My favorite part of working is taking a vacation. As stressful as work can get sometimes it’s nice to be able to take a break and get away from the office. Whether it’s just a 3-day weekend or a whole week off, I always feel refreshed when I return back to work. Wouldn’t it be nice if relationships worked the same way?
Think about it – What if you & your partner agreed that whenever you felt like you needed to you could take a vacation with the understanding that you would come back “new & improved” ready to take on a new chapter in the relationship? How great would that be?!
Vacations can come in many forms. It doesn’t just mean not talking or hanging out together, it can mean other things as well. Here are some ways you can take a vacation from your relationship –
- Reconnect with your friends – Go on trips with your girlfriends or have a guy’s getaway. It could be a casino night, a big party or even a group birthday celebration. My girlfriends & I always reconnect during our college Homecoming and there are no men allowed.
- Hobbies – Go back to doing the things that you love. If your partner doesn’t enjoy doing these things with you then this is the perfect time to enjoy them all by yourself.
- Spa Day– While this may be more appealing to women than it is to men, everyone needs a day of pampering. If you don’t have much time, then a quick day at the spa would be the perfect way to rejuvenate.
- Go to a sporting event – I’m sure most men would love to be able to go to a game. Super bowl, the Playoffs, or even All-Star weekend is a great way for men to have some space & do something that they enjoy – watching sports.
- Road trip – A little time on the open road can be very soothing and will definitely give you space away from your partner. Not to mention all the fun you’ll have once you get to your destination!
Different people take relationship breaks for different reasons so the rules should be negotiated accordingly. If you’re sure you want to be together but you’re having problems getting along, you might agree not to see each other for a while but also not to date other people. You should also agree on whether or not and how often you will be in contact with each other during your break. The rules can be anything you want but make sure they’re clear and that both of you agree on them.
Here are some sample rules:
- Don’t cheat – You are still in a relationship so you should remain faithful. Hooking up with someone new will only make things more complicated.
- REALLY take the break – Use this time as “me time” & reconnect with yourself.
- Don’t tell everyone your business – Friends & family don’t necessarily need to know what’s happening in your relationship. Be careful with who you share your business with because it might come back to haunt you when the break is over.
- Set an end date – A break is just that: a break. It isn’t meant to last forever, so you should determine exactly when it should be over.
- Don’t change – You don’t want to lose the essence of who you are. You want to be the same person that your partner was attracted to in the first place.
If you do decide to take a vacation from your relationship, be sure you’re doing it for the right reasons. A break should not be used to: 1) Segway into a full breakup, 2) Intimidate your partner to get your way in the relationship, 3) Spend more nights out with other people, 4) Play hard to get, or 5) Try to gain more control in the relationship. If your intent is any of these 5 things, you should reconsider your intent behind taking a break.
Sometimes we can get too involved with someone when we spend a lot of time with them. They can be such a large part of our daily lives that it influences who we are as individuals. Remember, absence does make the heart grow fonder!
You may be wondering how long this break should be. Since the whole purpose is to rejuvenate yourself, the break shouldn’t be too long (like months & months) but should be long enough to make a difference and break your regular routine. For some people this could be anywhere from a few hours all the way up to a few days or even a few weeks (not if you’re married though).
There may be some people who might tell you that this is not a good idea. They’ll say that taking a break might cause you & your partner to grow apart, not together. Remember, the whole purpose of taking a break is to grow individually so that you can ultimately grow stronger together. We are constantly evolving & you’ll be different after the break than you were before. That’s when you should really be able to communicate to your partner who you have become & what you’ve learned during this time.
At the end of the day, sometimes people need a break from work, from parenting, and from life in general. Why should relationships be any different?