Is A Break A Smart Relationship Strategy? Let's Talk About It

Breaking up is hard to do. But taking a break from a relationship doesn't have to be. When you come to a crossroads in your relationship and want to take a step back without making any long-term decisions, taking a break can be helpful. Even if the idea of taking "time off" from the relationship feels intimidating, it might improve your relationship if you adopt a smart approach.


Sometimes couples reach a point where they need to take a break from each other in order to re-evaluate their relationship and work on any issues that have been causing tension. A relationship break is an agreement between two people to take some time away from each other for the purpose of reflection and growth.

A break can give both of you time to reflect on yourselves and your relationship — both the good and the bad. It can also help you work on unhealthy patterns, provide a new perspective, and reflect on what your life is like outside of the relationship. Plus, it can give you clarity about your relationship free from the influence of another person's opinion (via Women's Health).

Reasons why you might need to take a relationship break

According to Couples Learn, excessive fighting in your relationship might necessitate a break. It can help you reevaluate your relationship without the emotional heat and pressure of solving together or parting ways entirely. If a relationship is a reflection of any unresolved traumas or issues from the past, a break will help both people recognize their patterns. Sometimes relationships might suffer from a power imbalance, such as if one person is giving more to the relationship than the other. If that's the case, some time apart to reevaluate the relationship's benefits might be healthy.


Some relationship breaks might not be wise, according to Choosing Therapy. If one partner is abusing another, a relationship pause is just a pause on a much deeper, dangerous problem. Breaks like those just set up an on-again, off-again cycle of abuse. A relationship break also shouldn't follow a period of infidelity, because there's likely to be substantial trust issues, and these issues can be magnified on a break if one partner becomes preoccupied with what the other is doing. A relationship break might also be a bad idea if you really want an open marriage or non-monogamous relationship. That type of relationship involves deep discussion with your partner rather than a break.

How to take a relationship break

Before you take a break from your relationship, it's important to make sure that you and your partner are on the same page. That means having an open and honest conversation about why the break is necessary and setting clear boundaries so that both of you understand what is expected.


If a break is on the table for you and your partner, it's important to establish ground rules to make sure that both of you respect each other's needs during the break. This might include things like how often you'll communicate, how long the break will last, whether one of you will move out, and if you're allowed to date other people. You might also decide if you want to attend couples' counseling during the break.

While you're taking time apart, it's all about you. No matter how much you love your partner, we all need some solo time. It's important to spend some quality time by yourself, exploring things that interest or inspire you. There's no better time than during a relationship break to learn something new or try something exciting. It could be anything from rock climbing classes to art classes — it's up to what interests you. Not only is it great fun, but it's also a great way to rediscover yourself outside of the relationship.