The words, I need a break, always seem to have a bad connotation. When you describe a relationship like this, people close to you suddenly become worried.
If you feel badly about saying, I need a break, is taking time apart actually a bad thing? Not necessarily. As they say, context is everything. For instance, if a couple has relatively no major issues but want to take time apart to see other people, then yes, it could be a cause for concern. If all is running smoothly, why take the time away to search for other options?
On the other hand, if a couple has been stuck in a string of bad luck, arguments, and general unhappiness, taking a step back to gain some clarity isn’t unheard of. In fact, it may be healthy. You can either gain the courage to walk away, or come together refreshed, with a battle plan to solve the issues. [Read: Understanding how taking a break really works]
I need a break! 10 scenarios where taking a break is the only solution
To further expand on this, here are ten situations where taking time apart might be something to consider.
#1 You argue. Constantly. We’ve all been there. One day you wake up and realize how unhappy you are, because you argue everyday. You often cry or yell, or both, but nothing seems to change for the better. Taking time apart actually helps you both take a step back and decide on a course of action without having to argue for a few days. [Read: How to fix a broken relationship: 15 tips to make it last]
#2 You’re unsure about your feelings for your partner. It’s bound to happen. One or both of you wake up one day and don’t know what you feel for each other. Days go by in a haze of slow-motion. Seeing your partner won’t make you happy. You feel confused and frustrated all at the same time. This is normal. After a lot of issues with a partner, stress, work-related worries, etc., love might not seem as easy as it once did.
Truth is, love needs to be implemented every day to keep feeling and showing it. You need to decide it everyday. But if none of this is enough, it might be time to press pause and consider if the love really is gone.
#3 There’s someone else. This could mean cheating, or it might be a simple attraction toward someone else. If someone tries hard to get you to be with them, and you’re considering it. Or you’re falling for someone, even though nothing noteworthy has occurred, then yes, there’s someone else.
Rather than denying it, giving in, or running about in confusion, taking time apart helps you clear your head and heart. This doesn’t mean sleeping with the other person, but rather being by yourself to think about what it is you’re feeling. [Read: 17 relationship red flags that most people ignore]
#4 You’re having trust issues. Just because you’re together doesn’t mean you trust each other. Maybe there’s been previous cheating, maybe there’s baggage. Maybe there’s been issues where trust of some kind has been betrayed. Now you can’t seem to trust your partner like you once did.
Time apart can be beneficial here. Since time away forces you to not keep an eye on your partner. Use this time to reflect on whether or not you could ever trust them again, and figure out how to go about it.
#5 You spend way too much time together. You wake up, your partner is there. You go to the movies, pharmacy, mall, restaurants, gas station with your partner. You run errands together, sleep together, study together, maybe even work together.
If you can’t remember the last time you spent a day or night, preferably both, by yourself, then maybe it’s time to take a step back. You could have the best relationship ever, and be best friends, but spending too much time together eventually takes a toll. Don’t make one of you resent the other for not having enough time alone. [Read: How to give space in a relationship without drifting apart]
#6 Promising to fix things turns out to just be a bunch of words. You know, the classic “I’m sorry, you’re right. I’ll work on it.” No, you won’t. No, they won’t. Very rarely do we go through with this, because often, we forget, or we’ve gotten used to it. Never expect the bad times. Never accept this is how it is, unless you’re both actually happy.
If all you ever hear, or say, are empty promises, taking some time apart may help clarify the areas you both need to work on.
#7 You’ve lost touch with your own identity. Do you find yourself losing touch with who you are? Ever sit there and think back to when you did certain things, or dressed a certain way, and life was grand?
Being with someone, being in love, is a beautiful thing. At the end of the day, you need to make sure you’re still the person your partner fell in love with. Sure, changes occur with time, but you should grow together. If you spend your time sacrificing everything for your partner, maybe you need to rethink things. Sacrifice is good, but not when it’s at the expense of your identity.[Read: What am I doing with my life? How to break through the rut]
#8 Sometimes, you just need time to be alone. So you have a good balance. You work, see friends, see your partner, and get time alone. But sometimes, people need a little more alone time. No big deal, no particular reason, simply a little extra time to relax or catch up on a good book.
Maybe you’ve forgotten what it feels like to truly miss your partner. Maybe you’re always texting, calling, or seeing each other. Maybe you don’t remember the last time you really missed them. It does make the heart grow fonder.
#9 You need time to assess everything. Work isn’t going well, neither is school. Your relationship, friendships, or even alone time. Everyone goes through times when everything seems to be up in the air. Taking some time away, not to retreat and hide, but to contemplate solutions, may be something to consider. [Read: 20 revealing signs that show you may be growing apart]
#10 School and/or work is killing you. Between presentations, projects, meetings, phone calls, paperwork, and beyond, work and/or school inflicts stress on a relationship. If you find yourself thinking and stressing over this to the point where you don’t even fully enjoy your partner’s company, taking some time apart gives you the bonus of some extra time to get things done.
Taking time apart can be a solution for couples who no longer remember what it feels like to miss each other. Don’t fear the negative connotation that comes with taking time apart–it’s not always what it seems.
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Jennifer is a writer, director, consultant and author, with a passion for all things literary. While she works on a variety of projects at a time, her one true ...