Listen to your gut– if you feel like you need a break, don’t try to convince yourself otherwise.  Your partner may try to stop you, but don’t let him/her scare you into sticking it out.  What is wrong with taking a break?  Nothing.  Unless you or your significant other are afraid that absence will not make the heart grow fonder… which just confirms you need that break.

When two people are in a good place, everything is so easy.  You get along well, so you are able to relax and laugh while enjoying each other’s company during a wide range of activities from the daily mundane chores to spectacular romantic dates that will remain memorable for the rest of your life.  You feel secure and grounded, making it effortless to either stay present or look ahead to make plans for the future.  Together, you can feel the warmth in the room that envelopes you like a soft, cuddly blanket that is oh so comforting.  As you experience all this, you know without a doubt that this is love.

But when you find yourself losing that loving feeling, and you are at odds with your significant other, the opposite becomes true– everything seems off, and you can no longer relax.  You wonder if you’ve lost your sense of humor, and it’s hard to enjoy activities together no matter how incredible the date was intended to be.  You feel lost and vulnerable, and instead of staying present you look nostalgically at the past and avoid thinking too far into the future in order to avoid having a panic attack.  You can cut the tension in the room with a knife when s/he is in the room with you, and instead of warmth, when you do make eye contact there is a cold feeling that runs down your spine and gives you chills.  This then provokes your natural desire to either fight or flee, and that’s when you will find the idea of taking a break to be a good quick fix, because deep down inside you may still be wondering “is it you, or is it me?”  The answer is probably both.

If you feel like you need a break, do it– even if it is just for a long weekend, or go away for a whole week and if money is tight stay with friends or relatives.  Then, just pay attention to how your body reacts.  Are you more relaxed?  Has your appetite come back?  Are you able to breathe?  Can you sleep easily?   Is your mind calmer?  Do you find yourself more alert and focused?  All of these are good signs that you are not in fact ill, but rather you just needed to escape an unhealthy situation.  Now what you do with that information is up to you, but I will say that returning to the ways things were won’t be an option.  Once you have found some peace, you will crave it more and more so either you will find a way to ameliorate the situation with your partner, or you will have to find a way to extricate yourself from the relationship.

Parting ways is never easy, but it can be done thoughtfully so as to minimize regrets.  Take your time to think things through– especially the potential long term consequences of all your actions.  Acting out of emotion or impulse rarely works out well in these scenarios, which is why it is important to remove yourself from the situation to think things through with a clear head.  There is nothing wrong with a break, and nothing to fear except fear itself.