How To Deal With Taking A Break In A Relationship – 7 Rules

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After countless fights and making each other feel horrible, you’ve now decided to take a break in your relationship. It’s possible you’re feeling anxious about how everything will turn out, which is warranted. After all, taking a break is notorious for being a bad sign in a relationship. However, it doesn’t necessarily have to be the case. If you know how to deal with taking a break in a relationship, you both could come back stronger than ever before.

To put your anxious mind at ease, we’d like to tell you that the minute you decided on taking a break, you already started working on improving your relationship. After all, it is a well-known fact that an occasional break can do you a world of good. The same can be true of taking a break in a relationship. Think of it as that long weekend vacation you’ve needed forever but haven’t actually been able to get around to.

Even so, even entertaining this possibility can overwhelm you with a host of questions. What are the taking a break in a relationship rules? Can you be in contact during a relationship break? At what point do you decide that the break is over and you must get back together? Most importantly, how do you make effective use of your time now that you’re on a break?

To help you understand how to deal with taking a break in a relationship and how to plan and execute it effectively, Shazia Saleem (Masters in Psychology), who specializes in separation and divorce counseling, shares some insights into ways to solve relationship problems before the point of breaking up. In the process, we also talk about common long-term relationship problems and how to fix them.

What To Do During A Relationship Break

According to studies, 50% of adults break up and reconcile with their ex at some point in their lives. The concept of ‘break’ exists in marriage too. In fact, research points out that 6% to 18% of married couples separate at some point and take a break from marriage. So, taking a break is neither uncommon nor as ominous as you may have thought.

The important thing is figuring out how to deal with taking a break in a relationship and how best to handle your time apart. Here is what you can do:

  • The purpose of a break in a relationship is to introspect on your mistakes and unrealistic expectations
  • Use that time for things that you genuinely enjoy
  • If you and your partner have set a specific time frame for the break, it is best to stick to it
  • Avoid checking in during a break; follow the no-contact rule
  • Don’t date other people; use this time to remind yourself how special your partner is

7 Rules To Deal With Taking A Break In A Relationship

If you think just declaring you’re on a break and going your separate ways will do the trick, think again. You don’t want to end up screaming, “We were on a break!”, for 10 straight years like Ross from Friends. To avoid a situation like that, it’s important to communicate with your partner as much as you can and set up some ground rules before taking a break from the relationship.

You don’t want to receive or even send multiple texts and calls while you two are on your break – that won’t end up doing either of you any good. Shazia says, “There should always be open communication in a relationship not just for conflict resolution. It is also a preventive step and not just a curative one.” 

Looking for tips on how to deal with taking a break in a relationship? For starters, if you don’t utilize this time correctly, you might just come back wondering why your relationship troubles haven’t magically dissipated. To make sure that doesn’t happen, we’ve compiled some “taking a break in a relationship rules”. But since every relationship is inherently different, the biggest piece of advice we can give you is to communicate with your partner, which leads us to our very first rule:

1. Talk about the break with your partner

One of the most important taking a break in a relationship rules is to have a clear conversation with your partner about the intent behind the decision and also how best you can navigate this rather challenging phase without letting it take a toll on your bond. You can’t just send your partner a “we need a break” message and then throw your phone away, expecting everything to fall into place.

Shazia says, “Always maintain a level of decency and dignity on your part. Respect your partner and their family. Love needs to be complemented with respect. Respecting your partner, their priorities, their choices, their emotional needs, and their individuality will help avoid heated arguments in the first place. It will allow you to discuss relationship problems without fighting.”

Before you officially start your break, you need to tell your partner why you think you two could use one. How they take the news doesn’t necessarily matter as much as you communicating your feelings honestly. Taking a break from a long-term relationship can also come as a shock to your partner. especially if they aren’t aware that the issues between you two have been affecting you deeply enough to warrant such a decision.

That’s why communication is essential. Have a constructive conversation with your partner about it, preferably face to face. Clear out any misunderstandings, so you both know that you’re not broken up, just on a break. You don’t want your partner to have moved on by the time you come back.

Related Reading: 9 Signs Its Time For Taking A Break In A Relationship

2. Ask the important questions and plan your break

Are you both single for the duration of the break? Will there be absolutely no contact during a relationship break? Or is it okay to check in on each other every once in a while? If so, how much communication is preferable? When will your break end? It’s important to answer all these questions before taking a break from your relationship.

How to deal with taking a break in a relationship? Discussing things like exclusivity and if you two want to sleep with other people or have an open relationship during the duration of the break is vital. As is setting a tentative time limit for your break is typically the way to go.

taking a break in a relationship rules
Turning your back to each other instead of discussing how to take a break can prove disastrous

Breaks usually last anywhere between a couple of weeks to a couple of months. However, it’s hard to decide how much time you’ll actually need to figure out all you want to figure out. So don’t set a specific date as the end of the break, just in case you need to extend it. Put briefly, make sure you’re both on the same page about the break and what you expect out of each other.

When taking a break from a long-term relationship or committed partnership, defining the ground rules is of utmost importance. Without it, both partners can be left feeling uncertain about the future. This uncertainty can be overwhelming and may push you to do things that you later regret. So, if you have been wondering can taking a break be good for a relationship, know that it can serve you well only when it’s handled the right way.

3. Try not to send the “I miss you so much!” texts

If you’re taking a break from a long-term relationship, you might be tempted to send something along the lines of “I know we’re on a break, but I just want to be with you!” A bit ironic, we’d say. Had you shown this much interest before, you wouldn’t have needed a break (ouch, sorry!).

Likewise, when taking a break in a long-distance relationship, navigating this rough patch single-handedly and the distance between you and your partner can augment the feelings of longing. In such moments, picking up the phone and texting your partner can seem like the only thing that will bring you solace and comfort. And that’s to be expected.

