Taking a break doesn't always mean, "Let’s break up". Sometimes it just means let's take some time to ourselves to figure things out separately and then come back and see if/how we can move forward. Most times this is what it means for me, so I'm not too fussy when my partners asks for one. And if I mean "let's break up", that's exactly how I would word it.
So how do these "breaks" work? Well firstly, one of you has to put the idea out there and give a reason. Now, one of the mistakes that is most often made in these situations is that both parties agree to the break without discussing the reason for the break and the terms of the break. Like, "Are we allowed to date/sleep with other people?" If there is confusion about that, you may find that your partner went out and did something that you did not want and then you find yourself in a position that could have been avoided by creating some simple rules.
Secondly, let's say you did create rules, do NOT get upset if your partner went and did something you told them they could, just because you didn't and you didn't expect them to either. If you don't want them being involved with someone else, just say so. There is nothing wrong with telling the other person you don't want to share them even though you are on a break, because as I said, breaks are not breakups.
Thirdly, set a time frame. It is pretty unreasonable to ask someone to be on a break indefinitely. But be careful because, “How much time is too much time?” A break goes from, “I miss you, I want to message you” to, “We haven’t spoken in weeks and I’m so used to it that I don’t care anymore. In fact, I think we’re no longer together.” End the break before it gets to the extreme part where one or both of you has gotten so used to not being in the other’s life that it doesn’t matter if you ever talk again.
Fourthly, if you're on a break, be on a break. Nothing is more confusing than telling someone you need space then messaging them the next day or a few days later. I mean, sure you can check in to make sure they're okay; after all, you love them, but it cannot be a break and be business as usual. I think at that point it would be safe to say the break is over; which is totally fine. Sometimes you love someone so much that you just cannot go without them. Maybe it’s a bit co-dependent, but there’s nothing wrong with just revelling in your love and happiness.
Finally, when the break is over, disclose everything; unless it was agreed that you wouldn’t share certain things. It is important to communicate what happened during the break and the lessons learned from the time apart; if anything. Did the break help? Did it not help? How do you feel about each other now and what do you want for the future? You may choose to continue and find that you guys are in a better place and sometimes you may realise that you have grown apart. You may also decide to end it right there. Whatever you do, make sure that you guys have spoken about it at length and that this is the best decision for you both.
Best of luck in love!
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