A Relationship Break – Can it Help?
We’ve all seen the famous Friends episode The One When Ross and Racheal Take a Break – that essentially is the beginning of the breakdown in their relationship – but what is a relationship break, and do they work?
In the Friend’s episode, Rachel has to work late on their first anniversary, and a jealous Ross is worried about how much time Rachel spends with her new, attractive boss. Eventually, they argue, and Rachel requests to take a relationship break; Ross leaves and heads to a bar while Rachel’s boss arrives with food to cheer her up. When Ross calls to say sorry,, he realised that Rachel has her Boss at home and sleeps with a girl in the bar.
Since the episode’s airing in 1997, the question has cropped up repeatedly – were they on a break? And if they were, was he doing anything wrong by sleeping with someone else?
The truth is there is no right answer- for some people; he will have been breaking every rule in the book. For others, it is completely acceptable because a relationship break is different for every single couple and is something that needs to be discussed with each other (but in our opinion, if you want to get back together, sleeping with others isn’t the best way to go about it!).
What do People Go on Relationship Breaks?
Relationships are hard work – even the most romantic, perfect-looking relationships take effort from both parties to work. Sometimes being in a relationship is exhausting – and sometimes, other aspects of our life use up all of the energy we would usually put into love. A break is meant to be just that – a little time away from your partner to focus on you, whether it’s for:
- Family issues
- Mental health
Many of the things listed above will be tackled together within a healthy relationship; however, things such as often lead to couples needing a little time apart to recover:
- Lack of love in a relationship
- Feeling a relationship is one-sided
- Feeling unloved
- Deciding whether you want to be in a relationship
- Overcoming cheating
Does a Break Mean the End?
There is no way to tell whether or not a break will fix or destroy your relationship. There is always the possibility one or both of you feel better alone and realize you don’t need the other. It also can make it a lot easier to be tempted by other people – much like Ross in Friends was.
However, you also might realize you miss each other, people who have been hurt can use the time to heal, and those who have caused hurt can try to confront their issues and be better within the relationship. Physical distance also helps you to find the spark you might have lost in your relationship by allowing you to start dating again and going back to basics with sleepovers and romantic dates out.
The problem with a break is they are often the last resort solution – people in happy and healthy relationships are very unlikely to request or accept a break, and it’s much more common among people who have huge cracks in their relationship and have been trying to fix it for a while.
If you’re considering a break in your relationship, you should think about your reasons why. Often its hard to let go of people we still love but aren’t in love with, but in the end only and your partner know what is best for you – and if you do decide a break is right, a quick discussion about rules regarding other people and dating is the most important part of going on your relationship break.
What Happens if the Break Doesn’t Work?
If you go on a break and it doesn’t fix your relationship, it’s not the end of the world. Take some time for yourself to heal and get over your previous relationship – find a hobby, get a hair cut or join the gym. When you’re ready to start dating again, online dating is one of the best places to get started and get back into the dating scene. What are you waiting for? There’s no time like the present.
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