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Woman taking a break from romance
Relationships

Taking a Break from Romance? Here’s How to Do It Well.

/ July 5, 2022

Getting comfortable with being alone can be one of the most crucial steps in taking a break from romance. You do not need anyone’s permission to enjoy an activity with your own company, so take yourself on a date!

Let’s get this out of the way first: there’s nothing wrong with being in a happy relationship. If you are in love and supported in your relationship, that’s incredible! The purpose of this article is not to give you doubts about your relationship or steer you toward a life of singlehood. Rather, this article is intended to give you perspective if you are already single or have found yourself in a relationship that may not be the best for you.

Have you remained single for a long time? Do the societal pressures of having a partner weigh down on you and make you feel like you should be dating? Are you feeling like your relationship is not benefiting your life or your partner’s life anymore? 

If any of these things are true for you, chances are, it may be in your best interest to remain single or take a break from relationships for a time. If you are considering taking a break from romance, continue reading to learn how to do it well and with intention.

Step #1: Prioritize Yourself

If you’ve been in a relationship before, you know that part of having a romantic partner is catering to their needs and putting them before you when it comes to comfort and pleasure. Developing these traits has made you a great partner in the past! You’ve taught yourself how to be selfless and giving, and those are essential qualities to develop as an adult. 

However, being single means unlearning these traits to a certain extent. Good relationships are built through the act of being selfless and considering your partner’s needs before your own, but  being single means you get to ask yourself, “What do I want?” Get out of your comfort zone, discover what you really enjoy in life, and prioritize that during this period of time! 

Many people are so accustomed to dating that they’ve lost touch with what they really enjoy doing in their free time. Is this you? When’s the last time you took yourself out on a date? When’s the last time you asked yourself what movie you wanted to watch? This isn’t being selfish — it’s about learning more about yourself and giving you the care you deserve. 

Step #2: Enjoy Being Alone

Have you ever gone to a museum alone? It’s wildly freeing. You can move through the exhibits at your own pace without stopping to look at things that don’t interest you. You can go straight to all the parts of the museum that grab your attention, and you can walk at your own pace!

While being alone may be freeing for some people, it’s common to hear someone say they hate doing activities alone. Society has conditioned us to believe that activities such as going to the movies, going out to dinner, or taking a walk at the park are “partner activities”. Many people fear they will look like a loner if they do any of these things independently. The reality is — no one is really looking.

Society has conditioned us to believe that activities such as going to the movies, going out to dinner, or taking a walk at the park are “partner activities.”

Plus, who cares what they think! Everyone is already invested in their own lives and how they are perceived; it’s doubtful they’ll notice you by yourself and think anything of it. Our brains want us to believe we are the center of everyone’s attention, but rarely are we the center of anyone’s attention but our own.

Getting comfortable with being alone can be one of the most crucial steps in taking a break from romance. You do not need anyone’s permission to enjoy an activity with your own company, so take yourself on a date!

Step #3: Invest in Your Friendships

It’s important to start this step with a clarification: being in a relationship does not mean you have to sacrifice your friendships. However, relationships do take up time. It starts with a date night a few times a month, and pretty soon, you’re telling your friends you can’t make it to an event because that new show you and your partner have been watching just put a new episode on Netflix. 

As a single person, you have more time to invest in friendships, which may have been neglected in a serious relationship. Finding comfort in doing things by yourself doesn’t mean you have to be alone. If your friends have availability in their schedule, nourish those friendships and have fun!

Step #4: Evaluate Yourself and Your Life Goals 

Romantic relationships often mean making compromises when it comes to planning your future. Maybe you want to move to the east coast, but your partner never wants to leave the state of Washington — how do you approach that?

As a single person, you have the autonomy to make changes in your life whenever you see fit. You have the freedom to move to a new state if you decide to. You can shape your life how you want, uninhibited by anyone else’s wants or needs. 

Have you always wanted to take a road trip across the United States but just haven’t done it yet? Now is the time to think about what you really want to do, specifically what you want to do that may be more challenging in a relationship. Sit and evaluate what’s important to you. Odds are these things will be much harder to accomplish once you have another person’s goals to factor into your own.

As a single person, you have the autonomy to make changes in your life whenever you see fit.

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Step #5: Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

It can be quite refreshing to do something you may typically be averse to doing. Getting out of your comfort zone can be beneficial for many reasons, but primarily it will show you that you aren’t limited to what you know. Humans are creatures of habit, and though it may feel safer to stick with what we already know, trying something new will give you a newfound appreciation for your adventurous side. Talk to people you don’t know. Go to trivia night at an unfamiliar place. Surprise yourself!

Step #6: Take Better Care of Your Body

According to a study, divorced people are generally healthier than married couples, and the healthiest of all are people who stay single. Typically, when people are in a happy relationship, they focus more on their partner than on keeping their bodies healthy and in shape. Another study found that single people in 9 European countries weighed 5 pounds less than people in a relationship. 

Many single people keep their bodies healthy and in shape to look their best when searching for a long-term partner. It’s okay to want to look good for a date, but try taking the initiative to exercise and be healthy for yourself. Life will get more complicated when you have a serious romantic partner. They may not be as keen on maintaining a healthy lifestyle as you are. This is why it’s important to develop a routine of exercise and healthy living while you have the freedom to do so. 

How to Know if You Should Take a Break from Relationships

Not sure if you should take a break from relationships? Do the benefits of being single outweigh the cons of your current relationship? Are you feeling suffocated by the expectations that come with having a romantic partner? It could be the right time for you to take a break from romance, but how can you know for sure? Here are the top signs it’s time to try #singlelife for a while. 

Constant Fighting

Arguments are inevitable in any relationship, especially romantic ones. People have their differences, and your differing beliefs will eventually lead to a disagreement. This is normal for most, but what if this fighting never seems to stop? If you are always fighting over the same topic and a conclusion seems unreachable, the best course of action is to take some time apart and think about how you want to proceed. Unfortunately, sometimes people are just not compatible, and it may be in both of your best interests to walk away.

Dissatisfaction

It can also be a good time for a break if you are finding yourself unsatisfied in a relationship for a long period. This dissatisfaction can lead to more problems in the relationship down the road if left unaddressed, so it may be wise to take some time apart and digest exactly why you are feeling this way. Only you truly know yourself, and honesty is the best policy here. So, if you feel there is a likely chance this break will result in a concrete breakup, let your partner know this. 

Crossed Boundaries

Boundaries can look different for everyone. Some people draw the line at cheating, and even cheating itself can look different depending on the person. To you, cheating may be sleeping with someone else, but to someone else, cheating could be flirting over text to another person. It is important to discuss these boundaries when entering a relationship, but if you did not, make discussing boundaries a priority. If your partner has crossed a boundary that you feel is too significant to ignore, tell them that and discuss how to move forward. Suppressing this pain won’t help anyone! 

Still Not Sure if You Should Break Up? Try Therapy First.

If you’ve been in a serious relationship for a while and you want to make it work, never underestimate the power of couples therapy. A therapist will walk you through your relationship’s good and bad parts together and offer insight from an outside perspective. However, don’t seek therapy if you are only looking for someone to take your side so that you can win an argument. Therapy will only work if both parties want it to. If a break is necessary to improve the relationship, a therapist will suggest one.

Relationships can be hard and are usually complicated, but there is no easy answer to whether or not you should take a break from romance. Ultimately, only you can make that decision. However, you no longer have to fear being single. There are many benefits to being single and being in a committed relationship. It’s up to you to decide what’s best for you right now!

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