Relationships
Going no contact while on a break from your relationship can help give you clarity.

If You’re On A Break From Your Relationship, Can You Still Talk?

The experts agree on this one.

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Is there anything more confusing in a relationship than when you (or even worse, your SO) decide it's time to "take a break"? Not a breakup, but a break. As any Friends fan knows, the concept is infamous for being confusing. What does taking a break in a relationship really mean? Does it mean you don’t talk for a while? Are you’re seeing other people? Is there a time limit? And can you and your SO have any contact during a relationship break?

While the answers to the first four questions are hazy, Eric Resnick, dating expert and profile writer, offers a very definitive solution for the last."You definitely want to cut contact in this situation," he tells Elite Daily. And he's not alone in this opinion. Trina Leckie, breakup coach and host of the breakup BOOST podcast, agrees completely. "If you and your partner are taking a break from the relationship, it should be exactly that — a break," she explains.

Going no contact might sound vindictive or rude, but it’s really the best way to embrace your time apart, which is the whole purpose of the break. "Separation can be very healing," Ann Rosen Spector, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist in Philadelphia, explained to Women’s Health. "When a situation is complicated, having distance to get clarity is important."

According to experts, it’s important to keep communication to a minimum in order to take full advantage of this healing time. Although it's always nice to have a conclusive answer, especially in moments when it feels like everything is up in the air, the question remains: Why do the experts feel so strongly that you should cut off texting contact? I asked them to break down all the reasons you should resist the urge to contact your partner during a break, and their answers are going to make you want to put down your phone ASAP (and potentially lock it in a different room).

01
You’re On A Break For A Reason
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Nobody goes on a break without a good reason, and chances are, that reason means you should stay no contact. The point of a break is to take some time and space away from each other in order to put more effort into yourselves as individuals. “You both have some work to do on yourselves, and you need to get right with being on your own before you can be a healthy partner,” Resnick explains. Texting constantly during your break means that you’re not dedicating enough time to this self-growth, which will leave you exactly where you started pre-break.

”Take this time to do that work,” Resnick suggests. “Explore yourself. Reconnect with friends and interests that you let drift during your relationship.” That way, when your break is over, you’ll be better off as partners and individuals.

02
By Not Texting, You Send A Powerful Message

Most breaks are not mutual, and if your partner was the one to suggest taking a step back from the relationship, that’s even more reason to stop communication. “They have said they aren’t sure about you and the relationship, so you don’t want them to feel like you are just waiting in the wings for them,” Leckie warns.

By choosing to cut off communication during a relationship break, you are sending an important message to your partner about what you want your relationship to look like (and how you deserve to be treated). Leckie continues, “They need to know that you will not just settle for crumbs, as well as really feel what life is like without you. If you are always in contact, you are essentially making it easier for them to move on completely.”

03
Texting Them Has The Potential To Make You Feel Even Worse
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This is the time to prioritize your emotional wellbeing, and staying in communication makes that difficult. “Imagine you are taking a break from your partner, but you decide you want to text them. They don't respond with the same speed that they did ‘pre-break.’ Now you are left to wonder why. Did they meet someone else? Do they want the break to be a breakup? You’re tying your stomach in knots for no good reason,” Resnick explains. It’s impossible to read their mind, but it’s easy to jump to stressful conclusions.

Being on a break can be really hard, especially if you're used to talking to your SO regularly. And although there is a powerful temptation to reach out just to say hello, it’s best that you resist that impulse. As Resnick explains, by breaking the texting embargo, you are potentially setting yourself up to feel even worse. Keeping your distance is likely to help you feel happier and healthier in the long run.

04
You Owe It To Yourself To Respect The Break

You and your SO both agreed to this break for a reason. Whatever that may be, if you want the break to be effective, you need to let it run its course. You owe it to yourself to respect the process, and, as Leckie points out, you may be surprised by what you learn along the way.

“You need a full break to enable you to get fully in touch with your emotions and discover what life is like without the other person,” she explains. According to her, embracing the break is the only way you’ll know how you want to move forward — together or apart. “Take the time to be completely honest with yourself in how you are feeling and notice the difference between missing them due to attachment, or missing them because they are the right person for you.”

Ultimately, by taking the relationship and communication break, you’ll find clarity for the future of your relationship. You may realize that your SO isn’t the right person for you and that an official breakup would make sense. On the flip side, you also may learn how much you value one another and want to make it work. Despite their bad rep, breaks can help you focus on the positive in the relationship and reset. So, if one or both of you requests a break, respect the process, because, one way or another, your relationship with your partner and with yourself will be better off in the end.

Experts:

Eric Resnick, dating expert and profile writer

Trina Leckie, breakup coach and host of the breakup BOOST podcast

Ann Rosen Spector, Ph.D., clinical psychologist