Should you take a break from your relationship?

"I need a break"! I'm sure most of us have heard or said this phrase at some point in life. Every relationship reaches a stage when both partners feel the need for some "me" time. But, I've always wondered if a break will do only good to a relationship. Is it going to strengthen the bond or pave more way for the love to fade?

Just when I was writing this piece, my friend Aparna, who has been in a relationship for 5 years happened to call me. I asked her about the ups and downs she faced in her relation and here is what she had to say- "All of us go through tough times in life. But the fact is we move on! Relationships are very similar. Although I've had arguments with my boyfriend, we've never felt the need to break up or move out! Taking a break does not signify the end of a relation. It totally depends on how you handle it. If you are insecure about your partner, then there is never going to be a surety that your love life is going in the right direction. So, it's better to nip it in the bud or take some time off and allow the wound to heal a bit."

Taking a break can send out positive and negative signals. It either can mean the couple has taken a sensible call in respecting each others space or that they no longer have it for each other.

I asked Clinical Psychologist Dr. Priyanaka Doshi Fernandes, if taking a break was indeed good for a relationship. Here's what she had to say.

She told me that the way in which you need to put across the fact that you need some time off, is what decided the future of the relationship. Here are the dos and don'ts:

The DON'T'S first!

1. The word "break" itself denotes a negative intention. So, don't make it sound like you want to break the relationship. Instead, tell your partner what you feel and ask him or her what can be done. Throw the ball in the opposite court.

2. For couples who aren't married yet, taking time off can let insecurity creep in, post which most of them; (especially women) tend to get clingy. So try and avoid this technique, unless your very sure and ready to face the consequences.

3. Don't cut off completely, stop calling or answering calls. Switch your routine, but don't pretend not to know your partner. Remember, time apart is best only if one or both of you feel like you need to get back in touch with your individuality, with no harm done to the existing relationship.

Now the DO'S!

1. No matter whether you take a break or try and stay away from your partner, talking it out completely is the simplest and best solution.  Never use breaks as a quick fix. Every individual varies and so does every relation. Taking time apart is not a substitute for fixing or solving problems, because if you part when you are having problems, they will be waiting for you at your door step, when you meet again. So it is essential that you talk about the issues first before you decide a break is needed and best for the relationship.

2. Lastly the most important thing in a relation is to SLOW DOWN the pace to learn more about each other. Couples, predominantly the ones who aren't married, tend to get excited when they fall in love. Everything feels new and nice. But, as time rolls by, things begin to get a little jittery. Your usual coffee shop conversations and romantic weekends might become more of a 'must do' thing than something you look forward to. Now, this is when you need to give yourself some time. This will only let you both replenish yourselves and give the relationship the efforts and attention needed to keep it healthy.

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Stuck in a marital storm or a tricky love affair? Share your relationship woes in the comments section below.


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