Going For a Break: How is a Pause in a Relationship Different from Parting

Temporary separation does not mean that you are no longer a couple

There are times in a relationship where you and your partner begin to question whether you want to be together. For example, you often quarrel, are overworked, or simply begin to move away from each other for various reasons. Dissatisfaction with what is happening between you can push you to a difficult choice between a temporary break and parting forever.

At first glance, the pause and the end of the relationship look similar, but in terms of the impact on your future, these two formats have significant differences.


The main difference between a break in a relationship and a complete breakup is your intention. When you decide to break up with someone, you know for sure that it’s over for the two of you. Maybe you part on a good note and manage to remain friends, or maybe not, but this chapter of your life is closed. Most couples decide to leave the relationship in the past because they have lost their feelings for each other and realize that the freedom of loneliness attracts more than what binds them.

Of course, the mutual decision that you are no longer a couple does not guarantee that this will always be the case. A striking example is the reunion of Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck after 20 years. After some time (weeks, months, years), you may be drawn to each other again, which does not negate confidence when parting and subsequent attempts to establish a personal life.

A break in a relationship is a completely different matter. When you agree on a break, you still want to be together and, most likely, love each other, but internal difficulties or external circumstances interfere with you. Perhaps one of you has been offered a job that requires moving to another city, or caring for your parents requires maximum attention – in other words, you need time to get your thoughts in order and redefine what role your partner plays in your life.

Although parting for a certain period of time does not exclude a real breakup, you are aware that taking a break from each other will do you good. Nobody leaves anyone; you just need time to understand whether it is worth making an effort to be together – for a long time and preferably happily.


“If you decide to break up for a break, you need to have a serious talk,” advises psychologist and relationship expert. – First of all, discuss the reasons and goals for your temporary separation and the steps you are ready to take to change the situation. Also be sure to discuss the start and end time of the pause. All decisions must be mutual, only in this way your story will have a chance to continue.

If you are not too sure about your partner, you can and should ask uncomfortable questions. And don’t hesitate to find out how far your temporary freedom extends. Will you be in touch? Spending the weekend together? What would you say to your loved ones? Do you plan to date (or sleep with) other people? And remember: your partner has the right to express how he really feels, even if you don’t like what he says. You need this information. A pause in a relationship means that in separation, you will consider all the problems of your couple and find ways to get rid of them for the sake of a joint future.


Taking a break makes sense if you really believe in positive dynamics. The decision to pause to buy time, to keep the boyfriend at a distance, is the wrong move. “In this case, temporary separation is an evasion of responsibility. This timid approach does not change anything, but freezes the relationship at a difficult stage, and then you will return to the problems that caused you to break up, ”explains the psychologist.

A pause in a relationship is needed to understand what is going wrong in the relationship, how you really feel and what you want from each other in the future. “This is not withdrawal, but a reorientation inward,” says the expert. “You have to think about and rethink your connection, deal with your desires, consult with a specialist if possible and, by the way, learn to listen by signing up for special courses.”

Even if you understand that a short-term separation is the right and timely step, you will still be sad, as if you broke up for real. You will surely feel longing, loneliness, uncertainty about the future, and this is completely normal. It is important to set yourself up for positive changes, but at the same time understand that there is a possibility that the break will still turn into the finale of the novel.

Whatever path you choose, the most important thing is to be honest with yourself and each other. If the relationship is having difficulties, but you still love him and want to be with him, it’s worth spending the time to sort out problems and start over. But if you have fallen out of love and offer a pause in the relationship, just not to get stuck in the web of loneliness, believe me, this will not end in anything good.