What are your thoughts on breakups in relationships? People’s perspectives often fall into one of two categories: either a break is a beneficial approach for partners to gain perspective, or a break is simply a protracted split.
I am a member of both groups. I once took a sabbatical, but even though I had some enlightening epiphanies and engaged in some introspection, I was unable to entirely disengage from the connection. I ultimately gave the relationship another shot, but the subsequent atmosphere felt tense, and we ultimately broke up. I still regret not moving right on to the breakup. However, a few of my friends insist that taking breaks helped them gain the perspective and personal development they required to improve their interpersonal connections.
We asked six ladies about their experiences with breaks out of curiosity…
Kelly, a five-month separation, and staying together:
“I had been seeing my partner for six months. I could feel my feelings for him growing. We connected with frank discussions, silly jokes, and a love of discovering new places in our area. However, I could still see some remaining immaturity on his part, as evidenced by his disorganized money, unkempt apartment, and disorganized drinking habits. I told him that made me uneasy and that I needed a mature companion. We ultimately went five months without speaking to each other. I received a letter from him one day outlining all the steps he had made to gather his act together and expressing how much pleased he was now. He was still him when we met for breakfast burritos, but he was also more composed and confident. After five years, We continue to eat breakfast burritos together in the (very clean) home that we purchased together last year, and I am thankful every day for that time apart.
Breakup with Jessica after a two-week hiatus
“After three years of dating, my boyfriend and I split up when I was 19 years old. I didn’t think in breaks and was confident we’d reconcile. But a week into the break, I became aware of his level of meddling. For instance, I rode a bus to the mall with a male friend. I realized that the only reason I was on the bus was because I was not with my ex. He refused to “let” me to interact with guys “unchaperoned.” I came to the conclusion that we couldn’t ever reconcile.
Staying together after a three-month break, M.
“A year and a half into our relationship, I requested a three-month separation from my spouse. Because I had never been in a committed relationship with a woman, every time we disagreed, I felt out of control. But I was miserable the entire time we were apart. In an email, my partner said that while the lack of comparison was unsettling, she was confident that we had something truly special, and that the initiative now lay with me. I’m so glad I got the email. I asked her if we could talk after the break. She arrived carrying a package containing a pizza with a pepperoni smiley face from our first date location. A little over a year later, I proposed. After a month, she proposed. I was given an anxiety diagnosis, and I used a combination of medicine and counseling to ease things throughout our time apart. Having been married for two years, we also had the time to appreciate the strength of our relationship.
Courtney, three-week break, broke up:
“Just before we started trying for a baby, my husband and I took a break after he expressed misgivings about our marriage. To determine what could be rebuilt, we made the decision that everything needed to be destroyed. We were not in touch and maintained an open connection. But around midway into the break, I discovered how good it felt to be by myself. As my husband went through his midlife crisis, I went from feeling like a victim to being the one who decided to terminate things. Although it’s the hardest, saddest thing to end a ten-year relationship, our separation has given me the space to think about myself and decide what I wanted.
Mary, three-month break, broke up:
“I dated a man for two years when I was 24. We were head over heels in love for the first year. (Cutest thing: he was hilarious and would look over to check whether I was laughing anytime he said anything amusing at a meal or party.) But after I had to relocate for work, and we couldn’t afford to visit much, our relationship deteriorated. We jointly decided to take a break for three months after a year of long-distance communication since we felt so estranged. The break simply turned out to be strange. It was perplexing and terrible to learn about one other through friends even though we didn’t chat on the phone. After that, we got back together for six months, but we were both in and out of it. Looking back, we ought to have ended the conversation. If you need a break, consider whether you should genuinely end your relationship but are simply too afraid to do so.
S, stayed together after a four-month break:
“My husband and I had been married for five years before conceiving and losing the baby. It actually destroyed us. Our relationship reached a point where nothing seemed like it worked any longer because we loathed what felt like empty space. We both agreed that we needed time to reflect on our unique needs and the demands of our partnership. He cohabitated with a pal. We booked a trip to Iceland six months before, and when the time came, we chose to travel there and decide if we should reconcile or separate instead of canceling the trip. The seven days we spent in Iceland were very wonderful. We stayed up late talking and laughing. Even though we were older and had more life experience, it still seemed like when we were 16 and just starting to date. We had sex that killed and difficult conversations. Then we came across a fjord. Just the two of us stopped the car, set up the camera, and immediately reaffirmed our vows. After eleven years of marriage, we are totally certain that the success of this arrangement was ultimately due to our time apart.
Have you taken a break from relationships? How useful was it? Please share your ideas with us.