Often, people in relationships don't always wake up to smell the roses. Sometimes, it's literally burnt coffee.
Everyone who has been there can agree that it is not the most beautiful feeling, but in matters of the heart, it's hard to control or predict what happens.
Rainy days in relationships come when partners fight each other. It could get so stormy that they resolve they are not good for each other, and fights turn into screamfests. Sometimes, it doesn't even get to that point.
Things like long stretches of silence, changed behavior, and new bad habits can make people in love crave some distance from each other. It doesn't mean they no longer love each other when that happens.
It just means they need time to gain clarity, perspective, and insight into themselves and their relationship. It helps them decide whether they still want to be with each other or if it's time to pump the brakes. But, even when the former is the case, most people don't know how to reconnect after a break.
It is not easy to deal with relationship break, because no matter how much clarity you get during it, things will not immediately return to “normal” the moment you get back together. It may take time, effort, and several moments of frustration before you are fully back on the horse as a couple.
How to Deal with Relationship Break
But let's back up a little. Can a relationship even survive a break? After spending weeks and even months away from each other, one could start having serious doubts. But taking a break isn't the same as pumping the brakes. And what you do during the hiatus can help when you begin wondering how to reconnect after a break. These rules are surefire ways to keep your relationship on the right track, even during a break.
You've never had a relationship break before, but now you must, and your mind is all over the place. You're wondering if it's the end and if you'll ever reconnect after the break. No, it's not, and yes, you can.
Stay calm and know that you're doing it for the good of the relationship. If it helps, talk to a few friends about it, but never a mutual friend you share with your partner.
No Speaking Rule
This might sound like the opposite of what two people in love do. However, if you're considering taking the “love pause,” it probably means you're unsure where your heart is and need time to figure it out. So, you might want to cut off communication with your partner during a relationship break.
A relationship forum user shared how this helped their relationship: “I was working two jobs, and he had just had a complete work overhaul. We bickered every time we spoke, and I suggested taking a year apart. We spent eight months apart without speaking a word to each other, and then COVID hit. It made both of us realize we truly loved each other.”
Set Each Other Free
Like the former rule, following it all the way through is important when you decide to take a break from the relationship. Pick up new hobbies to help you and refocus your energy on yourself. Remember what led to that point and know that the break is for the ultimate well-being of the relationship and your individual selves.
As an online relationship forum user said, “No trying to slide smoothly into a friendship, no broken-up-but-still-having-sex-when-we-get-lonely, both of you totally free to see other people and live separate lives for at least a year.”
Of course, this only works when you're truly apart. Taking a break in a relationship when you live together would be impossible, and one of you may have to compromise and move out of the shared space for a while.
Have Solid Intentions
Most people don't know how to ask for a break in a relationship without breaking up because they don't understand why they want the break. Know what you're going in for and what you hope to achieve by the end. If your partner is the one who suggests the break, ask why and discuss it.
Relationship forum user Condition_These says it like a pro: “Have a solid basis and understanding for your intentions with the break. Either way, it will provide you with perspective for one of two things: you're more ready to move on than you were scared or wanted to admit to yourself – or you value the relationship and person enough to be vulnerable, patient, and empathetic. I think if the latter is the common shared goal, you'll make it out of the break even stronger.”
Set a Timeframe
The answer to the question, “How long should a relationship break be?” is up to you and your partner. Both partners need to discuss setting a time frame for how long the break should be.
This is crucial as without this, a “break” could lead to the relationship fading, as both partners may get used to being apart.
Decide if You're Exclusive
Suppose you don't know how to ask for a break in a relationship without breaking up. In that case, it's probably because you don't trust yourself or the aftermath of the break. Both partners must decide whether to remain exclusive during the pause, which is strongly advised. Seeing other people in that period would only hurt the process.
And I'm not talking about couples therapy. You might want to try individual therapy to deal with any possible deep-rooted issues you may have that may be affecting the relationship. Alternatively, therapy may be an eye-opener to cancers in the relationship you've been blinded to.
Take it from online forum user, Booplesnootery: “It's actually the progress in my personal therapy that fueled the conflict in my marriage. The better my self-esteem got, the more I expected from him and the less I was willing to tolerate. I almost feel guilty because the terms of our relationship changed on him, but ultimately, I just got to a place where I have healthier expectations and standards.”
Trust me, you will feel full emotions while on a break, asking yourself many questions: Can a relationship survive a break? How long should a relationship break be? Because you're itching to reach out to them. Pause, and let it all flow to your diary. You'd be surprised by how liberating and insightful this is.
Online forum user, greenhousegoblin, applied this rule, and according to them, they “came back together with a stronger and better relationship than before.”
The only communication during a relationship break that should be allowed is the ones you have with yourself.
Take the time to get to know yourself. Ask yourself questions as you would someone you met on a blind date. Discover your strengths and weaknesses, and rediscover even the most insignificant details about yourself to help you become the ideal partner in your relationship. Again, taking a break in a relationship when you live together would be impossible. So, move out temporarily to avoid cheating on yourself.
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How long should a relationship break be? We don't have any clear-cut answers. However, we know the first step you should plan for once you're ready to resume the relationship.
Though you should cut down communication during a relationship break, you should go all in after the break. Most people are clueless about how to reconnect after a break because they expect everything to return to normal once they're ready to jump back in.
No, this is where effective communication comes to light. With time, both partners must have gained some insight. This rule comes last but is one of the most important. Share your thoughts and insights with your partner, be honest, and reflect on your relationship.
1. What Are Alternatives to Taking a Break in a Relationship?
Communicate emphatically. When all your efforts to fix your relationship seem futile, and communication isn't working, pushing the boundary and communicating harder doesn't hurt. Not everyone believes in relationship breaks, so if you're one of those people avoiding the idea of a break, express your dissatisfaction and feelings as clearly as possible. If that doesn't work, then consider breaking up. It isn't the solution anyone wants to hear, but sometimes, it's the only way out.
2. What Does Taking a Break Mean to a Guy?
Often, when a guy suggests taking a break, or when you suggest taking a break to a guy, he's already thinking of the worst-case scenarios. He needs time and space to think and re-exert control over his life. Suppose he's the one who suggests taking a break. In that case, there's also a fair possibility that he's tired of the relationship and is trying to let you down slowly.
3. Can a Relationship Survive a Break?
Certainly. Not only can a relationship survive a break, but it can also become stronger and healthier than before. The caveat is that you both follow the set rules and respect each other's space and privacy. A dying relationship may reemerge more refined and fulfilling with clearly defined objectives, boundaries, and rules.
This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.
Boloere Seibidor, fondly called B.S. is a Nigerian-based writer and poet. Her favorite topics to cover include music, especially Hip-Hop, film, lifestyle, and fashion. She's been published by Feral Journal, Fantasy Magazine, The Temz Review, and most notably, Wealth of Geeks. She enjoys romantic dinners, movie nights, and touring new sites. When she's not writing, she's delving back in time to the underground world of Hip-Hop, watching TikTok, or visiting the cinema.