Taking A Break In A Relationship (9 Important Rules)

Last updated on June 8, 2022 by April Maccario

Taking a break in a relationship is one of the ways couples can take some time apart to determine if they should stay together or break things off. It’s a good idea to step back for a while and evaluate the relationship with your partner. 

However, it’s not always the most likely option, especially for the partner that is still invested in the relationship. This is because more often than not, a relationship break usually ends the relationship for good, especially when the rules are not followed.

As a matter of fact, people have different reasons they take a relationship break, and one of them could be because they feel exhausted, confused, and unsure of the future. Most times, it’s a good idea for both partners who are unsure of their feelings toward one another and need some time to think things through. 

So, If you're about to take a break or, in the process of a relationship break, it doesn't mean you're an awful person. In fact, most couples at a point of break up, often choose to take a break rather than split up if they have the feeling that their relationship can be restored. Spending time apart could be one way of reviving the flame in the relationship, or ending things amicably.  

In a nutshell, I will be sharing some rules you should draw inspiration from, to make sure you travel back in time to a happy and hearty relationship or better still, stay single for the right reasons.

9 Rules To Taking A Break In A Relationship

1. Set the rules for the break

Set the rules for the break

You have to be as straightforward as possible and bring up the reasons you're taking the break. They're things you'll need to consider, like how long the break may last, if the frame will be indefinite or if one person is allowed to call or contact the other. You also have to talk about the issue of fidelity, will both of you be allowed to see other people?

Then there’s the question of how the living arrangements would work if both of you stay in the same place, will one partner have to move out, or will both of you just stay in separate parts of the house? It may be hard to take a break from a relationship where you share a lot of possessions with the other person, like a shared car. 

Finally, the big deal here is to make sure that your expectations are both met, you both have to be on the same page with each other as well as make arrangements that benefit the other person as well. 

2. Set a time-frame for the break

Here is the thing; you have to set a specific timeframe for the break,  keeping it indefinite is a red flag most times. It simply means one person may not have the intention of getting back together after the break partner. There's no rule on how long the break should be, so it's you and your partner that will make that decision.

For example, if it took 21 days for both of you to fall in love, you could resolve that 3 weeks would be a good idea for us to make sense of the relationship again. That would mean  21 days of no contact; no texting, calls, meetups or, even looking at the other party’s social media status. 

It may seem hard but at the end of the day, you’ll realize how important this person is to you, and how much you treasure your time with him as well. Additionally, even if you and your partner reconcile in the middle of the break, you still need to be disciplined enough to follow through to the last day of the break.

On the other hand, some recommended that the timeframe should not be any longer than four to six weeks. Since you took a break because you want to resolve an issue, that four to six weeks is enough time for you to come up with something.

On the whole, you should not set the time frame longer than it should take, remember you're taking a break not breaking up, the key here is to be flexible rather than reactive.

3. Account for your time apart

It's a break, so take out time and get to know yourself better, outside the relationship. After all, that's the sine qua non of the rest, maybe, you've lost sight of who you used to be, as well as your individuality. Taking some time off your relationship can help you get a hold of yourself, and learn to be happy without depending on someone else’s happiness. 

So, you can go on an adventure, visit places, do stuff that you always wanted to do. You can pick up those hobbies you haven't been doing for a while because of relationship limits. I beg of you, please don't cancel that friend's night out for the benefit of guilt-complex. The fact that you've to rub in on how you feel and what you want, which is the core, doesn't stop you from enjoying your life to the fullest.

More importantly, visiting your friends and spending some time with your family will keep your state of mind high and your attitude positive. Use every moment of the break wisely, because this isn't something you should take for granted. You have to think about every moment, savor every experience, and think about what these feelings mean. 

In other words, if you're happier being alone than when you were together, it's best to part ways and move forward alone for your sanity and peace of mind. As much as we all seek camaraderie, it's important that we put ourselves before anyone else.

4. Keep a diary close to you

In earnest, putting down how you feel being away from your lover will serve you two causes, it will drive you to explore your feelings and will provide you with memories for you to give thought to as you come close to the end of the time apart. Moreover, your feelings are the number-one thing you need to zero in on during this period. 

Do you feel a sense of relief or disappointment? What do you miss about your partner and what don't you miss? Are you depressed that you're kicking ass at your workplace, but you can't tell your partner about your wins? Are you excited by meeting up with your friends that you don't get to hang out with because of your relationship?  

Put together these thoughts in your journal, and on the day before the first hang out with your partner,  go through them. That way you’ll be able to properly document your experience during the break, and ascertain how you actually feel being away from your significant other. 

If you're sincere with yourself and take the points seriously, you'll end up with a better understanding that will help both of you make progress.

5. Put yourself first

Put yourself first

Remember, this is about you and your partner exploring what you have a yen for, so you've to focus on yourself. It's going to be hard for you to go through this alone if the basis of the time apart is just you seeking his attention, or actually expecting him to check up on you. 

That notwithstanding, you have to do your very best to provide for yourself with as much personal care as you possibly can. It’s time to register at the gym, book a spa session, take a fancy girls trip or get that special pedicure or facial. Everything you’ve thought about doing before, do it and don't let anything stop you.

Along these lines, fill up your life with bright and breezy activities, so that the main focus is you. More so, make sure you stay wrapped up with something, create a list of things to do, and check them out. 

