‘Taking a break in a relationship’ is a phrase in the dating scene which describes a period of temporary separation requested by one party. Does it help to take a break in a relationship?
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 or 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?
Deciding to take a break in a relationship means taking time off from a partner and halting every relationship relations for whatever reasons.
Hearing the words can be quite frightening and sends the other party having a replay of what could have led to the decision.
This mostly happens when one party feels like the relationship is not progressing as he or she desires after putting substantial efforts to make it work, or when a party is simply no longer interested in the relationship.
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.
What happens after the break in relationships depends on the factors that led to the break in the first place.
Most breaks almost always lead to a final break-up and the initiator of the break is using the phrase as a getaway tactic from outrightly breaking up as this could be more devastating.
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Is taking a break in a relationship healthy?
Taking a break in a relationship might be the healthiest thing to do most times even though it might be a hard decision for some people.
It is a healthy step when the relationship is nearing physical harm or any form of toxicity.
Statistics on how frequently people break up are hard to find and the available ones may not represent recent trends since the advent of social media.
But studies suggest that about half of adults would break up and subsequently reconcile at least once in their life.
Taking a break in a relationship does not only happen among dating couples, but married couples also have some issues and that’s what mostly leads to divorce.
There are also some couples who take a break while living in the same house. Funny right?
Such a scenario might be weird but they mostly do this to avoid shame or for their children.
In whatever way, taking a break at the appropriate time might be all is needed to reset the relationship that bypasses the turmoil that accompanies the real heartbreak after a breakup.
Also, break-taking gives room for proper reflection and helps the parties to see things clearly and know how best they can approach the relationship.
In many cases, though uncomfortable, taking a break in a relationship is necessary and has proven to be the best idea for both parties to move forward instead of remaining in the impasse and risking depression and fights.
Does taking a break in a relationship work?
According to studies, almost half of the people who take breaks in their relationships and get back together have better relationships.
It works in many ways like giving the individuals time to work on themselves in the area of self-discovery and improvement.
Taking a break in a relationship helps people to add value to their lives while away from the clingy or choking relationship.
They might decide to recommit to the relationship when they are sure enough they are ready, especially young people who are driven by youthful energy.
Reasons for relationship break
Some relationships follow a straightforward path and continue in that direction and lead to a long-lasting commitment like marriage while others do not see a few months and head for the rocks.
Sometimes relationships are driven by unrealistic desires copied from books and movies and the partners form the base for expectations; when these elusive expectations are not met, there is resentment that results in issues.
Every relationship is different and just as their challenges are different and have hiccups caused by day-to-day arguments that come about during the course of running the home and planning ahead.
Below are the reasons why a couple might decide to take a break in a relationship:
1. When the relationship is a distraction to important goals
I have seen where a relationship hampers personal development and growth. Inordinate obsession by a partner can choke the other and impart negatively on their performance in other areas of life.
Sometimes, when the partner complains or wants to defend themselves, the other party feels they are neglecting them or having an affair.
This kind of clingy attitude constricts and constrains you to reach your potential.
I recommend taking a break from this kind of relationship to give yourself freedom and have a clear head to plan your life while also giving the other partner time to see how clingy he or she has been and hopefully, work on themselves.
2. Incompatibility issues
Some people might argue that incompatibility should not exist in mature relationships.
The reason is that the two mature people should work things out since they agreed to be together unlike the younger people who are mostly driven by lust and the frenzy of being new to dating.
However, compatibility should not be totally ignored because there are people who cannot just get along.
Okay let’s put it this way – there are people whose reasons for being together are insignificant to the reasons they should not be together.
This means that the glue holding the two parties together is weaker than the forces that could pull them apart.
This is evidenced in constant altercations, possessiveness, rancour and arguments which if allowed to fester might degenerate to physical harm. Taking a break is necessary for such a relationship.
It’s funny to observe that people date because of trivial things such as hair colour, height, body build or because the person has some weird attributes that do not amount to something in the long run.
This type is bound to grind to a halt when the chips are down because the effect of the intangible attribute would wear off and reality will come to the fore.
3. Immaturity in both or one of the parties
Some people go into relationships unprepared and they trudge along without having any clear goal. The success of relationships depends hugely on maturity.
Someone who is still driven by juvenile exuberance cannot sustain a relationship and can lead to indiscriminate fights that do not improve anything.
There might be some attractions and spending time together but some factors can become barriers which can cause a reason to review the relationship.
For example, the age gap can be a problem sometimes, especially on the part of the man.
If the woman is older, the man could develop a sense of insecurity if he lacks maturity and the relationship could be affected negatively.
