It may come as a nasty shock to you when your girlfriend suddenly announces that she needs a break from the relationship. It is easy to assume that she is walking out on you but she may not necessarily mean that. Here are a few tips on how to respond to your girlfriend’s decision and keep all options open.
Don’t make it messy
The worst possible way to react to your girlfriend taking a break is to fight her over the issue. Naturally you are hurt and angry at her decision and you would probably be tempted to plead or threaten her into staying. This will not only make you come across as too desperate but also make her feel justified in moving away from you.
TIP: Read the guide to prevent a break up or get back with your ex.
Listen calmly and carefully to what your girlfriend has to say. If she has not clearly spelled out what made her take the decision, you may find important clues in her words. There are several reasons why women sometimes wish to draw back and re-evaluate their relationship and none of these may have to do breaking up permanently.
Does she expect you to commit?
See if you have been hesitant about committing yourself into a long-term relationship while your girlfriend probably expected to hear wedding bells ringing sometime soon. Announcing that she needs a break may be her way to telling you that she wants you to decide on your commitment and decide fast!
How have you been treating her?
If your girlfriend feels that she has been giving more to the relationship than getting from it, she may want to take a break. Every woman needs to be cherished and appreciated by her partner and if she finds herself being treated just a little better than your old sock, she is bound to re-examine her priorities.
Is she the independent type?
On the other hand, you may have been trying too hard. If your girlfriend is private person and fiercely possessive about her independence, she may just want to take a break from all those lunch dates, intimate dinners and weekend picnics with you. She may be feeling overwhelmed by your attention and simply want some time by herself.
This is it
If none of the above reason ring true, then probably taking a break is your girlfriend’s way of saying goodbye to you. She may be too timid or anxious to let it out bluntly that hopes that you will understand that she is really walking out on you. However the best way to make matters clear is simply to ask your girlfriend what she means by taking a break and what has prompted her to do so. Be prepared for some plain talking once you set out to do this as your girlfriend may use this opportunity to bring up any issues that have been bothering her or your relationship.
Be clear on the ground rules. If you find your girlfriend determined to take a break, clear up certain points. For instance how long with the “break” last – a couple of weeks or a couple of months. It is a bad idea to leave the break open-ended as it may keep either of you hopeful of a return. Also suggest a meeting when the period of the break is over so that you both know where the relationship stands.
Yet another aspect of the break you need to clarify with your girlfriend is whether during this period either of you are allowed to see other people. And to what extend could “seeing” go. No matter how liberal your girlfriend may seem on this point, if you truly wish her to come back, don’t go berserk with you new-found freedom and end up making out with the first woman who comes your way. If your girlfriend finds out about this, you can be sure the break will turn out to be a permanent one.
Don’t use jealousy to make her come back
When your girlfriend says she needs to find her space, you may be tempted to start seeing other women immediately, just to make her realize that there are other fish in the sea. However if you start dating too soon, especially with a particular woman, your girlfriend may assume that you are already over her and there is no point in coming back. On the other hand, you don’t want her to get the impression that you have nothing better to do than sit at home and mope about the break. So go out with friends to a catch a football game or join an adventure sports club. You will be able to take your mind off the break in your relationship without hurting your chances of being together again.
Stick to a no-contact rule
If your girlfriend says that needs time to think things over, make sure that you completely stop seeing each other for the said period. If the break has to serve its purpose, it needs to be a proper break. Neither of you will be able to re-evaluate your priorities if you are calling up or mailing each other ten times a day.
Do some thinking
Use the time of the break to reflect on what and how much this relationship means to you. Consider your past behavior and see if you may have hurt or neglected your girlfriend in some way so as to make her want to draw back. See if there is a mismatch in expectations from the relationship. Perhaps your girlfriend wants a higher level of commitment from you than you are prepared to give. Think about all aspects of your relationship and towards the end of the break see how you feel about her and your being together.
Every relationship goes through a period where one of the partners may feel the need to take some time off. This can be taken positively as an opportunity to re-evaluate priorities or can be seen as a sign of going separate ways. What path you eventually take depends on how you and your partner decide to resolve your relationship issues.