How to push pause on your relationship without ending it

5 ways to better your relationship and save you from breaking up.

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  • Your relationship started off happy-go-lucky, but now it seems that it's crashing down around you. Things feel off, he seems distant and you wonder if the best approach is to just end the relationship ... but maybe this is just a rough patch that the two of you can get over. You want to make it better, but it seems that the only way to do that is to take a step back.

  • So how do you take a step back without breaking up?

  • Here are five ways to push pause on your relationship without ending it:

  • 1. Honesty

  • Be honest with yourself - why do you want to break up? What are the problems that you are having? Why do you want to do this? What are you feeling? Are you simply hormonal? (I personally hate when people say this to me, but we all know there are those few days in the cycle that are really not good days to make any long-term decisions). Maybe your work is causing you stress, and you're inadvertently blaming that stress on your relationship.

  • Remember to be fair to both parties. If you want to push pause so that you can be with other people, then you should probably just break up.

  • 2. Communication

  • When you are wanting to take a break in the relationship, it's important that you talk to your partner about taking a break. It may be uncomfortable, but have a good open discussion before you make any decisions. Discuss what is bothering you, how you are feeling and what they are feeling. Oh, and make sure this conversation happens face-to-face. Now is not the time for texting.

  • Be very honest but also be kind. The better (and more in-depth) you discuss things together, the better relationship you will continue to have, even if you do end up taking a break.

  • 3. Rules

  • It's essential that you set rules for your time apart. Make sure both parties understand what "taking a break" means and what you are allowed to do on the break of this relationship. The rules might include being OK that they date other people or not texting each other for a week.

  • Clear and defined rules will prevent hurt feelings and unmet expectations, which in turn will better your future relationship and increase the respect that you both have for each other.

  • 4. Acceptance

  • Know that you might not get back together again. Taking a break can be as harmful to relationships and it can be helpful.

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  • If you can accept that this is what could happen, then you can take a break. If you would be devastated if you actually broke up, then it might not be a good idea to take a break at all.

  • 5. Learn

  • Learn from this struggle. Dating and relationships are all about learning, so don't let this opportunity to figure yourself out go unnoticed. You need to understand what you were feeling and why. Then learn what your sweetheart felt and why. Knowing both of your feelings will help you improve your relationship - both the one that you're in now and any future relationships.

  • Ultimately, you need to do what you feel is right, while still being kind and respectful to the person you are dating. You both have the right to be treated with kindness, respect and love. Although you have many options to make your relationship work, make sure that both of you are willing and want the same outcome.

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Christa is a part time photographer, part time writer and full time lover of life. She loves eating chocolate chip cookies and singing (but not at the same time). She has her degree in political science.

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