This post was updated on Nov 28, 2022
Taking a break may be an effective way to deal with trust issues, constant arguing, boredom, intimacy problems, or any other challenges in a relationship. It can give you some time to work on yourself or consider certain issues in your relationship with some distance.
However, the question of whether taking a break can truly benefit you and your partner greatly depends on your specific situation. In some cases, a break can be one of the ways to keep your relationship strong and healthy. In others, it’s the beginning of the end.
So, whether you want to take a break to see if you can move past infidelity or determine whether you see a future with your partner, you and your partner need to set certain rules for your break. If you truly want your relationship to work, discussing the nature of your relationship break is essential for setting the basis for becoming a stronger, healthier couple.
Do Breaks In Relationships Work?
If one of the partners wants a break, the other is often left wondering if this is the end for their relationship. Unfortunately, for a great number of couples, it often is because they either don’t discuss the reasons behind this honestly or fail to handle the circumstances of their break in a constructive way. Of course, some couples grow apart or simply realize that they are not meant for each other.
So, what should you do if you need a break, but truly want to make it work because you believe it will benefit you and your partner?
5 Tips For Handing A Relationship Break
Here are a few suggestions that can help you out.
- First, consider the reason for a break. If you’re the one who wants a break, ask yourself why you need this. Consider how this can benefit you in your relationship and whether it’s an opportunity for self-growth rather than a way to break up without breaking up. If you truly feel that a break can be good for you, you should discuss it with your partner.
- Bring it up properly. Don’t just spring this on your partner in the middle of a fight and then leave. Pick a time to discuss this and explain your reasons. Also, make sure to listen to what your partner has to say about this. Open communication is crucial for a healthy relationship, especially in a situation like this one.
- Set up certain boundaries. Taking a break doesn’t mean simply leaving and calling your partner when you feel like it. Instead, you need to have some rules regarding your communication, the purpose of the break, dating other people, etc. Without this important step, a break can really harm your relationship.
- Stay in touch. If you agree to talk to each other, make sure you do. Of course, you should still acknowledge that you’re on a break, so don’t keep calling your partner as if nothing happened. Set the boundaries you both agree to in regards to communication during the break.
- Consider possible alternatives. For some couples, a break may not be the best solution. In fact, sometimes this step only contributes to deepening the gap in your relationship. So, consider an alternative solution such as signing up for an intensive couple relationship management workshop that will enable you to really work on your problems.
Is A Break Healthy In A Relationship?
So, if you take these steps, does it mean that a break can truly benefit your relationship? In some situations, taking a break can be a great idea. A break can be a healthy way to deal with the following issues:
- Commitment: If you need some time to think before making a long-term commitment, a break can give you an opportunity to truly evaluate your relationship and determine if you want to spend your life with your partner.
- Infidelity: If your partner has cheated on you, take some time to decide whether you can forgive them and if you want to save your relationship. For most people, this is a major problem, so if you’re one of them, a break can help you make a decision. And, it can help you work through some of the feelings on your own.
- Constant arguing. In certain situations, a break can help couples who are constantly fighting, enabling them to calm down and then come back together to really want to understand each other. However, it’s generally not advisable to take a break after one big fight. Instead, try to work through the issues.
When You Shouldn’t Take A Break
However, there are situations in which taking a break from your relationship is definitely not a good idea. These include:
If a break is just an excuse to see other people, it certainly won’t benefit your relationship. In fact, it will just cause you to resent each other and result in many other problems in your relationship.
If one of the partners wants to take a break simply to win an argument or scare their partner into doing what they want, they may be doing this solely to manipulate them. Of course, you may not want to do this on purpose, but in these situations, partners often break up.
If you think your problems can be resolved in some other way, don’t take a break. Oftentimes, communication and coaching can benefit partners far more than distance. For instance, you and your partner can look into private couple retreats for reconnection and try to resolve your problems together.
Can Time Apart Strengthen A Relationship?
Spending some time apart can help you build a strong, healthy relationship provided that you take a break for a good reason and take steps to make sure it works. Here’s how a break can deepen and strengthen your relationship:
- It can enable you to work on yourself. This is one of the most important reasons for taking a break, especially if you feel that you’ve been focusing on your partner and relationship while neglecting yourself. You can work on your goals and needs or resolve personal issues that might be sabotaging your relationship.
- It can help you determine your priorities. Use the time to consider what truly matters in your life. If you’re not certain about your relationship, you can consider whether something else might be more important in your life at the moment.
- It can help you realize you truly love your partner. Whether you’ve been wondering whether you’re with the right person or aren’t certain you really love your partner or are simply infatuated, a break can help you put things into perspective.
- It can help you freshen up your relationship. If you’re in a long-term relationship and feel like you’ve been stuck in a rut, you can take a break to bring in some novelty. You and your partner can try out some new things and think of ways how to bring excitement back into your life.
- It gives you time to reconnect with others. If you’ve neglected your friends and family because you’ve been focusing solely on your partner, you may end up resenting them for it. Taking a break can enable you to spend some time working on other relationships in your life.
Does A Break Mean You’re Single?
Many couples consider a break to be a free pass for seeing other people. However, this can only harm a relationship and even cause a couple to break up. A break isn’t the same as a break-up unless one of the partners really wants to break up.
In general, you and your partner should discuss whether you are allowed to see other people during your break. However, even if both of you agree to this, you should consider whether this can benefit your relationship.
In most cases, this may lead to resentment, jealousy, and trust issues, especially if one of you wanted a break just to be with someone they are interested in. You should avoid dating other people and focus on improving your relationship. If you feel that you want to date other people, this is generally a sign that you should break up.
How Long Should A Break In A Relationship Last?
It’s important that you and your partner set a deadline for a break. You shouldn’t let your break drag on for several months. Instead, determine when you will meet to discuss your relationship. For instance, you can spend a week or two apart and then see whether you need some more time apart. If you don’t do this, none of you will feel comfortable asking the other person if you can be together once again.
Join A Couple Relationship Management Workshop & Avoid The Pitfalls Of Relationship Breaks
Although a break can help your relationship in certain situations, the truth is that it more often leads to a break-up. If you believe that you’re with the right person and want to work through your problems, joining couples’ coaching can offer numerous benefits to you and your partner.
Therefore, consider turning to our PIVOT Advocates who will provide you with the support and assistance needed to face your relationship problems rather than run away from them. If you believe that you’re taking a break for all the wrong reasons, you and your partner can work actively on resolving your issues through intensive workshops at our personalized couples intensives.
Additionally, we also enable you to join the individual coaching based on the PIVOT process that will help you address your personal issues or behaviors that have been sabotaging your relationship. Change is possible with us, so let’s make it together!