It can feel like your world is crashing down on you whenever you hear your partner say those for words:
“Let’s take a break.”
You’ve seen it in the movies. You’ve heard about it from your friends. You know that these four words bring only bad news and it scares you that your relationship might indeed be over. However, it turns out that these words might not actually signal the end of your relationship after all. In fact, these words might actually save whatever love is left between the two of you.
When you hit pause on your relationship, you are both given the chance to just be in your own space to sort out your differences. And along with that, you will be offered a new and fresh perspective that will allow you to work through the problems that might be present in your relationship. The key is in determining whether your relationship really does need a break… or if you really need to break up.
There are plenty of reasons as to why a couple might come to a decision to take a break from each other. Perhaps one person just needs some space to reflect on personal issues that they might be dealing with in their own individual lives. Perhaps both people require time and space from one another to take a look at the relationship from another perspective. Whatever the case, taking a break can always be therapeutic for a relationship if it’s done the right way.
However, regardless of the reason that the two of you might take a break, clinical psychologist Dr. Joshua Klapow says that it’s important that the two of you first understand why you’re spending time apart from one another.
“A ‘break’ in the relationship can be defined and deployed in so many different ways,” says Klapow. “What is most important is to understand what the break actually means, why you all are putting in place, and what you hope to accomplish from the break.”
But how are you able to tell if you just need to take a break as opposed to just breaking up altogether? Well, here are a few very subtle signs that you and your partner should be on the lookout for.
1. You have repeated or cyclical arguments.
It can be very frustrating to know that you and your bae are having the same argument over and over again. It can sound like the proverbial broken record that you just can’t switch off. However, maybe all you really need is a break from all the arguments before you can actually resolve them.
“You may need a break if the conflicts in your relationship are leading to one or both of you shutting down communication or provoking the other to emotional extremes,” says psychiatrist Dr. Susan Edelman. She adds, “And you might be able to replay the same issues with a better outcome after realizing how much your partner means to you.”
2. You can’t really prioritize the relationship at the moment.
You find yourself feeling really troubled and stressed out with the issues in your personal life. You might be going through some stuff in your life that requires your energy and attention. And that’s why you can’t really give all of yourself in the relationship at the moment. There might be issues between you and your partner right now that you just don’t have the energy to address at the moment. And until you resolve the issues in your own life, you might as well just put your relationship on pause for now. Sometimes, you just need to fix yourself before you can resolve the issues in your relationship.
3. You’re experiencing a fear of missing out.
When you are dating in your young adult years, it can be very overwhelming. This is the time in your life wherein you will also want to be laying the foundation for your future career. You will want to be building on the relationships you have with your friends. And at the same time, you might be trying to build your love life.
“In other words, one or both of you are feeling like you are missing out on other parts of your life,” explains Dr. Klapow. “You want to make sure that you don’t regret being in the relationship and you want to devote time and personal energy to something other than the relationship.”
Sometimes, taking a break from a relationship will allow you to have time for the other things in life that you feel like you are missing out on.
4. You feel like things are moving too fast in the relationship.
This is a fairly common mistake that a lot of young couples tend to make these days. It’s such a fast-paced world and everyone is getting more and more competitive that they pressure themselves to act fast all of the time. But when it comes to love and relationships, it’s not necessarily something that you can rush. And that’s why it might be healthy for the two of you to just take a step back for a bit. Breathe. And try to take things slow in your relationship. Hit pause for a while and remind yourselves of why you’re together.