My ex and I went through some pretty detrimental stuff after our relationship ended.
Things took a dramatic turn in the last few months we were together, and it seemed like every time we saw each other, we were tormented by stress, fear and anger. We definitely had issues throughout the relationship that we never talked about, but we were also struggling with personal issues and had been taking it out on each other.
The fights were increasing, and it was taking a toll on us and everyone around us. But, we loved each other and did not want to accept that idea that maybe what we really needed was a break from each other.
When the relationship plummeted, we tried to hold on with everything we could, but reality was staring us in the face.
We were not going to be able to work on our problems together, so the only thing we could do was work on them apart. We knew we were not going to accomplish anything or grow as a pair, so we decided to split, even though it hurt us both.
It's easy to stay in a relationship when things are getting rocky out of comfort and fear of being alone, but if you really care about making your relationship stronger, sometimes you have to step into uncharted territory.
The silver lining to finding yourself in this heartbreaking situation is, it does not necessarily mean the relationship is over. It is just stalled for a moment.
If you find that you both still truly love each other, but are worried taking a break will lead to the relationship's ultimate demise, there are plenty of things you can do to ensure you guys get back together, even after taking a break.
Here are seven ways to make sure that happens:
1. Talk about the terms of the breakup.
If you know you want to get back together down the road, it is important to communicate that with your significant other early on.
Maybe you don't know when or how you are going to make it work, but the important thing is, you both want to. Instead of discussing a date and time that you will reconvene, making things feel restricted, openly discuss the terms of why you are taking space from each other and what you want to do in the time apart.
Maybe one of you is feeling neglected and wants to know if this is what you really want by seeing what else is out there. Maybe one of you is struggling with personal issues and needs to be alone for a little while.
While you may not be on the same page now, it is important to see what page the other person is on, so you can begin thinking about ways to move forward and what you need to work on. If the break is only on one person's terms, try to be honest and let the other person know it's all going to be OK.
When the time is right, you will know the break is over, and then you can reconvene and see how you both feel.
2. Don't be shady.
After you set the terms, don't forget that actions speak louder than words. Make sure you follow through and do what you said you were going to do during the break.
If you told your significant other you want to be apart from them to have a good, hard look inside yourself, don't try to find yourself by having a few more hookups, and then run back to the one who cares about you.
It's time to do some serious soul-searching, or you will never figure out how to be happy. If you thought taking a break meant seeing other people, you hopefully have communicated that with each other and both decided it was for the best.
Just don't go around being shady and doing something that would betray your partner's trust without telling them. If one of you wants to be single and free to mingle, then make sure the other person has the freedom to do the same, and do not get upset with them when you are out there doing the same thing.
3. Respect each other's space.
Repeat after me: It will not do any good to stalk my ex on social media or show up at their house unexpectedly to say, "OK, the break is over, so you can take me back now."
You are taking a break for a reason. You will undoubtedly feel sad, lonely, and curious about what the other person is doing.
You have to trust they will be open and honest with you later on. If you really don't trust them or think they are a terrible person doing terrible things, then you probably just want to officially break up.
But chances are, this is someone you may actually have a future with and want to be with. Do not ruin that chance by giving in to your urges to lurk, and then yelling at them every time you see an unwarranted friend request.
You are taking this break to figure things out and give each other some peace of mind. Instead of looking for problems on top of the ones you already have, remember that ignorance is bliss.
Just cut off all interaction and communication until you are both ready to talk. It will be hard, but it will be much easier once the break is over.
4. Remember why you are doing this.
It's going to be very hard not texting each other and not seeing each other. Maybe you will start to wonder if the other person is happier without you and forget about all the positive results that the break will have.
Think about how hard things were getting when you were together, and remember this is only going to make you a stronger person. And ultimately, it will give you a stronger relationship.
I'm sure your significant other is having just as hard of a time without you, so do not start feeling insecure and cut the break short just because you miss them. If you do, then the same problems will be there when you get back.
This is the time to take active steps to improve yourself, and you need to trust the other person is doing the same. Don't try to figure out what they are doing, don't text them after a few glasses of wine, and don't post Snapchat stories just to see if they are keeping tabs on you.
Just be secure with your decision, and go make the most of this time for yourself, whatever that means for you.
5. Take accountability.
It is important to be aware of why things weren't working out. If you were feeling insecure about the relationship, there is definitely a reason for it.
Maybe you felt insecure, and as a result, you were acting needy or trying to control the other person. Maybe things got tense.
If you were having a hard time talking to each other about it, try talking to friends and family and getting some advice from people in relationships who may have gone through a similar situation.
If you both love each other, you know you are both good people. But the problem is, lately, you are both making some not-so-great decisions that are causing each other pain.
Put yourself in the other person's shoes for a few moments. Think about things you could have done differently and how you could have been more sensitive during the trying times. Then, you can start to gain some poise and composure.
6. Let go of the past.
You may never be able to forget what happened in the past, but it is important to let it go. Forgiveness is important when it comes to a relationship because everyone undoubtedly makes mistakes.
When you are reminiscing about the relationship during the break, maybe you will find there were a lot of things that bothered you that trickled into other aspects of the relationship. Talk about those things, remember those things and use them to propel yourself into the relationship for a second time with a more open heart and a more easy-going, carefree attitude.
You and your partner will not be able to move forward if you keep looking backward. If you really want to get back together with this person, remember all the reasons you want to be together, and forget about the less important things.
Doubt, stress, jealousy and fear will always exist in our minds, but powering through the struggle, letting go and communicating where necessary will ensure you get back together stronger and happier than ever.