When a relationship is blossoming, it feels as though nothing can go wrong. Forever and ever doesn’t seem too distant a dream. But as reality hits you like a truck, you realize holding a relationship together isn’t a cakewalk, especially if the bickering never stops. But when the arguments seem never-ending, taking a break in a relationship may even cross your mind.
If you’re ignoring the glaring reasons to take a break in a relationship, you’re basically writing its obituary. No, your problems won’t magically go away after a break but it’ll do you some good to step away for a while from a stressful situation.
Here’s a list of 9 signs it’s time to take a break in your relationship, lest you lose your mental sanity while giving CPR to a dead relationship.
What Is Meant By ‘Taking A Break In A Relationship’?
“Taking a break in a relationship” does not mean breaking up. It means the two of you are simply taking a periodic break from each other for however long you think you need. A break allows you to take a step back and think about the problems in your relationship. You can take your time and decide what you want to do about them.
If you don’t want to end up like Ross and Rachel, establish what a break means for the both of you. You’ll hear all sorts of advice on how to go about taking a break in a relationship, but the only real answer is going to come through communication with your partner. Improving communication in a relationship will do half the work for you.
If you do decide to send a taking a break in a relationship message to your partner, make sure you mean it. Once it’s out in the air, it’ll cast considerable doubts over your relationship that you two need to work on immediately. Figure out what your partner wants, how long they want to step away for, and even why you two think you need a break in the first place. Taking a break in a relationship with no contact is often the way people do it, but you should establish if you two want to remain in contact or not.
When taking a break in a relationship, you shouldn’t expect your problems to disappear when you come back. We’ll break it to you right now, they absolutely 100% will not be magically gone. Your relationship problems are here to stay unless you work through them. The benefits of taking a break in a relationship range from having a better frame of mind to being able to deal with your issues, or to have a new outlook on them completely.
Related reading: 25 Most Common Relationship Problems
9 Signs You Need To Take A Break In Your Relationship
Don’t go about saying you want a break if your partner watches your favorite show without you. Serious signs you need to take a break in a relationship are at most times staring right back at you. Unless you decide to look the other way, of course. Any of the signs listed below are viable reasons to take a break in a relationship. So, keep reading to find out when taking a break in a relationship is a good idea:
1. A fight is always on the horizon
Doesn’t matter what you say, a fight always seems to emerge out of thin air. You’ll be left wondering what you even did wrong, but by that time it’ll be too late. The screaming match has already begun. You shouldn’t feel like you’re always treading on thin ice or that you have to think twice before saying anything. You two have no idea how to reconnect after a fight, so you hope the silent treatment will do the trick.
It may seem like you can recall way more bad memories of your relationship than good ones. When you reach that stage, it’s important to take a break in a relationship for mental health. There won’t be any relationships left to harbor when you lose your mind.
2. If you two are on-again, off-again
When your friends reply with an “again?!!” to the news of you breaking up with your partner, you know you don’t really have the strongest relationship. The fights are always imminent, and when a few of them go especially bad, you know you’re blocking each other on social media. Only to send each other a follow request again after a week, since you’ve convinced yourself you can’t live without your partner.
Being caught in that vicious cycle of on-again, off-again will leave you mentally exhausted. Taking a step back and figuring out what you want before you’re “on again” will help your relationship and your mental health.
3. You can’t envision a “happily ever after” with your partner
If you can’t see a real future with the way things currently are in your relationship, you should realize there’s something considerably wrong. A realization like that can eat away at you. Eventually, you’ll need to communicate your thoughts with your partner.
Sexual tension can sometimes keep people in toxic relationships (i.e karmic relationships), despite knowing there’s no real future there. They’ll be willing to overlook the bad things just because the good things feel like they’re worth the pain. But when you realize you can’t go on like this, you know you need to take a break!
Related reading: 12 Ways To Fix A Toxic Relationship
4. You just can’t look past that dealbreaker
A few months into your relationship you realized your partner’s political views could not be further away from yours. Or maybe you found out they’re into a few things you just can’t look past. Perhaps there’s a fight that keeps recurring because of it, and you two can’t seem to find a solution.
You may even force yourself to turn a blind eye to it, but it always comes back to instigate another fight that you know will not end well. It’s time you two take a step back and really think about what you want to do next.
5. A few days without communication seem to sail by
After your inevitable ugly fights, you two will most probably give each other the silent treatment. If the days when you’re not talking to each other feel a lot better than when you do, it’s as clear a sign as any that a break will do you good.
If every message your partner sends you makes you want to lock your phone again and keep it away, you know things aren’t going too well. You won’t look forward to solving any fights and you might even have thought about breaking up a lot of times.
6. The expectations don’t match
You wanted something not too serious, but then you see your partner show up with a dozen roses to your place with concert tickets that are 6 months away. Screw taking a break, you’d want to run away when that happens.
An expectation mismatch doesn’t have to be that extreme. One person could think you’ll be talking over the phone all the time but the other presumes a “textlationship” will do just fine. Take a step back to figure out this expectation mismatch in your relationship.
7. If jealousy, insecurity, trust issues get too much to handle
Feeling overwhelmed is a very valid reason for taking a break in a relationship. Constantly being questioned about what you’re doing, where you’re going and who you’re going with will leave you suffocated.
When partners project their insecurities on the person they’re with, it will undoubtedly cause problems. Overcoming insecurity in a relationship isn’t impossible, but it definitely requires work. If it starts to feel like you’re sacrificing your mental health to stay in your relationship with a controlling partner, you need to immediately figure out what it is you want next.
Related reading: Is Your Jealous Boyfriend Being Possessive And Controlling?
8. You feel like you’re being wronged
A common trait in a toxic relationship is when one partner has no regard for what the other one has to say. If that’s the case, you’ll start feeling like your opinion doesn’t matter and what you want or expect is often overlooked.
It can feel belittling and will simply leave you unhappy. Relationships are meant to make you happier and enrich your life because of the inclusion of your partner. If yours fails to meet this simple criterion, you should consider taking a break in a relationship.
9. You lie to avoid fights
Or, you just don’t say certain things because you know it will most definitely result in a fight. You might lie about who you’re spending time with even if you’re doing nothing wrong.
Everyone lies about a few things in a relationship like if they watched an extra episode you were watching together, or if they’ve ever booty called an ex. But in healthy relationships, you should be able to tell your partner anything without being scared of the response. Lying in a relationship to make life easier for both of you will only result in worse problems down the line.
When you follow the taking a break in relationship rules and effectively utilize your break, they can work. Stepping away from a relationship that’s harming you can give you peace of mind and evaluate what would make you happier.
Even when you decide in your break that your relationship shouldn’t continue, the break still works since it helped you decide how you can be happier.
Breaks in relationships usually last anywhere between a week or a month and can even extend if both partners feel it’s necessary. However, if your break lasts an unusually long amount of time like 3-4 months, it’s more likely that’s a break-up than a break.
It’s important to establish how long you two want the break to last. Extending the break because you need more time to assess things is completely normal as well.
Yes, couples can get back together after a break, when a break is done right. A break provides couples time to think about how to tackle the problems they’re facing. So, some couples may even end up forming a stronger bond than they previously had.
If you decide to work on the relationship after a break, you’ll be able to do so better since now you have a better perspective on what the problems are and how to find a common ground.