How To Take A Break From Your Relationship Without Screwing Up

Everyone who has watched Friends can remember how Ross yelled, “WE WERE ON A BREAK!”

… but twenty-something years later, we’re not exactly clear on what “taking a break” really means either. It’s possibly the gentle connotation of a temporary break-up, but does that mean you can go find someone else?

To most people “taking a break” would mean having a moment away from each other and the relationship, but if you’re still unclear, here is how you can take a break from your relationship without screwing up.

1. Define what is “the break”


As a couple, both individuals should be clear on what “the break” is. Ross and Rachel made it pretty clear that if you don’t define “the break,” it can very well turn into a breakup – for 7 seasons at least. Talk to your partner about “the break” and set some boundaries – like, if you’re allowed to see other people. Setting boundaries will make the break much easier.

2. Focus on yourself

Taking a break can be an opportunity to evaluate your own needs in the relationship. Let your partner do the same and reflect on what you really need from each other. You may not be in the same place, as a couple. If you’re both up for it, you could see a therapist or do some meditation away from each other.

3. Evaluate the relationship

Being away from each other can give you both a chance to evaluate the relationship. If the relationship was ever toxic, being away from it can help you gain perspective and see if there was something wrong with it. If you’re taking a break, it generally means that something about the relationship has to change, or it can’t survive.

4. Take initiative

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Now that you’ve evaluated the relationship, you can take action. What was wrong about it? Ask your partner if he’s willing to fix it together with you. If, through the evaluation, you feel as though you want to make the break a permanent one, let your partner know and come to terms with it. It’s better to be single than to be stuck in a relationship where you make each other unhappy.