When people say they want to take a break from their relationship, what it means is that for a certain duration, they will pull back from their partner and from every, or most of the things they do in the relationship.
For the duration of the break, contact, communication and other relationship activities are either cut off or reduced to the barest minimum.
These breaks go on for at least one month and in some instances, six months or more.
Why take breaks?
When people seek to take breaks from a relationship, it’s either because the relationship has lost its spark, become too boring or too stressful and filled with negative energy.
Sometimes, it could be because a partner has reservations and concerns about how the other is behaving. It could also be because that partner just needs space.
Absurdly at other times, it could be due to a need to date other people; or to consider their options; to focus on other things such as career or education.
And in some cases, the person seeking a break could just be fed up of the relationship as a whole and just seeks an easy way out.
That's actually not taking anything away from the genuineness of some of these reasons as some of them do look and sound like things that could justify a break – the need to focus on one’s career/education falls under this category.
No matter how sensible or justifiable the reasons are, however, taking a break is still not the answer.
Needing to pay attention to your education and career is not enough reason to quit a relationship you have been building for a while.
You can make anything work alongside a healthy, loving relationship work if you sit down with your partner and make them understand how your schedule has changed and how much of yourself you’ve decided to give to the business, career or education.
I mean, didn't Barack Obama rule America for eight years and managed to remain happy with Michelle despite the incessant travels, stress and crazy demands of the job?
If you have to put a relationship on hold to make other things work, it means maybe your partner isn’t as understanding and supportive as you personally need and they are unwilling to compromise. It could also mean that communication in your relationship is not strong or effective enough.
Communicating through it all
Seeing a break as a solution to whatever is ailing your relationship is a wrong move when you actually can talk it through.
Instead of asking your partner for a break because the relationship has lost its spark, or because of other reasons listed above, how about communicating with him or her?
If you do this extensively, honestly, sincerely, with an open mind and a willingness to actually do what is needed to make things work, there should be no need to go on that break.
There's a reason why the spark is lost from that relationship in the first instance and you don't have to stay away for a while to understand what that thing is. It's a lot more difficult to mend and fix emotional bridges from a distance.
You and your partner would need to converse earnestly, fight together for yourselves and put in concerted efforts into reaching or returning to a good place in the relationship.
If at all you must take time to think things through in a relationship, a few days - maybe two or three - is enough to do that.
When you are done with the soul searching, reach out and communicate your worries, fears, needs and others concerns to your partner.
That’s what relationships are about, right?
Wading through stormy seas and riding difficult waves together. You just can’t jump ship like that.
You should either be all in or all out. There’s no middle ground.
An alternative to breaks
If communication does not work and the relationship keeps deteriorating despite all attempts to talk through the issues in it, it might be time to call it quits for good.
Many breaks are meant to be temporary but usually end up being a permanent ending because somewhere along the line, during the emotional and communication blackout, partners find a way to live without each other.
Sometimes, one of them meets another person who fills in the void created in those weeks/months of emptiness.
It's only logical that if you don't call, speak to, go on a date or kiss your boo; if you are not there for them emotionally for such long periods, the likelihood is that someone else will, right?
Some may say taking a break helps partners realise they can’t do without each other and bring them back closer than ever, but hey, why tempt fate in the first instance?
If you have something beautiful and you never want to lose it, hold it close and never let it go.
Not temporarily. And surely not permanently.