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Don't Breakup Take a Break Instead? Here Is How to Do It Right

Updated on February 8, 2020
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Belinda is a psychologist and relationship writer. Passionate about relationships and how to make them work. Let's connect on LinkedIn

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*Sigh*

You need to recharge a battery throughout its life. So that it powers your devices.

Like a battery, sometimes your relationship needs a recharge. That’s why sometimes you need a break.

Let me explain.

When things are not working in your relationship. You have unchanging battles and arguments. Pestered with issues none of you can agree on.

When you feel you can't stand your partner anymore. You make every effort but still, it's not working. For married couples, it gets worse because you have to sleep beside this person. Wake up the next morning to an angry face and silent treatment.

When you two seem to talk at each other.

Bet you are not sure what to do next.

well?

You need some time apart in your relationship.

"Absence makes the heart grow fonder"

This will give you clarity on whether you want the relationship to continue or call it quits. I know it’s easier to be on the quitting side in times like these.

Sometimes, it’s good to take a few seconds or a few days. Reason out on how you got to this point and if your relationship is worth another shot.

When couples take a break in a relationship. It's because they’re not sure about the future value of that relationship.

A relationship is like a full-time job. Sometimes what you all need is a few days off to re-energize.

You know it’s time to knuckle down.

And finally, take a break in your relationship.

But you don't know-how.

In this post, you will learn how to deal with a relationship during a break? How long should a relationship break be? How taking a break from a relationship can help find yourself? And tips to taking time apart in your relationship. All these without breaking up.

Ready to get started? Let's dive in.



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Taking a Break vs Break Up What is the Difference?

You might be wondering.

What's the difference between taking a break and an actual break-up?

It may seem that the answer is obvious but it's not.

A break is not a break-up. Its a pause from the other person's life.

Let me explain how.

When you break-up with another person the other person breaks up with you. You agree to never see each other again. You even unfriend them on social media. The relationship is over without any hope for getting back together.

In a relationship break-up ,your romantic relationship comes to an end. There is no hope of coming back. You are free to start a new relationship. There is no more communication you even forget that you were once together. Partners take a break-up in relationships because things are not going well.

You can remain to be friends but in this case, you do not continue with the romance. On the other hand. A break is often limited to a specific period of time. It could take two weeks to one month. Partners must agree on the duration of the break.

During a break, none of the relationships rules changes. Except that you don't see one another. This is not the time to go and test the waters and see if there are better fish in the sea.

You are not supposed to cheat or backstab your partner by spreading bad rumors about them. You are to treat it as a normal ongoing romantic relationship.

Each party will go out and give the relationship some serious thought.


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When to Take a Break in a Relationship?

Well?

It is usual to go through a rough patch in your relationship. When you feel you are getting into each other's nerves or feel flat and bored.

It's difficult to tell whether you are in a relationship rut or its a bigger problem. This is when you need to take a step back and take a break in your relationship for a while.

Try and talk about the problem with your partner. But sometimes it needs you to take some space and see if your relationship can come back in a fresh way.

But how do you know it's time to take a break in your relationship? Here are signs that show your relationship needs a break.

  • You have reached a deadlock in resolving major issues.

  • When you feel that you don't have a real connection.

  • You have started avoiding your partner

  • Worried about starting a fight

  • You have gone ahead started life without your partner.

  • When you start resenting your partner

  • When you feel not listened to

  • If you have mismatched expectations for one another

If you feel like you are not happy in a relationship and you need time to reevaluate. Taking a break can be one of the best tools before rushing to break-up.


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Types of Relationship Breaks

According to April Masini, a New- York-based etiquette and relationship expert.

In his Relationship Advice Forum, she claims “Relationship. breaks help to clear partners head, test waters and see what else is out there. Seeing if the partners are missing one another, or break can be used to advance to a full break-up”

She further classifies relationship breaks into five categories. Which are:


Blackout break

This is a legit break in this case you are forced to go completely without our partner. This makes you to see what you need in that relationship.

You can realize that life without your partner can't exist or life without them can continue. In this kind of break, there is no contact. You don't see each other, don't talk, text or email. You even cut off each other’s social media pages. Even your children are not allowed to communicate with their parents.

This is where as couples you start seeing what it’s like to be single. This kind of break can lead to breakups because both partners miss each other so much.

The blackout- break lets you see why it's important to resolve your issues and reunite.


Monogamy break

This is a break that is clearly discussed before it happens. You are not allowed to date or sleep around with other people.

If one party does not abide by the rules, rekindling your love after the break becomes difficult. According to Masini, some couples don't want to break up. So their relationship takes a break with an agreement of staying faithful during the break.

Couples take this kind of break because they basically need time off from

each other. Maybe they have reached boiling point. Escalating stress has reached a point where couples can't function without a break.

Couples who don't want to breakup take this option and draft an agreement assuring one another to be faithful during the break.

