On "Taking a Break"

The 7 words that change everything.

The words that change you.  The ones that change the way you look at yourself, the way your heart feels, the way your entire body feels.  The ones that shatter your predictions and hopes for the future.  The 7 words that change everything.


“I think we should take a break.”


But guess what?  Those words… they don’t have to change anything.

I’ll be completely honest, I’m not so sure that I’m the most qualified person to give advice on this topic.  As a matter of fact, I know I’m not, but if someone out there can at least take comfort in knowing that they aren’t alone in feeling pretty awful-- and that there is hope at the end of the tunnel for them and their relationship-- I will be content.

First and foremost, let’s just be really clear.  Taking a break is different than breaking up.  Taking a break means that there is an end to the break and a reconciliation at the end.  However, I know that sometimes it really feels like it is in fact, breaking up. It's perfectly normal to feel scared, and heartbroken. If you don't then that would honestly be shocking to me, and I would like to know your secret. 

They say that “taking a break” can be really healthy for a relationship.  They say that you come out stronger, happier, the list goes on.  What they don’t say is that it’s also probably one of the hardest things you will have to go through and learn how to cope with, especially when you’re not the one who wanted the break.

Relationships are hard.  That’s just a fact, but at the end of the day it’s all about compromise.

Think about it like this: your relationship is a plane and right now you're riding through a thunderstorm.  There’s going to be a lot of turbulence and there is no end in sight.  You have no choice but to take the controls and let things ride out and happen how they are supposed to happen because 1) you can’t see anything ahead of you and 2) you’re not cleared for landing yet. Eventually though, you will get there, and when you do, you’ll remember how hard the past weeks, months (or however long it was) were.  You’ll remember that the reason why they were so hard is because of how much love you have for your S.O.  You’ll remember that without those dark and lonely times, you would never have anything to compare the best and happiest times to.

When you find your mind questioning what are they doing? and you wish you could check in and talk to them, and you think about how you want to just tell them that you love them, just tell yourself that you can get through this.  That you need to keep on living your life in order to get through this time.  You might be pressing pause on the relationship, but if you press pause on everything else then you won’t get anywhere.

When you feel like you need to call, don’t.  When you feel like you need to text, don’t. Let them set the pace. Let them reach out to you when they feel comfortable and ready. Honestly, I am such a hypocrite for saying that because I did both of those things.  It’s so hard to just step away from a relationship that you care so much about, trust me I know; but, to be honest, you are just going to regret it immediately after you press send.  Even if you have a good conversation there will be that voice in your head telling you that you should have just given them space.

I think there is definitely something to be said about negative thoughts and negative energy as well.  It does nothing but harm.  Instead, focus on the positives.  The positive is that the reason it hurts so badly is because you have so much love inside of you for this person and for your relationship.  It is something you should be grateful for because before, maybe you didn’t value or appreciate, or even realize how much love you had for them.

Keep this in mind, and do your best to focus on yourself during this time.  Keep yourself as busy as you can.  Go for more walks, spend more time talking to friends on the phone, work, do crafts, go out to eat, etc, etc.  Listen to songs that make you happy.  Listen to the songs that you love to listen with your S.O.  It might hurt a little at first that they are not there with you, but it gives you a sense of comfort and hope that everything is going to be okay.

You never know when you’ll get a text or a call just to say “Hey” or “I love you,” but when you do, you’ll get the reassurance that you need to keep going.  But that message isn’t going to come if you’re sitting around waiting for it.  You need to be getting out there and living your life too.

This is just another chapter in the story of your relationship.  Ride through the turbulence, keep on flipping the pages. The end will be in sight before you know it. I’m not saying it’s going to be easy, but remember to have hope and have love; not just for your S.O, but for yourself too.