Taking Time Apart In A Relationship
If you’re thinking about taking time apart in a relationship, you probably are wondering whether it’s possible to get back together or whether this is really just a long, slow end to what you have. While it may seem like the end, many people get back together. It all depends on your personal situation and what you do with that time.
Ann from Tempe, AZ writes:
“My boyfriend and I have gone through a lot of rough times with each other, and while I still care deeply about him and I know he feels the same for me, we just do not feel like we can go on right now. We’ve told each other and ourselves that we’re just taking some time apart to regroup, work on personal issues, and renew ourselves, but I can’t help but fret that this is really the end. Surely this is just a prelude to a complete breakup? Should I see other people during this gap or not? Should we talk to each other, or take time off from that too?”
Hi Ann. Most of your questions are questions that only you can answer, but here are some things for you to think about. It seems to me that your goal is to save the relationship and not to end it—and your motivation for taking time apart is to do that, not to break up. Does that mean you will get back together? Maybe, maybe not—but one thing is for sure: if you don’t communicate with each other at least on some level, you probably won’t get back together. Communication is essential to making sure you’ve both resolved your personal issues. You also probably both want to try and look at the relationship with fresh eyes—and sharing what you see could be really important or creating a foundation to continue with your relationship.
Whether you should see other people or not depends on the nature of your relationship and the extent of the separation. I would be hesitant about the idea, however, since you want to get back together. If nothing else, I certainly wouldn’t pursue something serious to replace what you have, unless you decide you are quite sure that it is really over. Seeing others casually to try and get some perspective may not be a bad thing—just make sure that everyone (you, your boyfriend, and anyone you see) is on the same page about that.
Whether you talk or not is also something you’ll have to decide together. It might benefit you to continue to communicate often or it might help you out to stop talking for a while, depending on your situation and your relationship. You should have some means of touching base, however, even if it’s just emails—you need to be able to communicate any steps forward you are making, and any new perspective which you have. There’s nothing wrong with looking for some space, but you can’t take too much or you may not be able to redeem the relationship. Good luck working out your problems!