Thinking of taking a relationship break? ‘Breaks’ can provide individual reflection and relationship reconfiguration. Or be the slow fade to a breakup. My interview with @Women distinguishes which one you’re experiencing right now.

Amanda writes, “Sometimes couples reach a point in their relationship where it’s just not working anymore. There are issues that can’t be resolved, toxic tendencies, patterns that can’t be broken, and a lot of questions surrounding a future together. In some cases, couples see these things as reasons to break up, while others see these as reasons to take a break, regroup, and come back to the relationship later.

“Breaks can be for the purpose of reflection and reconfiguration, or time devoted to personal development,” relationship expert Susan Winter told Bustle. “Time apart from each other can be a positive thing if the relationship is healthy and not suffering from ongoing, unresolved issues. Coming back into each other’s arms after structured ‘me time’ apart can reignite a stagnant romance.”

But, as Winter points out, these breaks only work when the relationship is strong enough to handle them. In other words, just because you take a break it doesn’t mean your relationship will be saved. Sometimes the relationship is over and the two people in it take a break as a means to putting off the inevitable: a breakup. However, whether or not you want to acknowledge it, the signs that a relationship break won’t work for you are always there.

There are still unresolved issues

No relationship is without its issues. It doesn’t matter how big or small, you can’t escape the curve balls that can come crashing toward your relationship, potentially throwing everything off course. When this happens, you need to approach the issues head-on and work to resolve them. You simply can’t take a break and assume that space and time will remedy the problems.

You and/or your partner aren’t willing to do the work

Relationships take work! This is something you’ve probably heard hundreds if not thousands of times. You can’t just casually roll into a relationship and expect it to be all unicorns and rainbows without really getting in there and working on every facet of the partnership. Like anything, a relationship needs all its parts working. If one part breaks down, then all the rest become vulnerable until the broken part is fixed.

You’ve already taken breaks and nothing has changed

According to a 2009 study published in Personal Relationships, two-thirds of the participants had broken up and gotten back together with their partner at some point during their relationship. As the study found, it was these couples who reported lower relationship satisfaction, more issues with communication and trust, and an overall larger number of negative experiences and factors when they got back together after a break.


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