Relationships are tough, there's no two ways about it. So it makes sense that you might have trouble differentiating between a relationship that's going through a rough patch, and a relationship that might actually need a break. If you're not sure how to tell when your relationship needs a break, you're not alone. It's a tricky thing to gauge, and not something you want to take lightly. Nobody wants to admit defeat in a relationship — not after you've worked so hard to make it work. But sometimes, your relationship just needs a break.
Of course, this decision doesn't have to be negative. Sometimes a break can be the best thing for both parties involved, and can clear up whether or not you and your partner can make your relationship work. It doesn't have to be permanent, but occasionally people just need time to breathe and reevaluate their priorities and reframe their perspective on their relationships. There's no shame in needing to take a time out on your relationship in order to figure out what your future holds. If you think you might need to take a break from your partner, read on to discover the signs you should be paying attention to in your relationship.
1. You Rarely Talk Anymore
Everything from unhealed anger to busyness can be blamed for reasons couples don't talk anymore, according to Psychology Today. But the publication noted that communication is one of "the greatest and perhaps least-used tool we have to connect with our loved ones." If you find yourself low on communication with your partner, or perhaps you're talking without really talking, it could be a sign that you need to take a break and reevaluate where you both stand. Communication is key in any relationship, and if your conversations are surface and somewhat empty, it could be because you and your partner are both yearning for more.
2. Your Time Together Is Strained
If the time you're spending with your partner is feeling more difficult than usual — and it's becoming a pattern — you might want to consider taking a break. Whether it's a lack of communication, silence, dread, spending time with your partner should be constructive and not a constant strain on your relationship. After all, your partner is who you turn to for support. And if you're not getting that support from your partner, it can be difficult to continue building a future together. According to WebMD, nagging is a common source of strain in relationships that makes your time with your partner less enjoyable for both of you. In order to combat the nagging, and the strain in your relationship, you may need to take a break from your relationship to refresh your wants, needs, and priorities.
3. You'd Rather Spend Time With Other People
If you're avoiding spending time with your partner, there's probably a bigger problem hiding beneath the surface according to Psychology Today. Psychologist Dr. Theresa DiDonato told the publication that there's "an ebb and flow of how much energy at any given time point each member of the couple can give to the relationship." When you're serious about your relationship, there's a certain amount of prioritizing that goes into spending time together. Though you shouldn't bail on the rest of your relationships once you find yourself romantically involved, when you take on someone as your partner, it's only natural that you spend a lot of quality time together. But when that starts to fall away, and your desire to spend time with your partner starts to disappear, you might want to take a break to reevaluate what's going on between you and your partner.
4. You Fantasize About Life Without Your Partner
Fantasizing about a reality other than your own is pretty common, and when it comes to sex, it's encouraged, according to Women's Health. But if you're consistently fantasizing about a life without your partner, it may be a sign that you should take a break. A certain amount of fantasizing is expected in any relationship, but if you're spending an inordinate amount of time in your fantasyland, and your fantasies are creating barriers between you and your partner, it's time to take a look at your relationship. Constant fantasizing about other people, other lives, and other romances, are sure signs that you're unhappy in your current relationship, and need to take a break.
5. Your Relationship Has More Cons Than Pros
Although no relationship can be boiled down to a pro and con list, if your relationship has more negativity in it than positivity, you should consider taking a break. According to Live Science, negative behaviors during conflict in relationships have been linked to negative impacts on mental health. If you find yourself in a constant state of negativity with your partner, taking a break could be the key to creating a more positive mindset for you.
6. You Fight All The Time
Along with negativity comes things like criticism, hostility, and nitpicking. Live Science reported on a study done by the American Psychosomatic Society that found women who experienced more conflicts and fights in their relationships have higher risks of health problems such as high blood sugar, blood pressure, and abdominal obesity. And if that's not a reason to consider taking a break in your relationship, I don't know what is.
7. You're Not Having Sex
A sexless relationship is a glaring sign that you've got some underlying issues at bay. According to sex therapist Vanessa Marin, a drastic change in your sex life usually means there's something going on between you and your partner. Marin told Bustle that stress, depression, and nerves can all contribute to a change in your sex life, and all of those things are topics that should be discussed with your partner — because they're not problems that will solve themselves.
8. You're Not Happy
If you're unhappy in your relationship, it can manifest itself in a number of ways, according to Oprah. And though happiness is important in any relationship, not all rough patches or unhappiness are deal breakers. Some unhappiness can (and should) be worked through with your partner. And some unhappiness means you should take a break from your relationship. If you or your partner are feeling unhappy in your relationship, a break to reevaluate where the both of you stand in your love and your lives can help rejuvenate things in the long run.
9. You're Losing Yourself
Regardless of how long you've been in your relationship, losing yourself in the process of being involved with your partner is a huge red flag. Whether you refer to yourself as we instead of me, you've lost your interest in your hobbies, or you feel overwhelmed and like you never have time for yourself, according to The Huffington Post, there are signs you've lost yourself in your relationship. And if you've lost yourself, you may want to take a step back and take a look at the bigger picture. A break from your relationship can help you find the things you've lost along the way, and help you find a better way to balance yourself in your relationship for the future.