Taking a break? Here's what it does to your relationship

While taking a break can refresh a relationship, it’s confusing to know exactly what that means.

Unhappy couple

A break doesn’t have to mean catastrophe — it can provide the necessary time and space to evaluate the partnership.

Most people go through the ugly phase of a relationship when they think about ending things, but the moment they actually think about a life without their partner, it scares them to death.

It can be a vicious cycle to think and rethink about splitting up. Before you pull the plug on the relationship, you should make sure it can be salvaged by ‘taking a break’ from each other.

Sometimes a break is necessary, and despite how painful they can be, they’re not always the worst idea.


Let's find out what "taking a break" does to a relationship:

  • What exactly is a relationship break?

Taking a break is a temporary chance for people in a relationship to explore what not being together feels like, spend time on personal growth, and look at their relationship from a distance.

Breaks are for partners who care about each other but can’t see eye-to-eye for some reason. They require you and your partner to take a significant amount of time to weigh how you feel being separated versus how you feel together.

"Break up" and "Taking a break"


Taking a break doesn’t mean it’s the end of a relationship. It’s just a designated amount of time where both people are consenting to limited communication.

However, it could lead to a full-on breakup or even divorce, but only if that's what you decide you want. You might also decide to get back together.

Taking a break is a relationship renovation. It allows couples to see the partnership from a new perspective, acknowledge personal doubts and wrongdoings, determine changes that need to be made and then decide if the relationship is worth continuing.

Always remember that relationship breaks are not one-size-fits-all (because that would just be too easy). The way you carve out time away from your partner totally depends on the kind of relationship you’re in. Does one person depend on the other financially? Are there kids in the picture? Is this a long-distance relationship? The nitty-gritty makes all the difference and must be *seriously* considered beforehand or else the break might just turn into a breakup.

When you should take a break


Breaks must be done with clear rules and for the right reasons.

A signal that a break might be helpful is when one person’s mental health is suffering, and they can’t differentiate whether it’s the relationship or themselves that’s the root cause of their psychological issues. For this person, a break would serve as sufficient time to focus on themselves, seek professional help, and figure out if they’re mentally healthy enough to remain in a relationship

Breaks are also ideal for when a couple with children is moving toward a divorce or breakup. In this context, a break allows kids to adjust to what a "new normal" might look like.

Ultimately, if you're truly committed to your partner for the long haul and you're just having a hard time communicating as of late, a break could be what you two need to move forward. But you each must be willing to use the time apart, to be honest with yourselves and really reflect on what you can do to make forever a possibility.

The do's and don'ts of taking a break


The point of a break is to give yourself time to think. You now have the chance to come to better terms with what you need and what you are expecting from your relationship.

Talk with your partner about what works best for you both. The important thing is that you figure things out individually before coming back together to make a plan for your relationship.

Here is a list of some suggestions to follow until you get back together:


  • Rediscover your feelings

Sometimes we lose sight of why we fell for our partner in the first place. Take time alone to earnestly understand why you want to stay with your partner. Think about how things have changed since you started dating. Time will give you the answer, but only if you are seeking it out.

  • Analyze

Think of why you both agreed to a break in the first place. Did a mistake cause you to question your relationship? Or have you both lost sight of why you are with each other? Even if you are on the same page about taking a break, you need to analyze why it happened in the first place. This will help you figure out how to apologize and learn from your mistakes so you two can get back together without any hurt feelings.

  • Make a list

Make a list of what you love and don’t love about your partner and your relationship with them. Thoughtfully consider both sides and ask close friends and family for their opinions. Now, make the same list about yourself. Are there qualities you need to work on to make this relationship work?

  • Make a plan

Taking a break is the perfect time to make a plan for your future. Look for traits you loved about other relationships and make a plan to have those qualities in this relationship. Do you need more emotionally reassurance to be happier? Do you want to spend more time with your partner? Discuss your plan with your partner to help this relationship succeed.

  • Communicate

Keeping in touch with your partner through all of this is important. Not speaking to each other at all defeats the purpose of figuring things out. Yes, you need your own time to think but reaching out with what is on your mind shows you are doing okay. The point of taking a break is to conclude what would be best for both of you.


  • Flirt

It’s disrespectful to your partner and does not give you the chance you need to figure out how you feel. Don’t be tricked into thinking that taking a break means you are free from commitment.

  • Be bitter

Focus on the positive. You might not need a break, but being upset means you are only focusing on your own unhappiness, not how you can help your partner. Being bitter will not help you get back together.

  • Be clingy

Usually, we feel so desperate to hold on to what we had that we never want to let it go. Giving your relationship some time to mend itself can help fix the problems you were worried about. Give your partner some space to figure things out and take the chance to do the same for yourself.

  • Look at their social media

Let your partner tell you about their life instead of stalking them online. Obsessing their likes and posts defeats the purpose of a break in the first place. You need to give one another the space and distance they deserve without any distractions to influence your decision.

  • Date other people

A break is not a chance for you to go out with other people and be happier with someone else. That is not fair to your partner. If you want to see other people, then properly break up and tell your partner so they can move on. Don’t leave your relationship on the then you do it the proper way and tell them so that you can end things the right way and they can move on.

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