Indeed, there are plenty of valid reasons why a couple might opt to take a break during the summer. But let’s be clear: a summer break is not for everyone. Sure, the warm weather may have some fantasizing about a hot summer fling, or feeling envious of their single friends’ ability to indulge in every spontaneous wanderlust whim with zero f*cks given. But there are also reasons why taking a break over the summer isn’t the right move. And understanding those reasons can help you to make smarter decisions that benefit your bond.
First, let’s dive some legitimate justifications for a summer break. If you and your boo have been stuck in a nonstop cycle of arguing over the same thing, and you both honestly feel that taking some space will give you the clarity you need to figure out how you can both strike a compromise and do your part to resolve this conflict, then a break may make sense. However, you need to both be clear on why you’re taking a break, as well as committed to making a change once you reunite. Or, if you’re fresh off a breakup and feel things may be getting too serious with your new bae too fast, you may want to use the summer (or part of it) to cool things off and figure out what you want before getting in too deep.
But there are plenty of reasons why a summer break may not be the best idea for you, too. Here are a few that experts say you should consider before making any hasty decisions to press pause.
You feel like they may be “The One.”
When times get a little tough with your partner, you may feel like hitting the panic button and taking a step away from the relationship — especially during the easy breezy summer season, when you’re seeking carefree, positive vibes.
But just because you’re experiencing more conflict or communication issues doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a good idea to take a break, according to Dr. Gary Brown, a prominent couples’ counselor in Los Angeles.
“I strongly recommend not to take a break over the summer if you know that your partner is someone you know you want to be in your life in the future,” he tells Elite Daily. “Taking a break from a very good relationship where you are compatible and committed to being with each other simply puts your relationship at risk.”
If you feel like you’re truly stuck at a stalemate on a particular issue, then taking some time away from the relationship can certainly give you perspective. But in some cases, it’s best to stay, stick it out, and see how you can work as a team to improve conditions (perhaps with the help of a couples’ therapist) rather than running away from the problem.
You’re simply bored, TBH.
Summer is chock-full of temptation. Not only do so many cuties come out of hibernation (literally, where were they when you were single last winter?), but they’re showing more skin, whether strutting down the city sidewalks or sunbathing at the beach. So, if you’re already feeling a tad bored in your relationship, you may think taking a break is the perfect solution. That way, you can have your cake and eat it, too — by indulging in some hot summer hookups and then getting back together with bae once fall hits and cuffing season is back in full swing.
But not so fast — if you’re feeling curious about who else is out there, that probably indicates that your relationship has lost its spark. And once you get back together after summer’s end, you can’t expect that spark to magically reappear. Basically, you’ll be left with the exact same glaring issue that you had when summer began, and to boot, you’ll have to have an awkward convo with your boo about your scandalous escapades with other people.
That’s why Dr. Brown notes that it’s best not to take a summer break if boredom or curiosity is your reasoning.
“Yes, the grass may always look greener on the other side,” he explains. “But you have to ask yourself: Is it worth risking the loss of my partner just to have a summer fling?”
Fortunately, there are so many effective ways to reignite the spark in your relationship — but the fact is, pressing pause definitely isn’t one of them.
You’re just too afraid to pull the plug.
Maybe you’ve you’re afraid to end things completely because you don’t want to hurt your SO’s feelings, or you want to leave a window open in case you change your mind. Regardless, if you feel in your gut that you’re headed for a breakup, Dr. Brown advises against taking a summer break just to soften the blow.
“Ask yourself: Is taking a break your way of slowly bailing out of your relationship when you really just want to end it?” he adds.
Sure, breaking up with someone can be extremely difficult, especially if you’ve been together for a long period of time and have discussed plans for the future. However, keeping your partner on the back burner because you can’t muster up the courage to break things off is ultimately more detrimental in the long run to their emotional well-being as well as yours.
Another thing to keep in mind if you’re considering a summer break is how your partner will perceive this suggestion.
“Some people consider it a huge red flag if you want to take a break from your relationship during the summer months, because they think it’s a sign that you are not fully committed to the relationship and are waiting for the next best thing to come along,” says Maria Sullivan, Dating Expert and VP of Dating.com.
And if you can’t figure out whether you should take a break for the summer, experts agree it’s best to do some serious soul searching and have an honest, open conversation with your partner about your feelings before making any rash decisions. Dr. Brown also notes that it can be helpful to talk to a trusted friend or therapist to get an outsider’s opinion as well.
“You have to ask yourself if the risk of losing a partner you want to spend your long-term future with,” explains Dr. Brown.
While there are obviously lots of good reasons not to take a break during the summer, Sullivan says it can be an ideal time to hit pause if it’s something you’ve been thinking about for a while.
“If you are your partner need some time apart to figure out what the future of your relationship looks like, summer is the perfect time to spend quality time with family and friends doing the things you love the most,” she adds. “The summer can give you a lot of time to self-reflect so that you and your partner can rekindle with fresh perspectives.”
There’s no cut and dry rule around whether taking a break is the right move — ultimately, it comes down to the nuances of your relationship, your and your partner’s needs, and what you hope the break will accomplish. But if you only want to take a step back because you’re bored, avoiding working through your problems, or putting off an inevitable breakup, then a break probably isn’t the answer. Besides, there are so many noteworthy perks to dating in the summer, and you wouldn’t want to miss out on those, would you?
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