Despite still feeling affection for your partner, there may be instances where you perceive your relationship to be at a standstill. Considering a time-out might appear beneficial to uncover what lies ahead for both individuals. This does not signify a complete and enduring separation, but rather a temporary distancing. It can be advantageous for couples seeking some breathing space without permanently severing ties. However, adhering to certain principles is essential while taking a break in a relationship.
Instances when couples should opt for a break
Many individuals may question the appropriateness of couples taking a break. However, taking a break is essentially a provisional opportunity for couples to discern what it feels like to not be together. Dr Vaibhav Chaturvedi, Consultant Psychiatrist at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital Indore, suggests that this time apart can be utilized for personal development.
Here are specific scenarios in which it may be more beneficial for both partners to take a break in the relationship instead of attempting to persist.
1. You’re trapped in a recurring cycle of separations
Couples who frequently experience on-off relationships might find themselves ensnared in such a pattern. This is because they lack certainty about enhancing their bond after each separation.
2. You’re uncertain about having a genuine bond
If you wish to confirm the presence of a genuine connection with your partner but are uncertain, it is advisable to take a hiatus from the relationship.
3. You find yourself evading your partner
If you find yourself making excuses to be alone, something is amiss. While many of us value solitude, actively avoiding your partner can signal an issue, according to the expert.
4. You’re anxious about initiating a conflict
If the fear of sparking a disagreement leads you to lie, your relationship has unquestionably reached a point warranting a break.
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The benefits of taking a break for couples
Taking a break can provide the necessary space for both individuals. In the context of a long-term relationship, the lack of breathing room can feel stifling. This space can help you assess whether you are happier with or without your partner. Let’s explore more advantages of transitioning from ‘we-time’ to ‘me-time’!
1. Taking a break aids in ascertaining your priorities and life objectives
The time apart offers an opportunity to focus on your life goals. If you and your partner lack congruent priorities and life objectives and are unable to reach a compromise, then regrettably this relationship may not be suitable for you.
2. Taking a break facilitates evaluating compatibility
While you may notice several disparities between you and your partner, this does not imply incompatibility. If doubts about compatibility persist, taking a break is advisable.
3. Taking a break allows for feelings of longing to develop
Recall the old adage that absence makes the heart grow fonder. We often forget the reasons we fell in love; distance can serve as a reminder.
4. A break in a relationship can serve to rescue it
Although taking a break may be perceived as a precursor to a breakup, it need not be. It can potentially salvage a relationship and alert you to any neglect or taking your partner for granted.
Guidelines for halting a relationship
While taking a break, it is imperative for couples to bear certain do’s and don’ts in mind.
Do’s during a temporary separation
1. Be truthful
Expressing honesty about your perspective on the relationship, your expectations, and your emotions, may be challenging but is essential.
2. Assume responsibility
Dr Chaturvedi recommends taking responsibility for your feelings and actions before, during, and after the break.
3. Define what a break signifies for you
Given that individuals may have different interpretations of relationship breaks, it is crucial to discuss what it signifies for you and your partner.
4. Establish a time limit
Prior to embarking on a break, determining an end date is essential, as an indefinite break can instigate relationship anxiety.
5. Establish clear boundaries and expectations
Setting forth regulations and healthy boundaries can minimize the risk of causing harm to your partner. Adjusting to a break can be challenging when you are accustomed to daily communication with your partner.
Don’ts during a break
1. Do not neglect your obligations
If your and your partner’s financial matters are intertwined, navigating a break can be more complex. Therefore, it is advisable to discuss in advance how you both will fulfill your responsibilities during the break.
2. Do not use a break to evade a breakup
Some individuals resort to taking a break from the relationship when they should actually sever ties. Although some issues can be resolved by taking time apart, not everything can.
3. Do not force a reconciliation
A break may lead to a permanent parting of ways if you and your partner decide against reuniting. Avoid pressuring your partner into reuniting with you.
If taking a break prompts any questions or concerns, consider seeking guidance from a therapist without your partner if deemed necessary.