When someone hears the words “taking a break,” it’s only human that their brain immediately circles back to one person. Ross Geller. Since the disastrous ramifications of Ross’s actions in Friends, a certain negative connotation has been associated with the entire ideology of “taking a break,” branding it a precursor to the inevitable demise of a relationship. 

However, don’t let Ross’s idiocy deter from the healing benefits of a break. A break can erase the emotional cache that has been accumulated over the years and help you rekindle your spark. In the end, Ross and Rachel were okay.

Here’s how:

1. Absense makes the heart grow fonder.

When you first met, it was an instant connection. Love in the air, butterflies in your tummy. It was as if your partner was a match tailor-made for you. However, as years flew by you began noticing flaws in their behaviour. The comfort you shared became the source disdain in your heart. Somewhere in between dirty laundry on the couch to erratic sleeping schedules, the flirtatious glances morphed into incessant eye-rolling, audible gasps of frustration and passive-aggressive jabs. It’s only when you step away from what you’ve been accustomed to, you realise how much you value your partner’s worth. You have the opportunity to re-evaluate if sustaining certain annoying habits are worth saving the relationship. Soon, you’ll find yourself longing for them. 

2. Rekindle your relationship, with yourself.

When you’ve been in a relationship for a prolonged period of time, it’s only human to lose your sense of self. But when you take a break, you’re granted the opportunity to rediscover yourself, your likes and dislikes, your passions and hobbies, what direction you want to take your life. Not only does this aid in personal growth, but it also helps you communicate your wants and needs to your partner better. 

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3. Communicate without conflict. 

For many long-term couples, communicating their issues and pet peeves can quickly transform into bursts of anger and screaming matches where one partner tries to best the other. This occurs largely due to pent up anger and frustration. Time apart from each other gives you the opportunity to assess your words and actions, figure out what you’re really mad about and address the root cause of your issues instead of petty squabbles.

4. Get your spark back. 

Long terms of codependency can make you forget how much your partner means to you. When you spend some time apart, you realise how much you actually miss the person and long for them in your life. The gentle reminder of your partner’s worth is crucial in a successful relationship. 

5. Discuss exclusivity.

Before your break, set some ground rules with your partner. Is it okay if you see other people? If it is, that has its own set of benefits. You can discover new desires and sexual fantasies and get over feelings of missing out or being tied down. However, the intention of seeing other people must be laid clear.