Some time ago, I was confiding in a friend about some problems I was facing with my long distance relationship. When she suggested that I might want to take a small break from the relationship, I was shocked and immediately thought it’s a bad idea. Me and my partner live more than a thousand miles apart from each other and having a break, even a small one, would probably end up destroying our relationship – at least that’s my first thought.
However, during our daily Skype chat, I brought the idea up to my partner and surprisingly, we went into a very long and deep conversation about it. We talked about our feelings and what both of us wanted out of the relationship. We also talked about the relationship problems we have been facing at that time. We came up with a lot of questions but we were not able to answer all of them.
In the end, both of us agreed to take a 4-day break to figure things out.
Although both of us knew at the time that the break was just going to be 4 days, it was very hard to say goodbye and I ended up in tears, silly as it may sound. The night that we decided to take a break, I felt like my heart was broken and went to bed crying.
The next day, I felt as if I was free and light-hearted. I could now do whatever I want without any restraints! My partner was very protective of me and he tends to get jealous even when I wasn’t doing anything wrong. So, I thought now that I didn’t have to worry about him anymore, I could do whatever I want without feeling guilty.
I continued on with my day as usual but found myself missing my partner. When I saw something cute on the street, I instinctively reached for my phone to text my partner about it but I managed to remind myself that I was single just in time. I told my friends about the break and we all decided that we needed to go out that night and we did dinner together. I realized that having such a supportive group of friends really did help with the transition.
On the second day, I felt the effect of the break even more strongly. My partner had blocked me on social media – an arrangement we both agreed to so that we couldn’t see what each other was doing and let that affect us during the break. I couldn’t keep my mind off my partner for the entire day. Was he doing something he hadn’t done before? How was he handling the break? I was almost going out of my mind not knowing! Having this feeling made me realize that I really do care about him and that I really do want to be with him. I decided on that day that we need to renew our love for each other – if we still want to be together after the break.
The third day of the break was definitely the toughest to get through. I went through the day like a single person and did the things that they do. I went to a cafe on my own to finish my assignment and a couple sat down on the table next to me. I couldn’t help but observe them – how they looked deeply into each other’s eyes while holding hands. How the guy leaned over and whispered something into her ear and made her giggle. That reminded me of my partner and I when we were together, making me miss him even more. It’s the small things that count and I vowed to never take them for granted again.
My friends took me out again that night but told me that I should go to a club and flirt with a guy. At first, I was not very comfortable with that idea but they convinced me that this is the only way to know if I truly want to stay single or return to my partner. I finally gave in and so we all dressed up to the nines and headed to a club.
After two drinks at the club, a cute guy approached us and started talking to me. He seemed nice enough so I tried to talk to him and flirt a bit. However, instead of feeling flattered by his positive response, I felt very strange and uncomfortable. In fact, I felt like a fake and then it hit me – I wanted to do this with my partner and no one else.
Finally, on day four, we talked to each other again and it was such a relief to hear his voice. Both of us told the other about all the things we did during the break with utter honesty and with as many details as possible. I told him that I missed the small things and that perhaps I did not show enough appreciation. On the other hand, he told me that he realized that being jealous, even when there was no reason to, was ultimately hurting me and pushing me away. He said that the tighter he wanted to hold me, the more he was driving me away.
Both of us agreed that we want to stay together and promised to make some changes in the relationship.
If you are tinkering with the idea of taking a break from your long distance relationship, my advice is to propose it to your partner and talk about it. Make sure that your partner understands that this isn’t you asking for a break-up, but to have some time to figure things out.
Us taking a break was one of the best things we ever did for our relationship and it really helped us find out what we want. You might have a different experience but should you find yourself truly happy when you’re on a break, then it could be time that you move on. Whatever happens, the break will only end up in a break-up if it’s truly meant to be.