Heart of the Matter: How to have a Successful Break?

Sometimes relationships get to a point when either you or your partner feel you need a "break." What is a break? Well technically it is whatever you two decide it is but generally it is when you two are together but not formally together until you figure out how to overcome whatever issue is at hand.

Breaks can make or "break" a relationship... And clearly given the title of the act it typically breaks the relationship. Can you have a successful break? Not only can you have a successful break, but you can come back together stronger than you were before the break.

7 Tips to Having a Successful "Break"

1- Identify the purpose of the break: Ask the question why? And don't be afraid to press yourself or partner for an answer because the answer to the very question is the issue at hand and you need to identify the issue to overcome it. If you do not feel the need to ask "why?" then maybe you should ask "why not just break up?" To be honest, a break takes just as much commitment as a relationship just with more distance from your partner.

2- Make a goal: You and your partner should be able to come up with one or two goals for the break. An example of a goal would be; "After the break I would like for you make an effort to trust me and stop going through my phone" or "After the break I want you to stop throwing the past in my face." Having a goal is crucial because if you two achieve this goal this means that you are better now than you were before.

3- Rules and Restrictions: You two have to decide on rules, do not dictate the rules to your partner, but instead discuss them. If you do not make clear rules and restrictions then you are heading towards a break-up... Make the rules realistic to you and your relationship, they may be something like; 1- No sex (oral, anal, vaginal...whatever) 2- No dating 3- Call at least once a week (every Sunday to check on progress of relationship). Now during some breaks the couples are encouraged to date other people in order for them to gain some perspective on their relationship or relationships in general, like I said it depends on your specific relationship.

4- Communicate: Make it a point or even a rule, to communicate periodically, dramatically less than before but at least once or twice a week. You need to communicate in order to see where you two stand in terms of the goals. It can be a mere 5 minute conversation where one of you expresses "I'm still working on it" and that's it! But you need to communicate.

5- Distance: I just stressed the importance of communication, now on the flip side, distance is just as critical. Take some time out for yourself, your purpose, your goals and really commit to working on that for personal growth, because regardless whether or not you choose to reconcile it is important for you and your future relationships. Sometimes you see things more clearly when you take a few steps back.

6- Time: You two should set a check in date or time frame. This is to give you two some incentive to work towards the goals but also, you don't want to be taking a break for years. Perhaps after a month you two meet for lunch or dinner and discuss where you stand and where you want to go from here. You may opt to continue with the break (set another check in date), get back together, or break up. This discussion may happen sooner but just in case the break lingers having a check in date allows you to stay informed and possibly get back together.

7- Respect the Break: This final rule is basically saying that if you're on a break and know you truly need the break do not engage in activities that would ruin it or even your relationships future. If you feel you can not respect the rules and restrictions then you may need more than a break. Also, if he needs space give him that space you want your man to come back to you, you do not want to have to haunt him down and bring him back because he may not want to be there. If he stays in line with the goals, rules, check ins etc. feel comfort that he is doing what he can to be better for the relationship. If he is not then you may need more than a mere break.

1 comment:

Dr. Phoenix said...

People often assume that a break is a watered-down breakup. Goals are necessary as well as a time limit. If you can go without each other for three months, that's a break-up (in my opinion). And I do think its possible to break up and get back together, while working on self improvement. Distance is crucial. You are not on a break if you are talking every day, still sleeping together, etc. My personal opinion (and I am guilty of this). I also think making rules PARTICULARLY about interactions with members of the opposite sex is important. It's hard to come back together stronger than ever with the trust-baggage of having slept with someone else between you.