What Is Taking a Break In A Relationship?

Last updated on January 22nd, 2024 at 01:53 pm

Discover how taking a break in a relationship can either strengthen the relationship through personal growth or lead to its demise.

Relationships are not as easy as you would want, and while they bring joy and fulfillment, they can also be sources of stress, heartbreak, and disappointment prompting taking a break.

People in a relationship might decide to take a break in a relationship for many reasons, but it usually signifies that all is not well and the break is needed for both parties to reexamine their commitments.

Breaks may be needed at times in unstable relationships to know if it’s reasonable to still stick around take a walk from the relationship or chart a new course.

Before reading ahead, here’s a video of the dos and don’ts of taking a break in a relationship by Relish Relationship Coach.

What Does Taking a Break in a Relationship Mean?

Taking a break in a relationship is a period where a couple agrees to take a pause from their relationship, whether it is for personal growth, to work on individual issues, or to evaluate the status of their relationship.

During this time, partners may choose to limit or stop communication, date other people or remain exclusive, work on personal goals, or take time to reflect and reassess the relationship.

The break can last for a specific time or be indefinite depending on the couple’s agreement.

Whatever the reasons might be, it’s better to be open to a partner instead of leaving him or her to be battling relationship anxiety guessing what might be wrong.

Is Taking a Break in a Relationship Healthy for You?

Taking a break in a relationship can be healthy if used constructively. It provides space for reflection, personal growth, and reassessment of the relationship’s dynamics.

This time apart can offer clarity on individual needs and goals, fostering independence and self-discovery.

However, both partners need to communicate openly about the purpose and terms of the break to avoid misunderstandings.

When approached with maturity and a genuine desire to address underlying issues, a break can lead to a stronger, more balanced relationship.

Of course, the effectiveness of a break depends on the willingness of both individuals to work on themselves and the relationship.

Reasons for Taking a Break in a Relationship

Two people in a relationship obviously needing to take a break

Some relationships follow a straightforward path and continue in that direction and lead to a long-lasting commitment like marriage and sometimes, they follow a crooked path and in a short time, they hit the rocks.

There are so many reasons why taking a break in a relationship is necessary. Let’s take a look:

1. When the Relationship is a Distraction to Important Goals

An overly obsessive partner can hinder personal growth and performance in other areas of life. Defending oneself may be seen as neglect or infidelity.

This clingy behaviour restricts potential. Taking a break can provide freedom and clarity for planning life while allowing the partner to reflect and improve.

Related: Vulnerable to Exploitation in a Relationship? What to Do

2. Incompatibility Issues

Some believe mature relationships should overcome incompatibility, but ignoring it can lead to harm, warranting a break.

People often date for trivial reasons, which may not matter in the long run.

This is evidenced in constant altercations, trying to own a partner, rancour, and arguments which if allowed to fester might degenerate into physical harm.

Taking a break is necessary for such a relationship.

Related: 8 Qualities Women Hardly Resist in Men

3. Immaturity in Both or One of the Parties

Successful relationships require maturity. Immature individuals may struggle to sustain a relationship, leading to unnecessary conflicts.

Factors like age gaps, insecurity, and differing priorities can strain a relationship. Issues such as cleaning habits, earning power, readiness for marriage, and family planning can also arise from immaturity.

Individuals need to enter relationships with clear goals and maturity to avoid the possibility of taking a break to ensure their success.

Related: Navigating Relationship Ups and Downs Between Partners

4. Toxicity in the Relationship

Relationships come with risks, especially with a bitter, toxic person who can lose control of his or her temper and do something tragic.

Taking a break at this time is encouraged to ease off steam and for every party to have a reorientation of the relationship.

The break could be the only saving grace that would make the defaulting party rescind and seek advice.

It is important however to get to the root of the matter while considering a break.

If the disaffections are not mentioned as the cause of the problems prompting a break, the goal for the break might not be achieved and would lead to worse problems if they get back together.

Related: Understanding Power Games in Relationships

5. Being in the Wrong Place

I found myself in a relationship with an abusive woman who only took without contributing.

She believed a man should solely support her. I chose to walk away, realizing relationships require sacrifice from both parties.

