Okay, so to avoid stereotypes, I am not going to gender these responses.
#1 Take a Break to Explore
One of the most common reasons for a partner to decide to take a break is because they actually want to explore an interest that they have in another party without having to feel guilt or remorse for exploring that. In reality, this is often one of the more destructive reasons to take a break in a relationship. In effect, it’s justifying cheating behavior on the primary relationship by claiming that the relationship “isn’t over.” They’re simply taking a break. With that, they’re able to avoid a lot of the confrontation that inevitably occurs with a breakup and still be free to explore and pursue the sexual interest with the other party. In some relationships, taking a break simply means that they stop dating and they still have sex.
#2 Take a Break to Focus on Self
A second common reason to take a break in the relationship is to judge personal interest. Maybe they have a fear of commitment, perhaps there is an issue outside of the relationship that seems to take all of their attention, whatever the reason they can’t focus time and energy into a relationship at this point. So it seems easier to claim that the relationship is on a hiatus. In reality, they’re so busy dealing with their own personal problems the relationship becomes non-existent.
#3 Take a Break to Relocate
The third most common reason to take a break in the relationship is for a temporary relocation out of the area. This reason is potentially thorny as well. Depending on the definitions between the two parties of what the actual break entails, or more importantly, does and does not allow, can determine whether there’s a relationship to come back to. A lot of times it’s simply maintaining a backup plan in case they choose to pursue a new relationship in the new location.
#4 Take a Break to Decide on Breaking Up
The fourth most common reason to take a break is a total relationship breakup, without the mess. It completely avoids any confrontation, loud arguments, explosive outbursts, and the drama of a full-on breakup. They have discovered that they actually are not interested in pursuing this relationship at this time. They say they want to “take a break,” when the reality is they don’t want the relationship at all, it’s actually a breakup.
#5 Take a Break to Grieve
The fifth most common reason to take a break is easily the most emotionally damaging reason of all. The party requesting the break is going through heavy emotional turmoil. Perhaps the loss of a family member, moving forward after a previous lover, etc. They’re grieving and are taking a break to allow space for the grieving process. While not a seemingly illogical reason to take a break, and is usually done out of an interest in not emotionally harming the other party, they’re simply hurting themselves. People who are grieving often push people away in an effort to cope with the pain they’re experiencing. The reality is, grief is when it’s most important to stay close to others for one’s best mental health. Taking a break needs to be focused on giving space to process emotion without the stress of a relationship, reducing the stress of trying to feel sexy, please a partner, or be responsible for someone else’s needs. It should also be taken as a call for the other partner to be emotionally supportive, offering kindness, caring, and concern without pressure.