The Ultimate Guide to Relationship Breaks

Relationship Breaks blog cover

If you know your relationship isn’t working, but you still love each other, you might consider taking a relationship break. But what does that mean, exactly? And is it the right thing to do?

Firstly, let’s define what a relationship break actually is. A relationship break is a period of time when a relationship is paused. This ‘pause’ can have different meanings. It could indicate that you stop living together or that you’re communicating less. It could also mean that you have the option to date other people. It’s important to have an open and honest conversation. For breaks to work, you need to set the ground rules from the beginning so you both know where you stand.

Here’s a look at what taking a break from your relationship entails and whether or not it might be the best option for you.

How to know when your relationship needs a break

A relationship break can be a good option if one or both parties aren’t happy with the current dynamic of your relationship and you’re both open to the idea of working things out after spending time apart.

Couple arguing

For a break to make sense, you both need to potentially be willing to put time and effort into the relationship to save it. If you’re taking a break, it means that the relationship probably isn’t going to fix itself. If your issues arose from specific external circumstances that have changed, that’s an exception.

Even if you love each other and want to be together, sometimes people have issues that they need to work through alone. And that’s ok. A relationship break can give people the space to do that.

If you aren’t open to the idea of open communication, making conscious changes, and compromising, then a breakup might make more sense. At the point of taking a break, you’ll ideally have already tried working through your issues to some extent. But you won’t have been able to get to where you want to be as a couple.

Benefits of relationship breaks

Let’s now take a look at the benefits of taking a break in a relationship.

1. You have space to miss each other. Taking a break can be helpful because it gives you space to miss each other. It can be easy to get stuck in a rut and take things for granted. Having time apart can encourage you to appreciate the traits you love in each other.

2. You can gain clarity of thought. Taking a break can also be beneficial because it can help both parties to gain clarity. When you’re in a relationship that isn’t going well, it can be a stressful situation. Taking space can help you both see things more objectively. A relationship break can be beneficial for both parties. It provides time to evaluate and reflect on what is working in the relationship and what isn’t.

3. You can work on yourselves. Taking a break gives you time to work on yourself. This means that you’ll have a better chance of making the relationship work if you do choose to go down that route. For example, you might have always been a little jealous. If you use your time apart to work through this, you’ll be able to be a better partner. If your partner works on themselves, too, it can bring a new dynamic to the relationship that could help you both be happier in the long run.

4. You can discover new passions. Taking a break from your relationship can also be a great opportunity to explore different passions and hobbies. When you go on a break, you have more time to pursue your own interests, which can help you become a more interesting and fulfilled person in general. Trying something new can make you feel alive and excited. It can also be a great way to boost your confidence.

5. You can cultivate other relationships. Taking a break can also help you to cultivate other relationships, such as with family, friends, or professional contacts. This is because your partner often fulfills a lot of your needs for human connection when you’re in a relationship. Taking a break can encourage you to strengthen your relationships with other people.

The key to a successful relationship break is to spend that time wisely. Sure, let yourself feel whatever it is you need to feel. But make sure you use this time to work on yourself, reflect, and focus on what you need to do in order to make the relationship work if that is what you ultimately choose.

How relationship breaks play out

So, will you get back together after your relationship break? Maybe. Maybe not. The purpose of a relationship break isn’t to get back together. Instead, it’s about taking time to reflect and decide how to best move forward.

As discussed above, there are a number of benefits to taking a break in a relationship. However, it’s important to note that not every relationship break will result in the couple getting back together.

Relationship breaks aren’t something to be taken lightly, and they’re not without risks. You should appreciate that if you suggest a relationship break, you might not get back together. This is why it’s important to try to work through your issues or doubts before suggesting a break.

The time apart may cause you to become more distant from each other. It might give one or both of you the clarity to realize that the relationship isn’t right. In addition, relationship breaks can cause hurt and resentment. One person may feel like their partner is giving up on them and the relationship. These are all points to bear in mind.

The outcome of a relationship break is never certain at the point of taking a break. The best thing you can do is use the time wisely and trust the process.

How to navigate a relationship break

It’s important to sit down and talk about what needs to happen in order to make it work. You need to make sure you have a clear and honest conversation about what’s not working and why you feel like a break is necessary. This conversation can be uncomfortable, but it’s important that you’re both equipped with that information during your time apart.

Then, set expectations for the break. This is also very important because it can help avoid any confusion or misunderstandings. Some common expectations to discuss include whether you’ll date other people, the frequency of communication, and when you next want to discuss the future of your relationship.

Relationship break FAQs

Relationship breaks aren’t always simple. So here are some relationship break FAQs.

How long should a relationship break last?

The length of your relationship break is up to you and your partner, so there is no definite answer. It could be anything from a few days to several months or even longer. Every situation is different, and what works for one may not work for another. However, there are a few general guidelines that can be useful in determining the length of a break.

