5 Rules For Taking A Break In A Relationship – And Why They Work

Written by Harini Natarajan

When we hear the phrase “We were on a break,” most of us immediately think of Rachel and Ross from Friends. They decided to take a small break, but their entire relationship unraveled after it. However, it is unfair to blame the break. The reason for their relationship’s failure was because each one of them had a different idea of what exactly taking a break meant. This is precisely why it is extremely important to have a clear understanding of what “taking a break” means for you and your partner, and the five unspoken relationship rules for taking a break.

What Exactly Is “Taking a Break”?

In general, taking a break means you and your significant other have decided to take some time off from your relationship and each other but haven’t officially broken up. Taking a temporary break enables both of you to reassess your feelings for each other, reflect on the state of your relationship, and decide to either resolve the issues or give up for good. Though the terms of a break may differ from one couple to another, the general rule is that the partners won’t communicate for a while, while at the same time working on the relationship and themselves.

When Should A Couple Decide To Take A Break?

Most couples decide to take a break from each other because they are facing difficulties, challenges, or doubts in the relationship. However, they don’t want to break up for good just yet. They still care about one another deeply but just can’t seem to stop arguing and fighting over everything. They may also start feeling unsure about their true feelings for their partner and whether they truly see a future with them. Taking some time off can help you get the space you require to re-evaluate your needs and decide on what’s the best course of action for you and your partner.

If you feel that you need to take a break in your relationship, here’s the right way to go about it. Make sure you follow these five rules for taking a break:

1. Discuss Your Decision Of Taking A Break In Person

Since taking a break involves both the people in that relationship, the conversation regarding this should involve both parties as well. It is the respectful thing to do. In case you are in a long-distance relationship, you can video call your partner instead of simply texting them your decision. Sitting face-to-face allows you to read each other’s body language and signals and lets you get a better understanding of whether the feelings are still there or not.

2. Have A Clear Idea Of Why You Need A Break

Take some “me” time and do some serious soul-searching. Why do you need the break? Do you feel like your relationship is getting boring over time? Are you moving on to a new stage in your life? Are you moving away for work or college? The point is to realize whether or not your issue is a deal-breaker. There are some issues that just can’t be resolved – like your partner not wanting children and you wanting to have a family. If the issue is unresolvable, taking a break is just delaying the inevitable. It is best to break up and prevent further heartache.

3. Set The Ground Rules

Be as clear and assertive as possible. Inform them of the reason you want to take a break, whether you will stay in touch, and whether you will date others during this time apart. It often gets complicated if you live together – so discuss how you both will handle it. If you share things like a house, car, or a pet with your partner, you will probably not be able to take a true break. However, you both will need to remove the co-dependencies you both have on one another as much as you can for the duration of the break.

4. Make The Break Count

While on the break, take some “me” time to learn more about yourself. How are you doing as a person out of the relationship? Pick up new hobbies or try old ones you haven’t been focusing on as frequently. Go and visit your family and friends, and sometimes, truly let yourself feel lonely. You need to be comfortable being alone with yourself – because loneliness is not the reason to be a part of a relationship. Also, find out whether the problems in the relationship can be fixed by taking a break, or if the best thing to do is part ways and move on alone. If you feel you are happier alone than you were together, it is time to cut ties.

5. Don’t Set A Definitive Time Frame

If you are trying to make sense of the relationship while you are on a break, it is unwise to set a time frame. This will lead to more anger and frustration as one partner may just bide the time and want to get back together the moment it ends while the other may not be sure about reconciling yet.  Also, they may get angry at the other for requesting more time to decide. The break is to find yourself, and this process cannot be rushed. If you are not ready, you shouldn’t jump back in just because the “three-month break” is over. Take your time, and make a decision that is best for your mental well-being.

Is Taking A Break Right For Your Relationship?

If you are wondering if your relationship needs a break, it is important to sit down with your partner and communicate honestly and openly about it. You need to jointly determine this is the best thing for you both at this time. Don’t lose hope – taking a break doesn’t always mean parting ways forever. Most couples get back together once they have worked on themselves, their issues, and their relationship. Also, they realize what life without the other is really like. Absence often makes the heart grow fonder. And if it doesn’t, maybe you are better off alone! The idea of taking a break is to work towards a healthy relationship in which both partners feel loved, cherished, and fulfilled.

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As Chief Editor, Harini sets the tone and editorial direction for StyleCraze to deliver engaging, interesting, and authentic content revolving around women's health, wellness, and beauty. She has over 14 years of experience in content writing and editing for online media. She specializes in the areas of Beauty, Lifestyle, and Health & Wellness and is proficient in Medical Sciences (Biology, Human Anatomy and Physiology, and Biochemistry). Her background in Biomedical Engineering helps her decode and interpret the finer nuances of scientific research for her team. Harini is a certified bibliophile and a closet poet. She also loves dancing and traveling to offbeat destinations.