How to survive a break in your relationship

Taking a Break - The Do's and Don'ts of Pausing Your Relationship

April 1, 2019

“We were taking a break!” is a phrase the TV show Friends made into a popular joke. You can probably hear Ross’s voice ringing through your head now!

But in reality, taking a break from a relationship is no joking matter. In fact, many people feel they don’t work and lead to an actual break up.

Yet, that’s not true.

There are ways of taking a break that can lead to the kind of clarity and understanding a troubled relationship needs to survive. Let’s look into the do’s and don’ts of pausing your relationship.

Do: Be Honest About Why

Before deciding to put your relationship on pause, it’s important to understand why you feel this way.

You may have reached an impasse in the relationship and need to take a step back to refocus. Or a potential deal-breaker has come up and you need time to think.

Whatever you identify the issue to be, that’s the time to set down with your partner and talk it through. Be open and honest with them. And listen to what they have to say.

Above all, don’t request a break in the middle of anger or frustration. It’s a big decision to make. And one that both of you need to discuss and decide on together.

Don’t: Take a Break If You Want to Break up

Many people decide to take a relationship break to avoid the messy situation of actually breaking up. But taking this slow-motion approach will only be harder on the both of you.

If you know you want to break up, it’s best to confront the situation head-on.

It may suck to think about hurting your partner. And the thought of being alone again is scary. But taking a break will only prolong the inevitable.

Breaking up now, when you know it’s what you want, will let the healing process begin. Not only for yourself but your partner as well. And you both deserve that much.

Do: Set Boundaries

Once the both of you have talked, and you agree taking a break is best, it’s time to set some boundaries. Because running into confusion and a hurtful situation down the road will not help anything.

But the boundaries may look quite different for each couple. It’s all in what you feel comfortable with.

Will you still consider yourselves in a relationship during the break? Or will you be officially single during this time frame? Then you may want to discuss if you’ll date or sleep with other people.

Be very careful, and crystal clear, in deciding what is acceptable and what is not. You both need to feel secure and have an understanding. Not only for your break but in the relationship that may follow it.

Don’t: Communicate During a Break

A break means exactly that. And that includes taking a break in communication.

When you suddenly find yourself without someone who has taken up a big part of your life, it’s natural to feel a void. And in turn, it’s natural to keep going back to this person.

But you need this break to clear your mind and reflect. Having regular communication or even checking in with your partner will only muddy things up.

Use this time apart to gain insight into yourself, your partner, and your relationship. And to do that successfully, you’ll need space without interruption.

Do: Set a Realistic Time Frame

Taking a break in a relationship without an end in sight may create turmoil and anxiety. And in reality, an open break is a breakup. That’s why it’s a good idea to set a time frame.

Make it a time frame that both of you feel comfortable with. You may feel a week is enough time apart. Or you might need a month.

Just be sure to respect that time frame once it’s set. You may go half-way through and know you want to stay with your partner. But they may need more time.

Seeing the time frame through will ensure everyone gets the space they need.

Don’t: Focus Solely on Your Partner’s Needs

Sure, a break is a time to reflect on your relationship and your partner’s needs. But don’t forget about yourself in the process.

Your needs and well-being are important. So use this time for YOU!

Spend time on hobbies you enjoy. Reach out to family and friends. And getting physically active will release “feel good” hormones that can help you get through this difficult situation.

Taking care of yourself throughout a relationship break will give you the self-confidence to make the right decision.

Do: Ask Yourself the Important Questions

While you’re taking time to focus on yourself, it’s also the time to start facing the important questions.

Are you seeing things clearly from both sides and understanding your partner’s concerns? Are you putting the kind of effort into the relationship you should be? Or are you pointing fingers and placing blame?

The time you spend alone while taking a break will also leave you with other questions to answer.

Are you happier without your partner around? Can you not imagine a future without them? Or are you hanging on because you don’t want to be alone?

Asking yourself the hard questions will get you down to the nitty-gritty part of your feelings. The part that will lead you to make a decision about your relationship that’s best for both involved.

Don’t: Set Unrealistic Expectations

Nobody and no situation is perfect. So setting unrealistic expectations on your relationship and your partner will only be setting yourselves up for failure.

Realize every relationship takes work. Mistakes are going to happen and feelings are going to get hurt. But it’s how much of yourself you’re willing to invest in this relationship that will dictate the outcome.

Be realistic about each of your needs and weaknesses. Be honest about the role each of you plays. And know to start fresh, you need to set expectations that create a relationship worth fighting for.

Taking a Break Provides Relationship Clarity

When you’re in the midst of a murky relationship, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to take a step back to see things more clearly. In fact, taking a break may provide the exact clarity you need. Only then will you be confident enough to know how to move forward.