Despite her later interest, I had moved on. Taking a break can help reassess a relationship, but it may lead to a permanent breakup. Recognizing when to walk away is crucial.

Watch this Video on Taking a Break in Your Relationship (4mins 41sec)

Take a break in your relationship - video
Is taking a break in a relationship healthy? Part 1 – Credit: Expresso Show

Does Taking a Break in a Relationship Work?

A woman crying when her man suggests taking a break in their relationship

Of course, taking a break works in relationships depending on several factors that have been repeated in this article.

If the two people in the relationship are willing to be together, they can do whatever it takes to make it work.

Let’s take a look at when taking a break works and when it does not work in relationships.

When Taking a Break Works in a Relationship

Taking a break in a relationship can work when both partners are willing to reflect on their individual needs and work on personal growth.

It provides an opportunity to gain clarity, reassess priorities, and overcome challenges in a relationship.

During this time, both individuals should establish clear boundaries and communicate openly, setting expectations and goals for themselves and the relationship.

Taking a break allows for space and self-reflection, enabling partners to identify their flaws, needs, and desires.

Ultimately, if both partners commit to personal growth and prioritize the relationship, a break can lead to reconnection and a stronger, healthier relationship.

When Taking a Break in a Relationship Does Not Work

Taking a break in a relationship may not work for various reasons. Firstly, the underlying issues that caused the need for a break are often left unresolved.

Ignoring and avoiding these problems instead of addressing them can lead to further strain on the relationship.

Secondly, taking a break can create feelings of uncertainty, jealousy, and insecurity, which can worsen the bond between partners.

Moreover, a break often involves a lack of communication, leading to misunderstandings and increased distance.

Lastly, if both partners do not share similar expectations and goals for the break, it can result in divergent paths and ultimately the end of the relationship.

Pros and Cons of Taking a Break in a Relationship

Two people in a relationship taking a break

According to studies, almost half of the people who take breaks in their relationships and get back together have better relationships.

Taking a break in a relationship is an important decision that couples should make when they feel that the relationship is not working.

Benefits of Taking a Break in a Relationship

Clarity and growth: It can help to clarify what you want and need from a relationship and allow time for personal growth, self-reflection, and healing.

Personal space for reflection: Taking a break can create a space for you to think about your feelings, the relationship, and whether it’s something you want to continue or end.

Focus on goals and career: You can use this time to focus on your individual goals, desires, careers, and hobbies that you may have neglected in your relationship.

Reduces tension and emotional buildup: The time apart can help to reduce the tension and emotions in your relationship, which will allow you to think more rationally and objectively about your future together.

It can strengthen the relationship: Another benefit of taking a break is that it can strengthen your relationship. It is a sign that there is a measure of commitment to working on making the relationship stronger. It shows that you don’t want to give up on the relationship and are willing to make changes.

Absence makes the heart grow fonder: It can also give you and your partner time to miss each other, and when you reunite, you may have a new appreciation and understanding of each other.

Cons of Taking a Break in Your Relationship

On the other hand, there are some significant limitations to taking a break.

Disconnection: One of the most difficult aspects of a break is that it can lead to a more significant distance between partners. The goal of taking a break is to create space and time for self-reflection, but it can also create time for partners to grow apart and break up.

Confusion and mixed emotions: Another limitation is that taking a break can lead to confusion and mixed emotions. When a couple decides to take a break, both parties may be unclear about their intentions and feelings towards the relationship. This confusion can lead to additional stress and anxiety for both partners.

Break-up: Taking a break can also lead to the end of a relationship. Sometimes, a break is a way of delaying the inevitable breakup. If a couple cannot work through their issues or find common ground, taking a break may end up being the final nail in the coffin.

Related: The Type of Women Men Don’t Like Losing

Taking a Break in a Relationship the Right Way

Taking a break in a relationship can be a helpful step in assessing and understanding the dynamics of the relationship. It allows both partners to have some space and time for reflection.

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to take a break in your relationship:

Communicate Openly: While considering taking a break, both partners should express their feelings, concerns, and intentions regarding the break. It is important to be clear about why you want to take a break and what you hope to achieve from it. This conversation should be done calmly and respectfully.

