Taking a break in a relationship - Are you ready for it?

Posted by Sidney, 23 Feb

Do you think you are up for taking a break in a relationship? Let us get one thing right. Taking a break from a relationship does not mean you are breaking up. A break up is a decision to end the relationship while a relationship break is a pause on the relationship. While some may see it as simple as spending time apart doing “me alone” stuff or needing space to figure out what you want, it is much more than that. It's definitely not an easy decision to make.

Are you ready for that??? Will it make the relationship better or worse? Read on and make your choice…

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Do breaks in relationships work? Let’s find out!

Here comes the million-dollar question - Does taking a break in a relationship actually work? I bet you are expecting a YES or NO answer. It will not be possible to tell you that because no single recipe is the best for every soup. This means that your relationship is as unique as the next person. However, there are tough questions that you’ll have to answer to help you know if taking a break in a relationship works or not. So do breaks in relationships work? Well, you need to understand what a break really means before you know if you are ready to go through with it.

What do breaks really mean?

A couple may decide to take a break from the responsibilities that commitment brings. This could be a break from the constant fighting as a result of differences in opinion or maybe to take a pause from giving too much of themselves before they have nothing else to give. For some, a break is needed for both parties to really know what they want and if they are ready for the responsibility of committing to each other. Sometimes, it could be a space in order to decide whether to continue with the relationship or not.

A break is a time where you explore how you truly feel, the issues in your relationship and if these issues can be resolved. Every relationship has that rocky stage where the hurdles are too great. You may have reached a point where you have no clue on how to fix it. Sometimes, no matter how hard you fight it, you may need some space and time for yourself to reflect and make decisions even when you both love each other.

Why do you feel the need for a break?

As much as you love each other, you need to think about these questions. From your answers, you will know how best to proceed and make your decision for the right reasons.

Are you in a relationship where you cannot stop arguing and fighting over a particular issue no matter how much you try? Well, taking a break from a relationship may be justified in this case to enable you to understand the angle your partner is coming from without pressure. Here’s the catch! Your reasons for the break must be for the greater good. This means that you must search deep and only take the break if you are genuinely concerned about the fighting and want some space to make a decision that will work for both of you.

If you take a break to make your partner suffer for disagreeing with you on an issue, you are not doing anyone a favor.

In relationships, some major decisions will have to be made especially as you plan towards your future together – where to live, what to do and many others. It can be overwhelming especially for those that are commitment-phobic. Sometimes, a break can show you how important your partner is and if they are worth going on the forever ride with you.

Don’ts for a break

Most times, couples are too quick to utter the words “we should take a break” in a way that leaves no room for conversation. Often times, this could lead to hurtful remarks being thrown back and forth. And this could escalate to a point where these words cannot be taken back. Desist from asking for a break as a temporary fix for your anger. It never works for good.

Don’t take a break if you are only delaying the inevitable. If you do not have feelings for your partner, do the noble thing and let them go. Moving on is always an option. Both of you deserve happiness. Also, it is not a good idea to have a break with your partner for manipulative reasons or to have the upper hand. A lot of couples often resort to the threat of a break to win an argument.

Taking a break in a relationship is not a good idea if you want to pay your partner’s infidelity back with your own infidelity. I get that you are mad at your partner for cheating on you. However, a break does not give you a free pass to sleep with someone unless your partner is aware of this and supports it.

Don’t resort to a break if you have not communicated the problem with your partner. It is not the ultimate solution to your relationship problems. Discuss with your partner, read books and seek help from experienced therapists who can help you understand each other. It is sad that some couples on a break cannot pinpoint the exact problem that led to the break. How then do you hope to resolve it?

Are you ready to take a break?

Perhaps you have made up your mind about taking the break and nothing can dissuade you, or maybe you are at a crossroad and wondering what to do next. Either way, you need to understand how to take a break in a relationship and the basic rules of a break in a relationship. Here are some of them...

Figure out the why

It is important to sit and talk with your partner and discuss why there needs to be a break. Express your fears and figure out if is the problem is a deal breaker for you. You need to discuss with your partner what the break means to you and what you hope will be gained from the break. There have been cases where a rational discussion between partners removed thoughts of a break and led to better understanding and compromise.

Define the break

Both of you must be clear on the boundaries of the break and discuss what is allowed and what is not. Everything should be crystal clear to both parties. Should you check in once a week? Should you remain committed to each other alone and not date other people? Do you agree to communicate any good or bad news to each other? All of this should be properly defined.

Learn to approach issues from the other person’s perspective

This should not be a problem especially if the aim of the break is to look for a solution. During the break, you need to challenge yourself to see your partner’s point of view. Be realistic. Your partner is not perfect and neither are you. In the words of Sam Keen, “we come to love not by finding a perfect person but by learning to see an imperfect person perfectly”.

Take care of your emotional health

You need to take care of yourself emotionally if you want to gain a deep perspective on your relationship and make the right decision. During the break, you need to make a conscious decision to make yourself number one and take care of yourself. Do the activities that you love and rest well. Reach out to others – family, friends, and colleagues – that make you happy. Your romantic relationship should be an addition to your life, not its entirety.

Eat healthily and take care of your physical wellbeing

There is a feel-good hormone that is released into the body when you perform physical activities. Eat healthily and look good. You are bound to feel more confident, which will have a positive impact on your general wellbeing while on the break.


A break may be the ultimate test that gives you a lot of clarity. You get to see life on both sides of the coins - with your partner or without your partner. The truth is, a break will eventually lead to one of these scenarios; help you both realize that you really want to be together, help you both realize you are better off apart or help you understand that you should have broken up a long time ago.

Do breaks in relationship work? To that, I’ll say there is a fifty percent chance that a break may lead to a breakup. Thus, a relationship break could be the start of something better for a couple or the end for another couple. All that is left is for you to search deep within you. Be true to yourself and listen to what your heart says.

Finally, if you know in your heart that your partner is not the right man or woman for you and will not make you happy at the end of the day, be brave and challenge yourself to walk away. There should be no compromise on the choice of who deserves to be in your life. However, if you know you are great together, fight hard for it and don’t give up easily. Never forget that love is all colors. You owe it to yourself to be happy.

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