How long the relationship break should last generally depends on the reason for the break. If it’s simply a matter of taking some time apart to reset and recharge, then a brief break may be all that is needed.

However, if there are serious issues that need to be addressed, such as infidelity or trust issues, then a longer break may be necessary in order to allow for healing and rebuilding. Similarly, if someone has deep-seated issues they need to work on, they may need a longer break in order to process those issues and come back with a better understanding of themselves.

The reality is that you won’t always know how long it will take to resolve the issues that led to the break in the first place. However, it’s important to communicate with your partner about your expectations regarding the break so there is no confusion or miscommunication.

Even though it might not always be clear how much time will be needed, some couples may prefer to set a specific timeframe to aim for. Others might prefer to see how it goes. Either strategy is fine, but you just need to make sure you’re on the same page.

How often should you communicate during a break?

The frequency of communication during a break is completely up to you and your partner. That said, it’s important to both be honest and realistic about what you expect in terms of communication during that time.

If one person wants to talk every day, while the other prefers only weekly communication, it’s important to discuss these expectations and come up with a compromise that works for both of you.

Other couples might prefer to communicate once very rarely, such as when they have made a decision about the future of the relationship. This can be beneficial in some ways, but it can come with its challenges, too. There’s no right or wrong.

What do I need to consider before taking a relationship break?

Taking a break from a relationship can be a difficult decision, and it’s important to consider all your options before making the final call. It’s important to recognize that a break isn’t necessarily a sign of failure or the end of the relationship. It can be an important step in helping to get things back on track.

However, you should also think carefully about the potential consequences of a break and appreciate that it may push you further apart.

Before taking a break, it’s important to be clear about the purpose of the break and how it will help. Ultimately, you need to make sure that it is possible to work through the issues you’re facing as a couple.

For example, if you are arguing about topics that you both feel strongly about and aren’t willing to compromise on, then a break probably won’t make a huge difference.

It’s also important to realize that expectations set at the beginning of the break may change as you progress. If this happens, you should communicate with your partner and adjust accordingly.

How is a relationship break different from a breakup?

Deciding to take a break is different from a breakup because it means that you are both potentially open to working things out. It doesn’t mean that both of you will definitely decide to try to save the relationship.

But at the time of taking a break, it means that you are both open to the idea of putting in the effort to salvage the relationship if you agree that it’s the right route to take.

Relationship breaks are appropriate when one or both of you feel uncertain about the future of your relationship but want to save it if you think it’s possible. However, relationship breakups are more suitable when one or both of you are sure that you want the relationship to end.

Should you take a break if you are no longer attracted to your partner?

It’s normal for attraction levels to fluctuate to some extent during a relationship, depending on the dynamics between the two of you and general life circumstances. If you’ve been working overtime all week and you’re exhausted, you probably won’t want to rip your partner’s clothes off 24/7.

A break can help build attraction again, particularly if both of you take the time to focus on yourselves. But realistically, it can be hard to come back from a situation where you are feeling absolutely zero attraction to your partner, so you should bear that in mind.

In which situations are relationship breaks positive or negative?

Whether a relationship break is positive or negative depends on the core motivations behind it. A relationship break can be positive for a relationship if one or both of you need space to clarify your feelings or to work on yourself. It’s not fair to anyone to continue in a relationship that isn’t right, but it’s not always black and white. Sometimes, people need time to reflect. Additionally, not all issues should be worked on as a couple, and in some cases, individuals need to work through things alone.

A relationship break can be negative if it’s clear that the relationship isn’t working, but one or both of you are too scared to formally end it. This just means that the breakup will be dragged out over a longer period of time. A relationship break can also be negative if it’s done with a lack of empathy, consideration, and communication. How you initiate and manage a relationship break is crucial for its success.

What should everyone know about relationship breaks?

You should know that if you take a relationship break, there’s a real risk of losing your partner. It’s not something to be taken lightly.

At the same time, relationship breaks can be healthy. They can provide an opportunity for each person to reflect on their own behavior and the relationship as a whole. In addition, they can also give people space to appreciate the positive qualities of their partner. You can come back from a relationship break stronger than ever.

Ultimately, the decision to take a relationship break is complicated and nuanced. And they can go either way. Only you will know whether it’s the best option.

Final thoughts on relationship breaks

We hope that this post has helped you gain insight into relationship breaks and whether pressing pause is the right thing for you to do. Relationship breaks can be the right thing to do in some situations. Even the best relationships aren’t a perfectly linear journey.

If you enjoyed this post, you may enjoy our post collating the Best Relationship Advice from Reddit, 5 Essential Rules for Open Relationships, and Everything You Need to Know About Cuffing Season.

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