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It will help you take into account the things you like very much and the things you want to set right in your relationship. In the long run, it will add fuel to the fire and help you put more effort back into your love affair if you decide to go back.

6. Don’t make contact

Well, the essence of you getting the temporary separation is to not relate with your significant other the same way you used to associate with them before. It's a time to stay out of touch and clear your head. It's equally a period for you to have in mind whether you want the other person in your life, and to make up your mind whether or not your significant other contributes to your happiness. So, trying to get in touch or leave a message when you feel lonely is not a good idea.

So, what you can do as I said earlier is to get a dairy (you can call it a feelings-diary) and write down things you would've told them whenever you're missing them. Also, you can make it very attractive, by attaching some lovely prints or quotes that express what you're going through. 

At the end of the period apart, you can give them the diary, and let them see for themselves how much you missed them, and I'm very sure they will love it. I know most people can't follow the no-contact rule, but it does work wonders. It will take a lot of your will power, but if you focus on yourself, you'll get through it.

7. Re-evaluate your choices

Most times, some couples discover that the needs they've been craving from their significant other are needs they have not received before. For example, if they had a rough time with their parents or caregiver, all those can mount pressure on their relationship with others. It will be easy for you to recognize these problems if you move away from all the scuffles and view it from another perspective.

Also, sometimes most couples get back from a relationship break, and one person never admits responsibility for their acts, or sometimes they want to end it, but, on the average, if you both give yourself to self-examination, and match how you felt during the time apart, to when you're together, your separation will make your relationship stronger.

If you step back and reevaluate yourself, you'll have time to consider what you need from the relationship and what you need to do to ensure that your significant other is satisfied as well. On the other hand, taking some time apart doesn’t guarantee that pre-existing problems will disappear, but spending time apart will allow you and your significant other to bear down on the issues with fresh insight. 

8. Talk to your significant other

After a break, you should be invigorated, and it should be a clarifying experience for you. Though sometimes it may not play out that way, that shouldn’t be your expectation or focus. However, since you've already fixed a date to meet, at least you know when it's taking place. 

Now, you'll pick a neutral spot where both of you are comfortable with, then, you'll go there with your diary to share your thoughts. If the break has made you think of splitting up, be unyielding but considerate.

Nevertheless, if you want to get back with each other, you have to bring to light what you've picked up on, and how you're ready to make the relationship better. When you get to terms with each other, it should be to form a stronger bond if you both want the same thing.

Jenna Birch, a relationship expert and author of ‘The Love Gap: A Radical Plan to Win in Life and Love’ says "when you're meeting with your partner after the partial separation, your mate has to know how much you've missed them."

Also, you've to tell them how much you love them but don't expect anything in return, there's always a possibility your significant other won't feel the same way with you, but you should know that openness encourages intimacy.

9. Don’t expect a miracle

Don’t expect a miracle

Though the main reason for the break is to gain clarity and awareness, it may not always give you the result you imagine. You may be at a loss at the end of the separation, as you were from the start. Also, the disconnection may not resolve the problems, you have to be practical from the start and don't expect a bolt from the blue if not, you'll end up with disappointments.

However, you may have given it your best shot, and you've done what should be done, get prepared for anything, the break might not give you what you desire, or it could be that the relationship break ended up being messier than you had imagined. Then you should consider parting ways with each other.

While taking a break in a relationship may work wonders for others, it can ruin things for others. That's why you need to think through before you get the ball rolling, and if there's a way you can resolve your issues, without going for a break, take that route instead. 


Do breaks in relationships works?

It's a two-way street, and equally depends on you and your partner, in retrospect, your partner may initiate the subject matter because they want to run away from the relationship, without actually saying anything about breaking up. However, a break works if you make it work, also, if both of you come together and set up concrete ground rules.

How long should a break in a relationship last?

Like I said earlier, the length of time to take a break from a relationship depends on you and your partner, there's no specific time-frame. What works for John and Juliet may not work for you, so it's what you both agreed on and what pays off for you and your partner.

What does it mean to take a break in a relationship?

In a nutshell, taking a break in a relationship means that you and your partner haven't agreed on parting ways, but you've resolved to take some time off from each other. All in all, taking a break allows you and your partner to analyze your feelings for each other, and decide whether to be together or break up.

What are the rules when you take a break in a relationship?

First, you've to think over your expectations for that moment in time, determine how long the break would last before you get back together, and also ask yourselves critical questions like, "Will they be dating other people?", and "Do you want to see one another during the break?" Thoughts like this will help you grow together instead of growing apart from each other.

Should you talk during a break?

There's no rosy-cheeked answer to this, but it's of great importance for you and your partner to talk about your expectations for the break. Some people opt to shut off communication totally, while other people might want to check in with one another during the break. What's essential is that you both feel okay with the boundaries you put up.

To Conclude

If you want to work things out with your partner, these relationship break rules will come in handy for you. Nevertheless, I hope the points raised have given you a sense of direction as to what you need to do before taking a break. Please comment below and also share this article with your family and friends.

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April Maccario
I'm a huge nerd when it comes to understanding how relationships between men and women work, and what drives a certain behavior. I spend much of my time getting into the nitty-gritty and try to share my findings on this site with the hope of making life a little easier for women that are struggling in their relationships or love life.

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