Taking a Break in a Relationship: Does It Work?

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10 February 2024

7 Mins

Relationships can be tough, and sometimes, when things get really hard, people consider taking a break to gain clarity, space, and perspective. But does it really help? Can it make a relationship better, or does it make things even worse?

Let's talk about taking a break in a relationship and whether it really works, taking a look at its pros and cons. Read on to uncover the factors that determine whether it helps or not.

What Does Taking a Break in a Relationship Actually Mean?

Couples often consider taking a break in their relationship when they are facing challenges or feeling uncertain about their future together. Giving a break to a relationship means that both of you agree to step back temporarily from the romantic aspects of your partnership.

During this time, you may reduce communication and spend time apart to better understand your feelings, priorities, and the dynamics of your relationship. The goal is to get clarity, address any underlying issues, and determine the future of your relationship.

Is Taking a Break in a Relationship Healthy?

Taking a break in a relationship can be healthy if both of you approach it with honesty and clear communication. It can provide a space for reflection, personal growth, and handling issues.

However, it's important to know that taking a break can also have potential disadvantages. Without clear communication and boundaries, this can lead to misunderstandings, insecurities, and further stress in the relationship. Also, long breaks or a lack of commitment to reunion can cause emotional distance and ultimately lead to permanent separation.

Therefore, it's essential to set clear boundaries and intentions to ensure that the break is constructive rather than damaging to the relationship.

Talk to a relationship counselor and see if a break would be a healthy move for your relationship for free.

When Taking a Break Might Not Be So Good for a Relationship?

Taking a break might not be good for your relationship if either of you suggests it to avoid facing existing problems or if there's a lack of communication about its purpose and duration. Moreover, if one partner feels insecure or uncertain about the break, it can lead to further tension and strain in the relationship.

For people in abusive or codependent relationships, a break may not be advisable as it can potentially renew the cycle of abuse. It can also be a bad idea when you or your partner want to end the relationship. Instead of taking a break, be honest and respectful and initiate a breakup directly.

Benefits of Taking a Break in a Relationship

Taking a break in a relationship, when done thoughtfully and with clear communication, can have several potential benefits:

  • Provides space for personal growth and reflection
  • Allows time to address underlying issues
  • Reduces tension and conflict
  • Helps re-evaluate priorities and relationship dynamics
  • Gives clarity about feelings and the future of the relationship

Signs You Might Need a Relationship Break

Taking a relationship break can be a healthy or unhealthy decision, depending on your intention behind it. But before stepping in to take a break, understand the signs and evaluate if you really need a break. So, here are some signs that indicate you might need a relationship break:

  • Constant arguments and unresolved conflicts
  • Feeling overwhelmed or suffocated by the relationship
  • Lack of communication or emotional connection
  • Loss of personal identity or growth within the relationship
  • Persistent feelings of unhappiness or dissatisfaction
  • Inability to address recurring issues effectively
  • Emotionally drained or exhausted by the relationship dynamic
  • A need for space and time for self-reflection

10 Tips for Taking a Mindful Break in a Relationship

Taking mindful breaks in a relationship can be crucial for maintaining emotional balance and having a meaningful connection for a long period of time. Here are 10 tips for taking a break in a relationship:

1. Communicate your intention

Before taking a break, communicate with your partner about why you feel it's necessary. Ensure they understand that it's about creating space for reflection and clarity, not about avoidance or abandonment.

2. Agree on mutual rules

Discuss and agree upon the parameters of the break. Establish how long it will last, whether you'll have contact during the break, and what is and isn't acceptable behavior during this time.

3. Choose a neutral space

If possible, physically remove yourself from the immediate environment of conflict to a neutral space where you can clear your mind and gain perspective without distractions.

4. Practice self-awareness

Use the break to reflect on your own thoughts, feelings, and reactions to the situation. Pay attention to your emotions without judgment and try to understand their underlying causes.

5. Engage in self-care activities

Focus on activities that promote relaxation and well-being, such as meditation, yoga, journaling, or going for a walk in nature. Engaging in self-care can help alleviate stress and promote emotional resilience.

6. Avoid negative thinking

Resist the urge to dwell excessively on negative thoughts or replay arguments in your mind. Instead, redirect your attention to the present moment and cultivate mindfulness through practices like deep breathing or progressive muscle relaxation.

7. Set intentions for resolution

Use the break as an opportunity to clarify what you need from the relationship and what steps you can take to address any underlying issues constructively.

8. Practice empathy

Try to see the situation from your partner's perspective and consider how they might be feeling. Cultivating empathy can help foster understanding and compassion, even in the midst of conflict.

9. Seek support if needed

Don't hesitate to reach out to trusted friends, family members, or a therapist for support and perspective during the break. Sometimes, an outside perspective can offer valuable insights and guidance.

10. Reconnect mindfully

When the agreed-upon break period is over, approach reconnecting with your partner mindfully. Be open and honest about your experiences during the break, and be receptive to their thoughts and feelings as well. Use this opportunity to rebuild connections and strengthen your relationship moving forward.

When Can Counseling Help with Relationship Conflict?

Counseling can be beneficial for relationship conflict when communication becomes strained, conflicts escalate, or couples feel stuck in negative patterns. It's particularly helpful when issues persist despite attempts to resolve them independently.

It even provides a safe space for couples to express concerns, identify underlying issues, and learn constructive communication skills. Moreover, it can aid in rebuilding trust and empathy and exploring individual and shared goals within the relationship.

Opt for couples counseling when you see your relationship going downhill and talk to a professional expert for free.

How Can Now&Me Help?

If you are thinking about taking a break from a relationship for your mental health, Now&Me can offer support and resources to help you through it. Our platform provides a safe space where you can talk about your feelings and get advice from experts. You can start these therapy sessions with a free chat, and then you can go for paid chats if you are interested, starting at just Rs 30/.

Now&Me also has articles, guides, and forums to help you understand and cope with relationship challenges. Plus, our supportive community is there for you to share your thoughts without worrying about judgment. Download the Now&Me app today to get started on your journey toward making a healthy connection with your partner.


Now&Me articles are written by experienced mental health contributors and are purely based on scientific research and evidence-based practices, which are thoroughly reviewed by experts, including therapists and psychologists with various specialties, to ensure accuracy and alignment with current industry standards.

However, it is important to note that the information provided is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Individual circumstances vary, and it is advisable to consult with a qualified mental health professional for personalized advice and guidance.


The duration varies based on the couple's needs and circumstances. It could range from a few days to several weeks or even months.

Communication preferences vary, but some couples agree to minimal or no communication during the break, while others maintain open lines of communication.

Consider taking a break when conflicts increase, communication breaks down, or both partners need space to reflect on the relationship.

It can work if both partners are committed to addressing underlying issues, improving communication, and using the break constructively for personal growth and reflection.

Focus on self-care, personal growth, and reflection. Use the break to evaluate the relationship, address individual needs, and consider future goals.

It varies depending on the individual, but taking a break can signify a need for space, time for introspection, or an opportunity to address relationship issues.

Not necessarily. While some breaks may lead to breakups if underlying issues cannot be resolved, others can strengthen the relationship if both partners are committed to working through challenges.

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