Other outcomes of immaturity are cleaning habits, the difference in earning power, readiness for marriage and when to start having kids etc.
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 to 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.
5. Being in the wrong place
There was a relationship I found myself in some time in my life that I couldn’t tell how I got in there.
The woman was constantly abusive and never helped in any way for the growth of the relationship.
All she wanted was to take and then take all, me, me, me. She never wanted to submit herself to the building of a relationship.
Her belief was that a man who is old enough to have a woman should be able to foot all her bills.
As funny as it sounded, it was a huge decision for me to take the opposite direction. Relationships should be a sacrifice by both parties and not an entitlement.
The funnier thing is that she came calling after two years and the man was already happy in another hand.
I did not take a break, but I walked away because I was already burned out and needed to move absolutely away from such a mentality because it could take years for her maturity to mature.
I was pretty much at the wrong place and took the best decision. Taking a break could be a better way to rethink the relationship and see if you would copy me or give the relationship a try again.
No matter what the reasons, it is important to recognize that sometimes taking a break can ultimately result in a permanent breakup.
Benefits of taking a break in a relationship
Taking a break in a relationship can be risky but could also be the right step for a relationship when used appropriately with planning.
A break is important to break unhealthy patterns in the relationship. It allows partners to see the perspective of their partner, identify personal doubts and misbehaviours and determine things that need to be changed.
Most times, partners who go on break, come back better and ready for concrete commitments.
They are also more mature to handle each other’s emotions and approach every situation with maturity.
Partners in relationships are different people and would pass through moments that can overwhelm them.
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For some partners, it is normal for the relationship to lurch back and forth while for some a minor break can spell doom and cause a serious crack.
A break also helps partners find themselves, develop, pursue personal goals and get past the cycle that clinginess, overfamiliarity and toxicity bring.
But it is always better to consider the reasons for taking the break and think about what you can do to make the break a helpful experience.
The most important thing is to be sure the break is for the right reasons and use the time judiciously to gain clarity.
Taking a break without breaking up
Taking a break in a relationship 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.
Below are how to take a break in a relationship without ending it.
Have an agreement on the terms of the break
Talk with your partner about the possible things to do while on break, especially with the opposite sex.
As discussed above, some couples use the break period to rediscover and improve themselves.
This rediscovery and improvement could include checking out other prospective suitors or exploring other options of a relationship.
When there is sincerity and discussion of what you can do while on break, then it would be clear enough on how to behave in that period.
Some of these should be agreed on:
- Kissing another
- Have sex with others
- Trying out a new date
- Frequency of communication
- Involvement of families in the matter
Seem awkward conversation, right? Yes! But it is important to have the discussion as it would set the boundary for what would happen and determine what to expect after the break.
Concentrate on yourself
Just as said somewhere above, taking a break can be a good chance to evaluate yourself and your needs and lean in on them.
Being in a relationship of confusion can sometimes make you lose yourself and truncate your future and happiness.
Taking a break in a relationship the break would be a game-changer that will take away the clutterers and make everything clear for you to make the right decisions without sentiments.
If you have been the bad egg of the relationship, this is a time to discover how you can work on yourself and make amends so when you get back together, you become a better partner.
Analyse the relationship with the eye of a third party
Taking a break can make you step out of yourself and look at the relationship with the eyes of a stranger.
This would make you observe how wrong the relationship had worked for so long.
And you would be able to identify the loopholes and decide if the relationship is worth your second coming.
This is a time to put your partner under the scrutiny lens and examine him properly and also decide if this is really what you want.
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Sometimes, people don’t change. They might regret their actions and ask for forgiveness, but that doesn’t mean they would change.
When situations that trigger their unjust behaviours come, they find themselves displaying the same behaviours.
They are helpless but not every partner would have the patience to stick around such people.
Be bold enough to take action
Taking a break in a relationship could make you realize for sure that you can’t continue in the relationship. Be bold enough to tell yourself, partner, that you are moving on.
This might put them in the grieving mode but it is better than playing around with it and making them guess for too long.
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The earlier you do it the better for both of you to be on the path to recovery. But if you decide not to end the relationship but instead have some things changed, be also bold enough to put it forward and demand such changes.
You see, a break is very important because of the new reflection it provides and the changes for the better it brings about.
If the partner wants to go on with you, he or she will agree to the terms as long as your terms are not selfish or manipulative.
Getting back together after a breakup
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.
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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 own demands too and see how you can adjust.
If everything comes out fine, then you guys have a new project to deliver.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
A Personal Development Content Creator and an author. I write about life ethics and love to document and share life hacks and experiences of people to help others make good life decisions.
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