Learn How to Improve Your Relationship!

10 Tips for Taking A Break in Your Relationship

You can love someone so much…But you can never love people as much as you can miss them. ~ John Green (Tweet this)

Though no one in a relationship strives to take a break from their loved one, it is sometimes unavoidable. When two people are working through their issues and potentially keep running into issues, sometimes taking a break from your relationship is the best option for recovery. Instead of completely breaking up, taking space apart or taking a break from each other and working through issues on your own, is a great idea. You will come back together with a clearer idea about what you want and need from your partner and from your relationship.

Vital steps to follow when you are taking a break

1. Spend time alone

After an actual breakup, it is easy to want to immerse yourself in friends, new relationship prospects, or both. It is important to spend time with other people when you are feeling down, but for just a break, the situation requires something different. Though it is always a good idea to talk through things with your friends, spending time alone is very beneficial. Spending time alone will allow you to reflect on what is happening with your relationship and what you genuinely want out of the outcome of this break.

2. Reflect

Reflecting on your feelings, your partners’ feelings, and your relationship is vital. If you and your partner take a break without you spending time thinking about what you are feeling, there is not really a point to taking a break.

Reflecting on how you feel, on what you want, and what you believe will help you come back together with a head that is very clear.

3. Don’t worry

Worrying is the easiest way to cause yourself more stress. It is perfectly normal to wonder what will happen post-break, but it is not beneficial to either of you to stress out about it. If you and your partner agree to take a break, let yourself use that time to relax, think about what you want, and hope for an optimal outcome. Try not to let yourself stress out about the results.

4. Set boundaries

If you and your partner are both clear about what this break means to each of you (and your relationship), things will go much smoother. Are you dating other people? Are you still sending each other text messages? Is one of you going on a vacation out of town? There are so many things to establish to make the break a lot easier for both of you. Talk about what matters to you and what matters to your partner, and come up with a solid conclusion. Also here is a complete guide on how to break up without a fight to make things more easier for you and your partner!

5. Cherish your partner

Taking a break often has negative connotation, but it is not always accurate. There is a saying that we have all heard –

Absence makes the heart grow fonder.

It is sometimes incredibly true, and it sometimes falls short. With this break, remind yourself what you and your partner have, what he or she brings to your life, and how much he or she means to you. Reminding yourself of all of the reasons you love this person can actually be easier when you are apart. Let it all sink in.

“Love when you are ready, not when you are lonely”

6. Be honest

Taking a break is supposed to be easier than actually breaking up, but it does not always come across that way. If you are not missing your partner as much as you thought you might, be honest with yourself about it. If you are feeling less stressed out during this break, be honest with yourself about it. If you do not necessarily feel the urge to be together anymore, be honest with yourself (and your partner) about it.

This break is supposed to be about reflection and if you are dishonest with yourself about how you are feeling, there was no point to the break in the first place.

7. Do not date other people

Like the iconic motif in the television show Friends, taking a break does not mean seeing other people. You and your partner decided to take a break because you need to reflect on your current relationship, not because you need to pursue other people. If you are interested in being with someone else, or multiple other people, it is important to communicate that to your partner.

8. Be optimistic

 It is not uncommon for one person to push “taking a break” more than the other. If you were not necessarily emphatic about taking a break from your relationship, it is definitely important to stay optimistic about it.

A break does not mean a breakup.

Some people need to take space to reflect on what they are doing and how they are feeling. People process feelings in different ways, and even if you are sure about how you feel, it is important to remain optimistic while your partner processes on their own.

9. Remember that breakups are not cures

If you go back into your space apart with the assumption that it has solved any or all of your previous problems, you might be disappointed. Though it is important to stay realistic, it is also important to be realistic. If you and your partner are working through things, a break will not make everything go away. Once you two come back together, be very practical and open to the idea of talking through the things that brought you to the break in the first place. There is a famous saying which goes like,

 “Hearts will never be practical until they are made unbreakable” (Tweet this)

10. Trust

Do not spend this break thinking about how you might have trust issues with your partner. Do not focus on how your partner might think this break is a reason for you to break his or her trust. What you should be thinking about is what you want out of the relationship. If you cannot get past your trust issues, perhaps it is time to consider the next step in your relationship.  If trust is something you never have to worry about, count that as a win and move forward to the next step in your relationship.

5 important rules for those who decide to take a break in a relationship

November 13, 2021



Sometimes a break in a relationship is simply necessary. It helps to understand how the union affects your life and whether it has a future. In some cases, after such an experience, couples break up completely. However, this does not always happen.

