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Taking A Break And Breaking Up Are Different from Relationship

It's not uncommon to get to the point in a relationship where you start to have doubts about whether or not you want to continue being in that relationship. Whether you've been fighting a lot, overwhelmed with work, or have simply started to grow apart, deciding what your next move is going to be could bring you to a crossroads at which you must choose between taking a break and breaking up.

At face value, taking a break and breaking up may seem like essentially the same thing, but in reality, they are quite different.

Most couples who decide to call it quits are usually doing so because they no longer feel that the benefits of being in that particular relationship outweigh the freedoms of being single. When you decide to break up with someone, there typically is no intention of continuing the relationship — it's over. Maybe things ended on an OK note and you can remain friends, or maybe not, but the chapter of your romance is closed. Now, I'm sure everyone can think of a situation where either they or someone they know had a breakup, only to end up right back together days, weeks, or even months later. But, the main thing that differentiates taking a break from breaking up is the intention. Making the mutual decision to take a break is something else entirely.

Taking a break typically has a pre-discussed start and end time to allow for some space and reflection with the end goal being to come back together. At that time, there will be an honest conversation about if both people want to continue the partnership and what action steps they are willing to take to ensure whatever led them to seek time apart is resolved.

This is why it is so important to have a detailed discussion before the break to discuss your separate goals and terms of separation.

Here are a few reasons why you and your partner could consider taking a break and how to go about this in the right way:

  1. Give yourself space

You can often grow so close to someone in a relationship that you feel like you’ve lost yourself. A break can be a good way to reassess your feelings about your relationship and your partner, in addition to connecting with yourself and your desires.

  1. Compartmentalize your relationship.

A break can be a good way to detach from your relationship to reassess your goals for your life. Are you where you want to be professional? Does your partner give you the support you need? A relationship break can be a good time to ask yourselves these questions and work through your answers honestly.

  1. Go with your gut.

A break gives you space to examine your intuition and feelings. Do you feel like your relationship is ending, or do you still feel deeply connected to your partner? Does your career or your family require more of your attention right now? Listening to these voices in your head and going with your gut about what deserves priority in your life.

  1. Talking to your partner.

Discussing taking a break can be stressful for both parties. Your partner might feel like you want to break up, so be very specific as to why you want and need to take a break. Discuss your boundaries and why you need space. Let them react to this idea of a break in their own time and let them weigh in on what they want out of this experience, too.

  1. Define your break boundaries.

Determine how long you want to take a break. Remember that this isn’t a breakup- you and your partner should still talk, text, or get together when you want to. Stay connected with each other in the ways that make sense to you, while still accomplishing what you want to out of this time apart.

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