If you’re reading this post, you’re probably on a break or thinking about having one. If you’re frustrated and unsatisfied in your relationship and feel like it’s gone off path, or you’re questioning your feelings towards your partner, then a break could be just the thing you need.

While a break can be very upsetting, remember to stay positive, a break isn’t a bad thing and doesn’t mean that you don’t love each other. This is a great chance for you to come back to your relationship with a fresh set of eyes and ears, offering you a chance to figure things out and resolve any issues within the relationship.

If you’re the one who hasn’t initiated the break and the good old AAA (apology, affection and action) doesn’t work, then space is probably just what you need, so you can both take time to understand what each other need and want from the relationship.

Remember, a break isn’t breaking up. One of the biggest misconceptions about a break is that it’s just a precursor to ending the relationship. This is not true. A break in a relationship can sometimes save it and can lead to a more fulfilling relationship. With this in mind, here are 7 benefits of taking a relationship break…

1. Getting some space

One of the best benefits of a break is getting the space you both need. Sometimes if you’ve been in a long term relationship or if you’re living together, it can feel claustrophobic because you’re constantly on top of each other. Everyone needs space sometimes, especially if you’re having mixed emotions and feelings towards your partner. Space will give you the chance to realise if you’re happier with someone or without them.

2. Finding yourself

Relationships can be all consuming and sometimes you can lose yourself. Use this time to reconnect with who you are as an individual and refocus. Go do that class that you’ve been longing to do, or go out with your girlfriends who you hardly ever see. Remember it’s up to you, not your partner to create personal satisfaction and happiness.

3. Figure out your priorities and life goals

What do you want in life? Time apart will give you a chance to focus on what you want. If you don’t have the same priorities and life goals as your partner and you can’t compromise, then sadly this relationship isn’t for you.

3. Learning if you are compatible

No two people are a perfect match by nature, and you may find a number of differences between you and your partner. However, although this doesn’t mean you’re not compatible, if you do doubt your compatibility, then a break is a good thing. Take time to think about all the things you have in common. Do you agree on the same things, do you disagree and fight with your partner a lot? Are you sexually attracted to them? Is there still chemistry between you?

4. Is it love or are you just friends?

If you love your partner, but you’re not sure if you’re in love with them anymore, then a break is definitely a good thing. Sometimes in relationships, even if you love the person, there can be an undercurrent of something that doesn’t feel quite right. Even if you really get on with the other person. Taking a break can help you figure out if you’re really in love with your partner. It’s better to know sooner rather than later if you’re still in love or not.

5. Miss each other

Give yourself and your partner the opportunity to miss each other.  Remember the saying absence makes the heart grow fonder. Sometimes we forget why we fell in love and time apart can help you remember why you were with them in the first place. However, if you realize during this time apart you hardly miss your partner, sadly, it may be a clear sign that you aren’t a good fit for each other anymore.

5. Rekindle Spark

Sometimes a break is what you need to get the spark back.  Both time and distance can refuel that love and longing for each other and make you want each other again. Remember, it’s normal for people in long-term relationships to go through periods of lesser and lesser intimacy, having a break can help you get out of that relationship lull and rekindle the spark you had when you first started dating.

6. Help figure things out

Remember there is a reason why this break is happening. Taking a break will help you figure things out and make sense of all the feelings and mixed emotions that you have. Sit down and ask yourself why you or your partner are unhappy in the relationship. Make a list of characteristics you love about your partner. Remember why you fell in love in the first place. Also, take time to recognise and take responsibility for the role you might have played in any relationship challenges and think about why you may have been acting a certain way.

7. A break in a relationship sometimes saves it

As mentioned, while you may think taking a break is just a precursor to breaking up, it’s not. Having a break can save a relationship. It can make you realise if you have neglected your partner, taken them for granted and can help remind you of what you’re missing when you’re apart. It means that you can patch up your relationship issues and can make you a better couple in the long term.

Before you go on a break, remember that they do come with their risks . The other person may decide that they don’t want to be with someone who isn’t sure if they want to be with them. If you’re thinking about going on a break, think really hard before you act on it.

Also, if you’re the person who hasn’t initiated the break, don’t spend your time crying and wondering what you have done wrong in the relationship. Although you should let yourself feel whatever your feeling, try not to become stuck in sadness.  Devote time to yourself and think about your own needs and ask yourself whether the relationship is fulfilling you. You deserve to be happy too. Remember, if it doesn’t work out, then perhaps it wasn’t meant to be and no matter what you will be fine. Time is a healer after all.