Psychologist Kristin Davin notes that many relationships resume after a break, and it all depends on the conditions of "rest" from each other. If the rules of temporary separation are stipulated and observed in advance, this will allow everyone to have the same hopes for this period.

1. Determine the reason

Look inside yourself and try to understand why you need a break in the first place. Perhaps you have a feeling that the spark has disappeared from the relationship. Or there have been major changes in your life, such as a move, and you are not sure that you and your partner have a joint future.

At this stage, it is important to understand whether the indicated problem is the reason for the break or for a full break. For example, someone in a couple wants to have children, while someone else does not. In this case, a temporary break will not help and it makes sense to end the relationship.

2. Discuss the situation

The break concerns two people, which means that it should be discussed together. It is best to do this in person.

If you are in a relationship at a distance, contact by video and discuss the situation. This will help to read body language, non-verbal signals and a genuine reaction of a partner, which you definitely will not notice in a telephone conversation, and even more so in correspondence.

3. State the conditions

Be as honest as possible and try not to leave omissions. Explain why you want to take a break. Decide if you will communicate during this time, and if so, how often. Be sure to agree on whether each of you can meet other people while the relationship is on pause.

It is especially important to discuss conditions if you live together. If you have joint property or a pet that you already have as a couple, you need to deal with these issues.

A break is unlikely to be complete if you constantly think about how your cat is doing, or about the prefix that you left in that apartment. Try to eliminate as much as possible from your life all the things that bind you in order to truly spend time alone freely.

4. Avoid Deadlines

Many of us have been told at least once at the end of an interview that we will call back within a week. Most often, after such promises, we spend seven days waiting for a call that never comes. It is worth thinking about this in the context of a temporary separation.

It is not known what difficulties, thoughts and feelings you will encounter while spending time apart. Perhaps you will be completely unprepared to return to life together by the previously agreed date. This can ruin relationships and lead to unnecessary conflicts. Especially if one is already ready to reunite, while the other needs more time to think.

The search for oneself and one's place in a couple or outside of it are too serious issues to give a specific deadline for their solution.

5. Have a good time

Take a break to explore yourself beyond the relationship. Relive long-abandoned hobbies, connect with family and friends, and even let yourself experience the joys of single life.

Ask yourself why you need a relationship. If only to avoid loneliness, then this is an occasion to wonder whether the fear of being alone is really a reasonable reason to stay in a couple.

Do not forget to think about your union: what are the problems in it, can they be corrected or not. If you are happier without a partner - most likely, the relationship has become obsolete, and it's time to end it.

Read also 🧐

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  • How to understand when it's worth fighting for a relationship, and when it's time to put an end to it
  • Divorce at night: why happy couples do not sleep together and whether it suits you

Pause in a relationship: how to do everything right❤️‍🩹

All fans of the series "Friends" remember the eternal dispute about whether the main characters Ross and Rachel were on a break, and whether they could therefore sleep with others during this time. We are not in the series, so the situation when a guy or a girl offers to pause in a relationship cannot be called comical. Today in invme we will tell you what a break in a relationship means, what it can lead to and how to behave.

The first and main piece of advice - try not to throw tantrums and emotional showdowns

The partner suggested taking a break in the relationship: how to behave?

The first and main piece of advice - try not to throw tantrums and emotional showdowns. Accept this information calmly, no matter how difficult it may be. Most likely, this situation did not arise in one day, and you already understood before that everything was going to part either forever or for some time. It rarely happens that one partner changes, begins to treat the other differently, and the second does not notice anything at all. The fact that you did not want to notice is another matter entirely.

After hearing the phrase that your boyfriend or girlfriend wants to take a break, ask why they took this decision. What do they mean by it - to leave for a couple of days or a couple of months? To remain silent and pretend that nothing has happened, and you are not at all alarmed, is just as stupid as hysteria and finding out who is right and who is wrong in a raised voice.

Why pause in a relationship?

Every relationship has its own reason why a couple decides to take a break in a relationship. Consider the main ones:

Pause as a way out of the conflict

If there is a strong quarrel between lovers, a break for some time is often considered as the only right way to resolve such a situation. Of course, in this case we are not talking about the fact that the break lasted several months. But 5-10 days is enough for the emotions to subside, and you were able to discuss everything with a cold head.

Reaction to cheating

When someone in a couple finds out about cheating, for almost everyone, the first reaction is to immediately end the relationship. But some decide to take a break and think about everything that happened, and also not to see or hear the person who offended and hurt so much for some time. What happens next depends on how events unfold. Does one agree to forgive, and the second - to deserve this forgiveness.