Set Ground Rules: Establishing guidelines during the break will help both partners maintain clarity and avoid misunderstandings. Discuss and agree on boundaries, such as whether you will date other people, how often you will communicate, and how long the break will last.

Take Time Apart: Physical separation is often an essential element of a break. Each partner should use this time alone to reflect on themselves and the relationship. Use the break to focus on personal growth, hobbies, and self-care.

Maintain Limited Contact: It is important to respect the agreed-upon boundaries during the break. It is usually healthier to limit communication during this time, as it allows for individual growth and reflection. However, it is essential to establish whether there will be any form of contact or whether it will be a complete break from communication.

Seek Professional Support If Necessary: If the relationship is experiencing significant challenges or if both partners need guidance and support, seeking couples counseling or therapy can be beneficial. A professional can help navigate the break and offer tools to improve the relationship if both partners decide to reconcile.

Reflect And Reassess: Use the break as a time to reflect on your own needs, feelings, and desires. Evaluate what you have learned about yourself and your relationship during this time apart. Consider whether the relationship is meeting your needs and goals for the future.

Also Read: How To Manage Your Relationship Effectively

Taking a Break without Breaking Up

A couple deciding whether taking a break in a relationship is best

Taking a break without breaking up could be the goal of some couples, but taking a break could also be a way for a partner to end things without being straightforward.

I have seen partners who went on a break and one didn’t hear from the other ever again.

Taking a break allows partners to take a breath of fresh air and the one who has been bearing the brunt could decide to move on finally.

It is good to define things before the break. Depending on the issues that are bringing about the break, both partners should be sincere to each other and define the reason they agree to take a break.

Related: 9 Reasons Why it’s Hard to Sustain Long Distance Relationships

Is it Possible to Get Back Together After Partners Taking a Break?

Now the break is over and you guys didn’t break up – congratulations. So, you are ready to get back together and continue as partners. Of course, there are discussions on the way forward.

The discussions are about what you learned during your time away from each other and how they affect the relationship going forward.

It’s best to have sensitive discussions as quickly as possible when you get back so there is a new benchmark for the relationship.

Relationships are held by agreements and commitments. If there are no agreements, then the relationship would not have a rudder and the partners won’t be held accountable.

It is important to see that your partner agrees or disagrees with your new demands so you have a clear view of what the next step would be.

If the demands are agreed on, you can examine his or her demands too, and see how you can adjust.

If everything comes out fine, then you guys have a new project to deliver.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long should a break in a relationship last?

The duration of a relationship break varies; it depends on the individuals involved and the issues at hand.

Does taking a break in a relationship work?

Taking a break can work if both partners use the time to reflect, communicate, and address underlying issues.

Do people get back together after taking a break?

Some couples do reconcile after taking a break, but it’s not guaranteed.

What not to do during a break in a relationship?

During a break, avoid seeing other people, making major decisions, or neglecting communication boundaries.

Should you talk during a break?

Communication during a break should be minimal and focused on essential matters, allowing both individuals to reflect independently.


Taking a break in a relationship is both beneficial and challenging for couples.

It can provide time and space for self-reflection, growth, and healing. However, it can also lead to confusion, distance, and the eventual end of a relationship.

It is essential to communicate openly and realistically about the reasons and expectations for taking a break and to set clear guidelines and boundaries.

If taken sincerely and genuinely, taking a break in a relationship can be the best decision for personal growth and healing, and ultimately leads to a stronger relationship.

How To Deal With Taking A Break In A Relationship – Credit: Kristin Coaching


  1. Women’s Health: Should You Take A Relationship Break?
  2. Prevention: Taking a Break in a Relationship: 6 Tips For Couples
  3. Relish: The Dos and Don’ts of Taking a Break in a Relationship
The Conducts Of Life | piousclements@gmail.com | Website | + posts

Pious Clements is the insightful voice behind "The Conducts of Life" blog, where he writes about life ethics, self-development, life mastery, and the dynamics of people and society.

With a profound understanding of human behaviuor and societal dynamics, Pious offers thought-provoking perspectives on ethical living and personal growth.
Through engaging narratives and astute observations, he inspires readers to navigate life's complexities with wisdom and integrity, encouraging a deeper understanding of the human experience and our place within society.