What’s important is not giving in to this temptation. If you’re struggling to deal with taking a break in a relationship and want to text your partner to check up on them, try to stop yourself. In those moments, it may seem like you’re in love and problems are nowhere to be found. Two days after that, you’re both fighting and bickering again about that one thing you just can’t see eye to eye on.

Keep the communication during a relationship break to a minimum, or just employ the no-contact rule. Check up once or twice a week if you want but don’t video call each other every night. Shazia says, “Anytime you face a conflict in your relationship that feels too emotionally taxing or complex to handle, just take a bit of time. Don’t make any hasty decisions and give the issue at hand some mindful consideration.”

Related Reading: 9 Tips To Build Harmonious Relationships

4. Focus on yourself

Shazia says, “Not just to solve relationship problems without breaking up but to avoid problems in the first place, partners should allow each other free space where they can just be, both physically and figuratively. Everyone should have the privilege of some privacy to their own emotions.”

Among the vital taking a break in a relationship rules is shifting the focus from your partner and your relationship to yourself. You were probably feeling overwhelmed if you felt the need to take a break. This means, now that you’re on one, you have more time to focus on yourself instead of trying to solve yet another petty fight with your partner. The more you get to know yourself and what you like to focus your energy on, the better you’ll be able to decide if your relationship is worth it.

Now is the time to embrace all you’ve wanted to get to but haven’t been able to. Make the most of the diminished contact during a relationship break on self-discovery and self-care. This is one of the most valuable tips on how to deal with taking a break in a relationship. You’ll notice a change in your mood once you successfully fight off the feeling of missing your partner all the time.

Infographic on taking break in relationship rules
Dealing with taking a break in a relationship

5. Be honest and don’t go off-track

What does taking a break mean to a guy? Obviously, sleeping around, right? Don’t assume anything and make sure you discuss exclusivity with your partner. You’re on a break, your social media might be flooded with single people who out of nowhere have decided to slide into your DMs. Unless you’ve both decided you can sleep around, make sure you don’t give in to temptation, and remain faithful.

Getting over cheating is hard, don’t make your partner go through that. Whether you’re taking a break from a long-term relationship where you and your partner were cohabitating or in a long-distance relationship that has become rife with petty fights and bickering, don’t lose sight of the fact that you and your partner are still a couple.

Here’s how to deal with taking a break in a relationship: don’t spend your entire break hanging out with your friends trying to forget you’re in a relationship. As you’ll read on with our next point, it’s important to assess your relationship during this time. We know it’ll be hard, but you need to turn down all those people who slid into your DMs, thinking you’re newly single.

6. Think about what went wrong in your relationship

Taking a break gives you the opportunity to focus on what went wrong in your relationship and get to the root cause of your issues. If you’re wondering how to survive a break in your relationship, you have to analyze it during this time to see exactly where things went wrong. So, instead of checking in during a break or focusing on communication during a relationship break, focus on how you both arrived at this stage.

Couples often get trapped in the day-to-day humdrum and lose active connection. Many problems could be avoided or easily resolved only if partners spent more quality time with each other. Shazia says, “Keeping your phone away when talking to each other, giving your partner dedicated time are ways to show your partner that they matter. If that has been missing from your relationship, it is worth pondering why that is.”

Now that you have more time on your hands to do the things you like, you’ll have a better frame of mind to think about the problems in your relationship. For instance, if you’re taking a break in a long-distance relationship, you may be better poised to look beyond the petty arguments and constant bickering overshadowing your bond and decipher why you fell into this pattern in the first place.

Is the distance becoming too much to handle? Do you feel emotionally distant from your partner? Do you or your partner feel uninvolved in each other’s lives? Analyze the good and the bad, and what you’d like to fix. You may be completely convinced that your relationship isn’t the best solely because of your irritating partner, but try not to be engrossed in just the negatives.

stories about breakup and loss

It’s hard to accept, but you could be to blame as well. Think about what you might have done in the relationship that may have harmed it, and what you both can do going forward. So put on your detective hat and start solving the case of your relationship’s murder! That’s the best answer to how to deal with taking a break in a relationship.

Related Reading: 11 Things You Can Do If You Are Not Happy In A Marriage

7. Go with your gut

Are you confused about how to deal with taking a break in a relationship? Whilst analyzing your relationship, it’s easy to be carried away and start overthinking it instead. Talk to a friend, and discuss what might be the best move for you. If all the reasons to end a relationship apply to you, you shouldn’t lie to yourself about the health of your relationship.

If you already know your relationship is not going to survive and you’re trying to convince yourself otherwise, you’re just delaying the inevitable. Sooner or later, the shaky foundations of your relationship will give way, only to make you regret not having gone with your gut. The simplest of the taking a break in a relationship rules is to be honest with yourself and don’t go on the break with a predetermined outcome in mind.

Key Pointers

  • The rules of a break in a relationship include introspecting why the relationship is going downhill
  • Communication during a break should be minimal
  • This is the time to focus on yourself and be honest with yourself
  • Stay in tune with your instincts to arrive at a final decision

Keep your mind open to all possibilities and see where this break takes you. How to deal with taking a break in a relationship can be as simple as taking a step back and calming yourself. You deserve love in its truest form, the kind that transcends the petty “stop looking at him/her!” fights. If done right, the break will help you find whatever is best for you. Even if that means you have to end your current relationship. At the end of the day, your happiness is what’s most important.


1. Does taking a break help a relationship?

Yes, it does, if utilized properly. My boyfriend and I are on a break and I miss him. But this time is making me realize about all the things I have been doing wrong.

2. How long should breaks last in a relationship?

Make sure you both are on the same page when it comes to taking a break in a relationship. A break can last from a week to a month. It all depends on you and your partner.

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