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Fake-Out break

For those who get into heated arguments, the “fake - out break “ as Masini calls is good for you.

How does it works?

When you express that you need a break in the middle of an argument. In this case, you don't mean a breakup. Even if you pack up your bags and leave. You usually don't mean it. Even if you get out of the door with your baggage, you will be back in an hour.

Many couples experience a cycle of fake - out breaks especially when there is a heated argument. Some couples decide to have on and off breaks especially when they have these heated moments. According to Masini “ As soon as the break occurs, one or both of you realize you don't need it and they are being dramatic”

The fake out - breaks are ugly and quick but short-lived and may result in a reunion. They occur spontaneously and are very dramatic with a lot of tantrums.

They may not lead to a permanent break. Unless the underlying issues are not resolved and keep reoccurring like a vicious cycle. This can lead to a permanent break up.

Sometimes the fake-out break is what couples need to realize that they need to work things out for them to stay together forever.

Prelude to a breakup

Have you ever dipped your foot in the deep end of a pool? This is to get the feeling of how deep it is.

This can happen to your relationship.

In this case, you are in a break that is like a break-up. You are trying the idea to see what can happen. What if you actually broke up? Can this situation make it easier for both of you?

Most people do not have the power to pull out a break-up. So they create a relationship dynamic that’s like one. Think of it as a break-up simulation. According to Masini “ They may or may not be conscious of what they are doing”

After the prelude, they agree if it can work. They evaluate their underlying issues and agree if there are continue or quite.


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Breaks with dating allowed.

Having parameters during a relationship break is a good idea. Partners can agree that they can go on and date other people when they are apart.

You need to be on the same page to the relationship break rules. We have seen friends who go ahead and sleeping around. If asked they will say “ We were on a break!”.This can be used to justify the one night stand that happened when you were on a relationship break.

When couples decides to go for a long break. The issue of whether you can date another person during the break is not discussed. Unfortunately, this topic is not discussed before the break. Masini call it “ break with a tacit no dating clause”

This is a risky move because when couples find out that both have been dating and sleeping with other people during the break. The relationship ends immediately.

Everyone feels betrayed and cheated. It's good to discuss all the details of your break before to avoid such situations.


How Long Should a Relation Break Be?

Let's not break be a breakup.

While we appreciate what distance can do in our relationships.

Let not a very long or an open-ended break be a sign of a bigger problem. Couples should set a time frame for their break. Expert says anything that is one week to one month is enough.

This is enough time for both parties to determine whether should stay together or quite.

Anything that goes beyond six months is a break-up If your partner is looking forward to a longer break. You need to probe the problem deeper. Read between the lines if they have moved on.

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What to Do During a Relationship Break?

You have already decided to take a break in your relationship.

But how do you spend time when you are apart. Here are things that couples should do during a relationship break that is worth their time apart.


Work on your expectation

If you are hoping to get along with your partner in the future. You both need to sit down and evaluate your expectations. Partners need to be honest and clear with one another.

You need to define your relationship. Will you get married, Define the role of each party in the relationship. Level of sacrifice you will make to keep the relationship alive.


Set new boundaries.

Do you have any relationship boundaries during your break? How often are you suppose to call one another, text or drop by? Defining these boundaries with your partner helps you to end the break peaceful.

During the break, if one of you has been at home thinking about the future of that relationship while the other has been dipping their toe in the dating pool. When you came back to the relationship things will not work out well. For a mutual break, it's very important to set these boundaries.


Spend time alone

During the relationship break, you may feel that you want to immerse yourself with friends. It's important to have other people around you when you are feeling down.

Though it's always a good idea to spend sometime alone. This will allow you to reflect on what is happening in your relationship. You will think genuinely what you want after the break.


Reflect on your feelings

Reflecting on both you and your partners feeling during a break is important. If you and your partner take a break without feeling about one another, then there is no point of having the break.

Take this time to reflect on how you feel, on what you want and what you believe .This will strengthen your relationship when you come back.


Don't worry

If you want more stress during the break start worrying. Its always normal to wonder what will happen after the break. It's not beneficial for you or your partner to be stressed about it.

If you and your partner agree to take a break use this time to relax, think about what you want and hope for a better outcome. Avoid stressful thoughts that will make you weaker.


Learn to Cherish your partner

Taking a break is usually considered negative. But we all know “Absence makes the heart grow fonder”

During the break think about the good moments that you had with your partner. What he or she has brought in your life.How much he or she means to you. Remind yourself all the reasons why you ever loved that person the first place. Reflect on the positive things that you have done together. This will make you stronger after the break.

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Be honest with yourself

Being honest with your feelings will help decide the direction of your relationship. Taking a break is supposed to be easy than actual break up. This is not usually the case. If you are not missing your partner as much as you think you should be honest with yourself about it.

