thoughts and feelings.
For example, if their child is sick and needs both parents’ resources for medical attention, a mechanism should be in place to “break the break” in the relationship.
Taking a break involves privacy.
This is a private matter, especially for cohabiting married couples. They should also discuss the official press release. Will they keep it a secret that they are on a break or is it ok to tell others that they are temporarily separated?
Symbols of the relationship, such as wedding rings, are discussed to prevent animosity later. This is helpful when the couple decides to talk about their relationship if they are willing to continue living together or permanently breaking up.
Related Reading: How Much Privacy in a Relationship Is Acceptable?
Taking a break typically does not include sex outside the relationship.
Couples discuss it in vague terms such as “seeing someone else” or simply “others.” Such terminologies are clearly misleading like why the couple needs to take a break from each other in the first place.
Taking a break in a relationship doesn’t excuse you from your responsibilities.
Don’t stop with your responsibilities if you have kids or have bills to pay. Remember that taking a break doesn’t mean you can stop being the breadwinner or the father to your kids.
Related Reading: Why Is Accepting Responsibilities in a Relationship Important?
8. Value your time
You did it; you’re on a break. Now what?
Don’t forget that you’ve talked about the goals you will achieve this time apart. Don’t start going out and partying. Don’t waste the time you have given to yourself.
There is no straightforward definition of a break in a relationship. The rules and goals you set define what it means for you and your partner. Make sure the rules are in line with those goals.
If you want to take a break from each other without a clear-cut reason, then take a short vacation.
There is no need to break up unless one of you is already committing to infidelity.
When and why you should take breaks in relationships
When a couple goes through a hard time but still loves each other, taking a break in the relationship is one of the best solutions.
The question is, when is it advisable to take a break and when it isn’t?
When is it a good idea to take a break from your relationship?
1. If you always have big fights
Do you feel like you find ways to disagree and fight with each other every day? Has it become too frequent that you feel drained out?
Getting the needed break from each other might help you calm down and understand each other. It may give you time to learn how to fight fairly with each other.
2. If you have doubts about your relationship
In any relationship, commitment is necessary. If you’re not sure if you can commit or not, you might need to reassess yourself.
The break may help you get your thoughts and feelings into perspective. You might realize how much you love and value your partner while you’re away from each other.
3. If infidelity is involved
Cheating, whether it’s sexual or emotional, it’s still a major sin in a relationship. It’s true, sometimes, it’s hard to let go, but it’s not that easy to forget either.
Taking a break from a relationship to find forgiveness is essential.
Watch this video to learn more about why people end up cheating despite being happy in their relationships:
4. If you’ve felt that you are no longer happy in your relationship
A break from your relationship is what you need if you feel dull and unsatisfied with your partnership or marriage. You may need time to realize how much you love each other. If not, then make everything clear and move on.
5. If you want to find yourself
Sometimes, you don’t know where you stand and what you want. You’re confused and lost.
Taking a break in your relationship might allow the both of you to reassess your attitude. Sometimes, we need to evaluate and focus on ourselves before focusing on another person.
When is it a bad idea to take a break in your relationship?
There are some instances when taking a break can be a futile or selfish step. If you end up taking a break at these moments, it could permanently damage things between the two of you, or the break would be denying the harsh truth about your relationship.
1. If you want to flirt with someone new
Some might think that a break is a great excuse to sleep with someone else – it’s not. Don’t do this to your partner. Let go if you can’t be faithful or want to indulge in flirting with others.
2. If you want to hurt your partner and get the upper hand
Taking a break in your relationship to prove something isn’t worth it. If manipulation is the only reason you want to take a break, then maybe you need to reassess your priorities.
3. If you want to end the relationship
If you are just afraid, to be honest, or hurting your partner, please don’t use having a break if you want to end the relationship.
No one deserves to hope for something that isn’t there. You are just delaying the pain.
4. If you’re just tired of your responsibilities
Some may think that taking a break from their marriage can give them a ticket to be free from their responsibilities. The responsibility that you have to your spouse and kids are still there.
5. If trust is not there
Trust is one of the fundamentals of a fruitful marriage. Without it, your partnership won’t flourish. Don’t take a break if you no longer trust each other. It won’t help and it won’t work.
How to take a break in relationships
A cool-off period or a relationship break only works if the couple stays as a couple.
Both need to follow the steps when taking a break from their relationship. This may differ from each relationship but all of them would tackle the following:
- Talk about the reason why you need a break
- Pick a date or set a time frame
- Set the rules and stick to them
- Set the boundaries and remember them
- Evaluate why you’re taking a break again
If one party insists that sex with other people is part of the deal, they are looking to find an infidelity loophole and already have a plan or person in mind.
It’s a story of wanting to have their cake and eat it too. If that is the case, then the person who wants (or already) to allow sexual relations with other people while staying together still sees value in keeping the relationship.
Otherwise, they would ask for a divorce and be done with it.
On the other hand, what is the point of forcing someone to stay in a relationship when they desire someone or something else? If there are children and both partners still see the value in the relationship, then it might be worth it to keep trying.
All couples go through a rough patch and taking a break in a relationship is one way of getting over that hurdle. But it is a powerful solution that may further drag the couple apart.
Since a break in a relationship is considered trial separation, try to separate your assets and responsibility amicably. If you do end up living separate lives, saving money on divorce lawyer fees will help once both of you live apart.
Once the time limit has expired for the break and one or both partners are still not comfortable staying together, it may be necessary to permanently break up. There is no point in holding each other down in such instances.
How long should a relationship break last
A week to a month is enough time, depending on what you’ve talked about. If you want to cool off, around two weeks would be great.
If you need to do some soul searching, maybe a few weeks to a month would do. Remember that more than six months is not a break. It’s already breaking up.
Again, this would go back to your rules. Before agreeing to it, make sure you have thought about everything.
While considering taking a break in a relationship rules, it is crucial to understand that the rules themselves are the key. If they are not going to be followed, there’s no point in continuing further.
It is a temporary measure and hopefully a solution to your relationship problems.
However, if the temporary breakup is more beneficial for the couple than staying together, it’s a sign that they should separate permanently while still having a civil relationship.
If the break gives the couple more productive lives, then parting ways solves their problems. Hopefully, that is not the case.
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