“We need to take a break.” Those six words can invoke anxiety for anyone in a relationship who is trying to resolve issues with their partner. On one hand, taking a pause can help both persons gain some perspective so they can rekindle their bond without resentment. On the other hand, the time a part can be the catalyst for the end of a connection. Cosmo spoke to Simone Bose, a relationship counselor and therapist at Relate, about the benefits and disadvantages of pressing pause on your partnership.
“Some of the clients I see are genuinely stuck at an impasse, and their arguments are so complicated and emotional that they’re really entrenched in it,” Simone told Cosmo.
“They actually do want to save their relationship but feel so lost by it. They love their partner but their patterns are so negative they don’t know what else to do expect have a break.”
And when you’ve tried all your other options, a break may be the best choice. Even the act of reestablishing autonomy can help two people come back together on equal ground.
“Sometimes people become very enmeshed in a relationship and lose their sense of self and judgement. They lose their balance in life, and it’s about rebalancing,” Simone explains.
“You might even lose self-esteem too and aren’t sure of who you are because you’ve taken on so much of the other person.”
Putting a pause in your cycle of arguments can also help resolve constant issues. That way, you and your significant other can hopefully stop having the same argument one hundred different ways.
“Usually, getting that space gives them time to reflect separately helps,” Simone described.
“If the couple doesn’t get that, they start arguing again because they haven’t had time to heal. To get through it, they have to untangle all the negative patterns and understand where they’re coming from.” And a break – done right – should do just that.”
If you’re looking to go on a break, make sure you both decide on the rules. Can you sleep with other people? How often can you be in contact? How often do you want to see each other? There should also be a decided upon time that you both aim to get back together. Setting the expectations with transparency and honesty, can hopefully set you both up for a healthier, better union upon reconciliation.