Does Taking A Break In A Relationship Work

Whenever a relationship has began to lose its spark, you have several options: Stay, split or take a break. Some think breaks are a controversial topic, suggesting they’re a cowardly way out of breaking up with someone when it’s obvious that your relationship isn’t working. Others believe stepping away is the only way to potentially repair things before too much damage is done. According to the experts, a break can actually save your relationship in the long run – provided you’re taking it for the right reasons and careful about establishing some rules.
But the real question is…
Can a Break Work for You?
It’s important that you’re crystal clear on why you’re taking a break in order for it to work. According to relationship expert and dating coach Susan Winter , a break simply won’t be effective if your problems stem from a chronic issue that your partner refuses to address or get help with, such as an addiction or personality disorder.
A break would be pointless when you know there’s an inherent condition within your partner that’s unfixable,” explains Winter. For example, if your partner is a known narcissist, serial cheater, or compulsive liar, you can’t fix character flaws of this magnitude. And a break won’t repair what your partner is unwilling or unable to correct.”
On the other hand, if you or your partner is ready to tackle some personal problems that may be negatively impacting the relationship, a break may be just what the doctor ordered. Winter notes that taking time apart can also give you an opportunity to reflect in the event that you care deeply about one another but have reached a spot where you are feeling stuck at a stalemate. Meaning, you’re getting the same fights again and again without finding a clear solution.
When you feel sure your partner is essential to you nevertheless, you aren’t really hearing each other and you also can’t get clarity on the problem, then a break will surely be helpful,” adds licensed marriage and family therapist Nicole Richardson
Prior to deciding to have a break, it’s worth taking into consideration whether your problems could possibly be resolved by visiting a couples’ therapist. An unbiased professional could assist you to gain more understanding and empathy toward one another while also enabling you to identify and admit the problems you’re adding to.
Working on your problems with a qualified medical expert shows your dedication to the partnership, and clearing up your side of the road,” says Winter. When done in tandem (and in earnest), this is often a impressive tool to reboot a stagnant relationship and obtain it back on course to being productive and healthy.”
A relationship is really a two-way street. Which means that you both need to be up to speed with the thought of a break for this to work. Also, both of you need to go in to the break with an objective of sorts – a concept of everything you hope it’ll accomplish. If you have some intention behind your break, you’re more prone to come out of it with a clearer idea of how to improve your relationship.
What’s the Recipe for a Successful Break?
Experts agree that the best way to ensure that your break goes smoothly is to establish some ground rules ahead of time. Since every relationship is unique, every break should be treated as such. What works for one couple may not fly for another.
Breaks are tricky business,” warns Winter. they must have structure, timelines, and an end goal. And that time apart must be spent working on yourselves in a manner that concretely improves the relationship.”
Richardson recommends discussing the terms in advance so that you’re both on the same page about what is and isn’t acceptable. Whether or not you can see other people is a big one. Dating around while on being apart can definitely confuse things – the novelty and excitement that comes with someone new may seem more attractive than working on your problems from the previous relationship. Also, it has the potential to hurt feelings if one person moves on as the other holds out for the break to get rid of.
It’s also advisable to be clear on just how long the break can last, whether that’s a couple of weeks, months or even more. Richardson suggests deciding whether you’ll communicate at any point through the break, too, and when so, how frequently. Remember: Remaining in constant connection with your lover, whether via texting, DMing or calling, helps it be far more difficult to get the clarity you likely need. That is why Richardson cautions against going out or communicating on a regular basis, as this defeats the objective of taking a break. Alternatively, Winter says checking in with one another at some time (say, after 3-6 weeks) is very OK. This allows one to evaluate your progress, all while providing reassurance if you are feeling uneasy.
If you need your break to work, both parties involved have to make a dynamic effort to effect a result of a change which could positively affect your relationship.
That could be individual work like participating in self-care, hanging out with friends and family, and/or seeing a therapist,” says Richardson. If one or you both aren’t focusing on something, then what would change once you’re back together?”
There’s no guarantee, needless to say, a break will salvage your relationship. However, if both people can set up a goal for the break, arrived at an agreement on some clear guidelines, take responsibility because of their faults and invest in some genuine self-reflection throughout that time, there is a solid chance that you will be able to at the minimum, gain some clarity on whether you wish to move forward together with your current partner.
When you can gain perspective on how to better meet each other’s needs during that time, you might manage to rebuild your relationship in order that it’s even more powerful than before. Besides, because the old saying goes – absence makes the center grow fonder. Being an added bonus, avoid being surprised if going for a step back enables you to both feel a feeling of renewed appreciation for every other, too.
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