You may need these tips for taking a break in your relationship if you have reached a point where the two of you need to evaluate yourselves and your partnership. “Taking a break” doesn’t necessarily mean you will break up. Sometimes the time apart will help you realize how much the other person means to you (or help them realize how much you mean to them). It can reestablish the appreciation for one another and help you grow closer in the long run. These are some basic tips for taking a break in your relationship that you should follow if you both agree that some time apart is needed.
1. Set Boundaries
The most important of all of the tips for taking a break in your relationship is to set boundaries beforehand. Are you allowed to date other people? Will the two of you go on one date per week? Are you both allowed to “hook-up” with others? Lay down some ground rules now so that there aren’t hurt feelings, tears and distrust later on. It may sound like an obvious tip, but many many couples go on a relationship hiatus without setting basic ground rules. Don’t just discuss them, write them down or print them out and you each keep a copy so there are no “misunderstandings” as to what is acceptable and what is not.
2. Stick to Your Rules
If you are going to set the rules, you have to stick to them. If you decide one of you needs space and your rules state you will only see each other once per week, that means you only see each other once per week, you do not spend the night and stay together the following day. You are taking a break for a reason and you need to give yourselves the time apart so you can think things through. If the rules state you do not sleep with other people, that means both of you need to abide by that. Don’t do it secretly and tell yourself it’s not cheating since you’re “on a break.” If the two of you, together, have decided not to do it, then it is cheating if you break those rules.
3. Have an End Date
Your break needs to have an end date at which time the two of you will sit down and decide whether your relationship is going to continue or end. The timeline the two of you need to set is completely based on the problems in the relationship, but the end date should be realistic. If you feel your partner needs to change a few things (anger issues, drug use, partying…etc) or if they feel you need to change things, taking a two week break is probably not going to be long enough to change the behaviors.
4. Evaluate Your Feelings While Apart
While you are keeping your distance from each other, thoroughly think through all of the things that have been weighing on your mind. Are your partner’s annoying habits worth breaking up over or can you get past them? If you’ve been overwhelmed by your partner’s controlling behaviors, do you feel an immense sense of relief now? You need to keep track of things that are better without your significant other as well as things that you truly miss about them. Be sure they are things you miss about him or her specifically, not simply things you miss about being in a relationship. For instance, cuddling and holding hands are things you miss about being in a relationship, while the way he kisses your forehead every morning or the way she packs your lunch for you every day are things that that person specifically does.
5. Spend Time with Other People
If part of your rules include the need to date other people, then do so. If not, spend time with the friends you’ve been neglecting or visit more with your family. If you will be tempted to stray, avoid the bars, but a Sunday brunch with your besties or a nice night of bowling with a group of friends will get you out, acting normally and help you avoid sitting home wondering what your love is doing or how things will turn out.
6. Don’t Put Them down to Others
While you are spending more time around friends and family, don’t feel that this is the opportunity to bash your significant other. Don’t air your dirty laundry to everyone you come into contact with. You don’t want to tell everyone personal details about why your relationship is on the rocks or what he or she does that irritates you to no end because there is a 50/50 chance you will work things about and be back together. If everyone knows all of his secrets and flaws it will be hard for them to react the same around him. Instead, choose a friend or two (or sister) whom you can confide in. It has to be someone you trust who will give you honest advice. It helps to be able to bounce thoughts off of someone, just keep it between a few people and not your entire social group.
7. Trust Your Feelings and Instincts
If you find yourself feeling happier, healthier and generally better off without him/her, that’s a pretty sure sign that things need to end and you need to find someone better suited to you. That being said, if your partner has come to the opposite conclusion, they will no doubt try to sway you to their way of thinking. If you know you are better off without them, stick to it and refuse to be convinced by them.
If taking a break is the right thing for you, please keep these tips in mind. Make sure you both fully understand this isn’t a break-up, it is just some time apart to reevaluate yourselves and how you interact with each other. You will know in your heart whether the two of you should be together or not once you have had the time away to think everything through. Do you have any tips to add?