For some couples, taking a break from their troubled relationship may be the only way to course correct. Relationships can be all-consuming, so taking a beat to get your mind right can be a smart choice. But before you decide if taking a break is the right decision for your relationship, you must first understand the intention behind the break.
What do you hope to achieve by this temporary cooling-off period? What issues are present in your relationship that you feel you cannot resolve together? And how long should this break last? These questions should not be optional.
Where couples go wrong is they either don’t clearly define the reason for the break, and/or they use the phrase, “Let’s take a break” when they really mean, “Let’s break up.” The two are not mutually exclusive.
Creating rules for your break is essential to any progress you hope to make. Without it, you’re verging on official break-up territory. Ground rules should include the following: How long is this break going to last? Can you date other people? Can you be intimate with other people? How often should you communicate, if any? What issues are you committed to work on individually?
Being thoughtful about the rules will lead to an overall better break experience, but do keep in mind that it takes two to tango. If you partner is not as committed to the process, there’s a real chance that your break will mark the end of your relationship.
Taking a break is not necessarily a sign that your relationship should end, but if you or your partner are not genuinely interested in resolving your issues, then a break-up would be the most logical next step.
Couples who are interested in this level of relationship repair must be seriously committed to the process. That means adhering to the proposed rules and being honest with yourself about expectations. You can’t control your partner and how they choose to handle the break, but you can take this time to work on yourself.
Each week, VeryUnmarried will post a new QUESTION OF THE WEEK with the goal of inspiring conversation. You can join the conversation here on VeryUnmarried.com, on Facebook, or on Twitter #VeryUQ. Contribute a question at firstname.lastname@example.org.