If you don't feel the urge to be together with your partner again, or you are feeling less stressed during the break be honest with yourself.

A break is all about reflection and if you are dishonest with yourself and how you feel, there is no point to having a break in the first place. Go for a break-up.


Build trust

Don't focus on building trust issues with your partner during the break. Do not start thinking about how your partner will take this opportunity to break his or her trust. Start thinking of what you want in the relationship. If perhaps you cannot get over trust issues I think its time to consider the next step in your relationship. If you don't have trust issues in your relationship count this as a win and move forward to a greater height.


Be optimistic

In reality, a break does not mean breakup.

When you break in your relationship you take time to reflect on your feelings. People process feelings in different ways even if you are not sure about your feelings its good to stay optimistic. Hope that the break will end and have a positive impact on your relationship.


Do not start dating

Taking a break does not give you permission to start seeing other people. When you and your partner decide to take a break because you need to reflect on your current issues. It's very unfair to start dating ,which can be a rushed decision during a break. You need to communicate with your partner before the break. That is if you are supposed to see someone else or multiple of other people during the break. Make it as clear as possible.

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Is Taking a Break a Good Idea for a Struggling Relationship.

Treat this “ break thing “ as a learning moment in your relationship. Think before on what problem you are facing and what you can do to fix them. This is the only time you can learn more about yourself outside of your relationship.

It's natural and perfectly okay to be sad during the break. You might feel that you are approaching the end of your relationship.

No matter what happens do not forget your self-worth. You both need to be bold and strong because you deserve to be happy and in love. Break will rejuvenate that feeling and make you love more.

If this is not the case and you do not feel like that, then its time to move on. It won't be easy but it will be the best decision for both of you.

So give it a go and share your thoughts on what has changed after the break in the comment section below.












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    • dashingscorpio profile image

      dashingscorpio 

      3 months ago from Chicago

      Maybe in a marriage with children couples therapy is a better idea than taking a "break" and confusing one's children.

      Not many people are equipped to resolve their issues without some advice or help from the outside.

      Going off on one's own is rarely the solution for making a relationship last. More often than not it creates "abandonment issues" and feelings of insecurity for the person who is actually committed to the relationship/marriage.

      They never know when their mate might suddenly tell them they need a "break"! A commitment means you can rely on each other.

    • yogaburnclub profile imageAUTHOR

      Belinda 

      3 months ago from Kenya

      This is true you need to be committed to a relationship especially marriage. Many people marry the person they love most. Once you are in is when you realize you have a lot to learn. How to resolve conflict, raising children, financial obligations, dealing with inlaws, balancing work and marriage, intimacy and many other responsibilities.

      The pressure mounts and the relationship gets tasted. You can be on constant arguments, stress and even other defence mechanism start to appear from your spouse. These are unexpected happenings.

      You have never seen your partner behave this way. It a new experience. In such a situation a "break" is important. This will help you evaluate your marriage. Is it worthy to continue or just quite?

      Let a "break" come before a break-up

    • dashingscorpio profile image

      dashingscorpio 

      3 months ago from Chicago

      Personally I have never bough into the who idea of being on a "break". First of all when you're married there is no such thing as break. Commitment means you do your best to attempt to work things out. However if after doing your best and it's unsuccessful you file for divorce and go your separate ways.

      A "break" is basically either a "holding pattern" while one or both people decide if they even want to continue a relationship. Rarely if ever do (both people) want to take a "break" or breakup.

      The person who wants to continue the relationship is asked to wait in "limbo" while the other person makes a decision about what will become of the relationship. It's a selfish and manipulative act.

      The other kind of break is really a breakup with RULES.

      You're on a "break" but you're still in a relationship so if someone has sex with another person it's considered cheating.

      It the old; "I don't want to have sex with you and I don't want you having sex with anyone else." move. Another example of manipulation.

      There are also those people who treat relationships like jobs. They won't leave one unless they have another lined up!

      Taking a "break" allows them EXPLORE what else is out there or pursue a specific person they have a crush on. If it doesn't work out they still fall back with the person they're on a break with and if things are great they make the announcement the break is now a breakup!

      When you're married you can't just have a suitcase waiting by the front door ready to go every time you have a rough patch. It's not a game where you put your hands into the shape of "T" and yell timeout!

      A "commitment" means you're not playing games.

      Expecting someone to sit by the phone waiting while another person determines their future together is very disempowering. If anyone ever suggested we take a break I would consider it a breakup.

      Apparently a lot of folks do because you hear about so many "break babies" being conceived with other folks while couples are on break. You're either "all in" or "all out" or friends with benefits!

      "Never love anyone who treats you like you're ordinary."

      - Oscar Wilde

      "While we are free to choose our actions we are not free to choose the consequences of our actions." - Stephen R. Covey

      When you go a break you don't get to control your mate's actions!

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