“I think we should take a break.” Those seven words can be so terrorizing, dreadful and mainly confusing. What in the world is a break? I’m sure most of us have heard those words at some point and probably freaked out when we did. Taking a break in a relationship can mean a lot of things. It can mean that you actually are taking a break or it could mean it is over for good. It could mean you’re not going to talk or you could still talk. It is basically time apart for both parties to figure out what they want to do within the relationship and a time for both parties to take some needed space from the other. In essence, it is the gray area of all gray areas and it is hard to know what to do in that situation. However, there are some very important do’s and don’ts of break taking in a relationship.
Do: Ask for/ give clarification. If your partner says to you that they want to take a break make sure you ask, “What does this mean?” If you are the one suggesting the break, make sure you clarify exactly what you want. It could mean a number of things. That could be their way of saying they need some space. Don’t freak out if that is what they mean. Sometimes space in a relationship is necessary for both parties, whether you requested it or not. Space does not necessarily mean it is over for good. Maybe you or your partner feel you are spending too much time together and you need some time apart. That is normal and justifiable. Maybe you had a fight and they are suggesting it so you both can cool off and think. Maybe they want to talk to other people during the break (which I would take as a break up), or maybe they don’t. Maybe they don’t want to talk during the break, maybe they do. Or maybe that is their way of breaking it off for good. Whatever the reason is, it is important that you know so you can know what to do. No question is a dumb question in this instance.
Don’t: Starting talking to/dating other people. This is a big NO. After you get clarification on what exactly the break entails, you do not want to start involving other people. Unless the break really was code for breaking up for good, you should not involve other people. Unless stated otherwise, a break is not necessarily a break up. By getting involved with another person during a break you are adding complications to your relationship. Truthfully, the break probably will not last too long, and when you and your partner decide you’ve taken enough time and you want to start rekindling your relationship, you will look like the bad guy when you have to let the person you’ve been entertaining down because you decided to work things out. Even worse, you’ll have to explain to your partner why you involved someone else during the break and that will further complicate things. Basically, involving another person is just not a good idea.
Do: Use the time for you. While taking a break from your partner, you will have even more time for you. This is a good thing that comes out of the complicated situation. You can use the time to think about what you want and don’t want going forward in your relationship. You can decide if you even want to go forward in your relationship or not. You can think of everything you want to say to your partner when it is time to talk again if you are not talking to them. It gives you time to do things that make you happy and give you peace. When you find peace, you find answers. Do the things you love but while doing that, make sure to really reflect on your relationship. It will be very beneficial.
Don’t: Make the break too short or too long. One very important thing is making sure you are not too hasty with the break. That could be part of the reason you are taking the break in the first place. Do not make it too long either. Too much time apart may not be a good thing in these types of situations. It is common to wonder who reaches out first, and though it depends on the situation, the person who suggests the break would probably be the first to reach out because it was their suggestion. I know that can be hard if you are not speaking at all during the break, but it’s probably best for the situation. It’s difficult to know how long the break should be and truthfully there is no right or wrong answer. It depends on the situation. You know and understand your situation and will end the break when the time is right.
Yes, breaks are messy and very complicated, but sometimes very much needed in a relationship. It can be difficult but do not be afraid to propose a break to your partner if you feel like you need it. Space is good for relationships. Do not panic if your partner suggests it. It does not always mean the end. Sometimes it means just what it is—a break, and a little “you time” is never a bad thing.
Photo 1 Courtesy of itsthatsimple.ws
Photo 2 Courtesy of Woman’s Day