As blackmail

Some people deliberately ask for a pause in a relationship to show their partner who is in charge in their relationship. Such a person expects to be forced to return and do everything the way he wants. This is a clear sign that the relationship is unhealthy and that it is better for the partner to get out of it right away instead of continuing to be with the manipulator and someone who does not appreciate him or his feelings.

When a couple hit a dead end

When a relationship has turned into nothing but scandals and an endless showdown, for many, the only option is to pause. Such a break can really be beneficial if you understand that everyone needs to be alone with themselves, step back and make a further decision on whether the relationship is worth fighting for or not.


new forces, or put an end to them.

Find out how you will feel if you break up

Often this is the last step before the final separation, when partners want to know how they will live without each other. How difficult it can be, how long it will take to get used to. In addition, it often happens that it is easier for a man and a woman to first pretend that they are parting for a while, just pause, than to admit that this is actually the end.

Because it's scary to say that you want to leave

This is probably one of the main reasons partners decide to take a break. As if in order to think and make a decision. But in reality, this is due to the fact that they are simply cowardly to admit to each other (and often to themselves) that it is time to end the relationship, and not be together because of habit or for some other similar reason.

Does this mean that this is the end?

It must be said right away that in most cases this is exactly the case. Because when everything is good between partners, it is unlikely that any of them will think about taking a break. In a healthy and strong relationship, all issues are resolved through conversations, not pauses that can drag on for weeks, months, or even forever.

But even here there are exceptions. True, they can only happen if you really value each other and after the break you realized that you want to be together. For this to happen, both need to take the following steps:

- perceive this break as an opportunity to relax and be alone with yourself

- evaluate everything that happens, analyze relationships

- miss each other

- understand whether you are really needed each other

- to think about how to build your future

- to recharge emotionally

- to feel the power of your love and come to the conclusion that this is still true love, not a habit or comfort.

When things are going well between partners, hardly any of them will think about taking a break

How long should a break in a relationship last?

The main thing you should remember when you decide to take a break in a relationship is to indicate how long it will last. Because if you agree to a week or a maximum of ten days, and your partner insists on a period of a month or more, consider how much he needs you if he is ready to put your relationship on pause for so long.

Most often, a maximum of two weeks is enough to understand, accept and decide everything. If you are going to run away for several months, the chances are too high that you will never get back together.

Remember that the decision to take a break must come from both sides, because otherwise, when one wants and the other just agrees, it already turns into a certain emotional abuse.

What to do during a pause in a relationship?
  1. Disperse to different areas . It is unlikely that you will be able to make a real pause if you continue to live in the same apartment. Someone (or both) needs to leave for the break.
  2. Try to communicate less . To truly understand yourself, understand your feelings and realize that you have real feelings for your partner and miss him, you should stop communicating during the break.
  3. Put yourself first . Perhaps you are bogged down in everyday life and forgot about your hobbies and interests. Remember what you liked to do, what gives you joy and pleasure.
  4. Analyze yourself and your behavior in relationships . Put aside all claims against your partner and focus on what applies only to you. Think about what you did wrong, what conflicts arose through your fault. Maybe you often criticized your partner, constantly complained, or were not interested in his life?

How to restart a relationship after a break?

Set a specific date and arrange to meet, for example, at your favorite restaurant. Calmly discuss there everything that you felt during this time when your relationship was on pause. Share the thoughts that came to your mind, discuss what you need to change.

Ask each other the main question: do we want to move on together or should we leave forever? If you both want to continue, then you need to try to get through this difficult time for your couple together.

If already during this meeting you realized how much you missed your partner, how much you want to hug him and how you are ready to fight for the relationship - this is a great sign that most likely you will succeed.

If the relationship is still over: the opinion of a psychologist

If you did not manage to save the relationship and survive the break, do not fall into despair. As difficult as it may be for you, remember that this suffering is temporary. And that means that somewhere you are waiting for a person with whom everything will work out. Here is the opinion of the famous psychologist Mikhail Labkovsky:

“It is forbidden even to mentally pronounce the phrase “I was abandoned”. This is a movement into the position of a victim, an object, an object. You, two adults and able-bodied people, did not leave anyone anywhere. Have you broken up.

It never happens that two people live in perfect harmony and without the slightest sign of any problems one of the partners decides to leave. It just doesn't happen that way. If he fell in love with another, before that he stopped loving you. This is an important thought, and I would like every woman going through a breakup to understand this.

And this is exactly what we need to build on. If he doesn't love you anymore, why do you need him? Why do you need a person who does not want to spend time with you, who has become uninteresting in your life, who does not want to take part in your affairs, who has nothing to talk about with you?

Of course, the first time after the breakup will be hard for you.

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