Sadly, the honeymoon phase doesn’t last forever, and when the newness of a relationship wears off, that’s when you can get a true idea of what life with your partner will really be like. It’s not always going to be perfect (even though every single rom-com convinces us otherwise), but when butterflies start to turn into annoyance and sexy sleepless nights become a thing of the past, it’s not uncommon to question if your relationship is going to work out or not. Sometimes, the key to a better relationship is as simple as doing things intentionally to keep the spark alive, but other times, taking a break in a relationship is necessary, as it allows each partner the time and space to gain clarity on what they want out of their partner and, ultimately, their relationship.
If you’ve ever wondered if taking a break in a relationship is the right call, we are here to help by explaining six common signs that indicate you might need one.
1. You are getting more annoyed than usual.
Let’s be honest, you’re not going to love everything your partner does, but if you find yourself getting annoyed more than you used to, at things that didn’t annoy you before, or on a daily (or hourly) basis, it’s time evaluate why your patience has left the building. Oftentimes, when our feelings aren’t being met or when we are holding feelings of resentment toward someone, we are more likely to let the little things they do bother us. Take a step back and think about why you are feeling this way and if you can move past it. If not, have a conversation with your partner and let them know where you’re coming from and what steps need to be taken to resolve it, whether that means taking a break or working it out another way.
2. Conversations are dull.
Do you remember when you first started dating your partner and you could talk for hours? In the fun, flirty, get-to-know-you phase, holding a conversation is easy with the right person! But after a while, you stopped playing rounds of “20 Questions” and started talking about things like what’s coming up on the calendar and what bills need to be paid, and eventually, you ran out of things to talk about altogether. Talking to your partner used to be the highlight of your day and now it is a total snooze fest. What happened? If the spark you remember isn’t anywhere to be found, a break might be what you need to either re-ignite it or accept that your relationship isn’t going to stand the test of time.
3. You feel more relaxed when they’re not around.
When you are with your partner, does the tension build and make you uneasy? Do you feel like you’re walking on eggshells? Are you searching for an excuse to head home early, kick your feet up, and take a deep breath? This is a common feeling for anyone in a relationship that isn’t going well. If you’re no longer enjoying their company or you feel like you are constantly on edge when you are around them, you will become less likely to want to spend time with them at all, and that’s not how you maintain a relationship with someone you care about.
4. You find yourself avoiding them.
POV: Your partner texts you to let you know that they won’t be on time because they are working late, and you are relieved. Hallelujah, you can enjoy your night for a little while longer before they arrive. Don’t get me wrong, I understand the value of alone time (and I think it’s healthy for each partner to have theirs to maintain a healthy relationship), but if you start to notice that you are avoiding your partner or canceling plans regularly, it might be time to consider riding solo all together—at least for a little while.
5. You can’t remember the last time you had sex.
Going through a dry spell? No relationship is perfect. Especially if you are both busy with work, life, and social obligations, you each have to be intentional about intimacy, but what happens when you have the time and you still don’t have sex? Well, that’s a different story. While there are plenty of easy habits that can boost your sex life, you can’t habit-stack your way into wanting to have sex with your partner if you’re just not that interested. When sex feels like it’s become a chore or you find yourself wearing your not-so-sexy underwear on purpose, taking a break might be what you need. What’s that saying? Distance makes the sex drive grow fonder? Something like that!
6. Your future together is uncertain.
Nobody wants to waste their time or waste somebody else’s time, so it’s crucial that you and your partner are on the same page about what you hope will be the future of your relationship. Whether you’ve been together for a few years or you have only been together for a few months, the “what are we doing” conversation is difficult but necessary. If your future together is uncertain, taking a break in a relationship will allow both partners to explore what they want and how they want to move forward—whether that is together or separate.