Your boyfriend has asked for a break, leaving you confused. If things were going well, this could completely blindside you.
He’s stated firmly that he loves you dearly but also needs space away.
What does that all mean? And what should you do about it? How can someone say they love you and not want to be with you?!
Read on to learn how to navigate this sticky situation with poise and class….
What Does It Mean When He Loves You But Wants A Break?
You’ve Been Fighting A Lot
Overwhelming conflict can be a significant problem in relationships. If you’ve been fighting a lot, your boyfriend might want you to both take some time apart.
This can give you the chance to reflect on these problems and overcome the strong emotions behind them.
He Has Personal Issues That Are Taking Up His Focus
A relationship is a huge commitment. If something is taking his focus away from that, your boyfriend might want a break.
He may see this as the most responsible way to handle the situation.
This is especially true in relatively new relationships where you can’t be expected to drop everything to support him.
You May Have To Transition To Long-Distance
A lot of people feel that long-distance relationships don’t work.
And even those who believe in them know that they’re a lot of effort!
If you and your boyfriend need to be apart for a prolonged period, he may want a break so you can both adjust.
He may also think it’s a good way to test if long-distance will work for both of you.
He Wants To Try Starting Over
If your relationship has been hugely damaged, a break can be a way to start over. It gives you both the chance to take a breath and return to each other from a new square one.
Your boyfriend may want this and might be aware that being apart can help the resetting process.
He’s Longing For The Single Life He Remembers
It’s not unheard of for someone in a relationship to wish they’d spent more time playing the field.
Maybe your boyfriend misses being able to flirt around. Maybe they miss one-night stands and random dates. Maybe they miss the freedom and lack of commitment of single-hood.
Regardless of your boyfriend’s reason for missing being single, it’s a reason many partners ask for a break.
Unfortunately, it’s a counterproductive decision. Have an open conversation with your boyfriend about his reasons for wanting a break. If they’re related to a longing for single-hood, it’s best to break up entirely instead.
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What Should You Do If He Loves You But Wants A Break?
Agree To The Break
There’s absolutely no point in keeping someone in a place that they don’t want to be.
Trying to control your boyfriend into not wanting the break will likely build his resentment.
It may also make him feel even more like he wants to get out, which can escalate problems.
It’s hard to agree to something that sounds as serious and scary as a break. Trust that your relationship is strong enough to handle that tension.
The break will likely be beneficial for you, too.
Define Break Boundaries
Different people have different definitions of a break. For some, it’s akin to being single again, with all the romantic and sexual freedom that implies.
For others, it’s a brief separation period in a very committed monogamous relationship. And there are many perspectives between those opinions!
You and your boyfriend should work out boundaries and rules for your break. Are you going no-contact until a certain date? Are you allowed to see other people? What are some things you both want to work on while you’re apart?
What’s the expectation for when you come back together? Is there a chance you won’t? Talk about and discuss these possibilities and abide by the decided boundaries.
Work On Yourself
A break is a great time to work on yourself and focus on your personal growth. Reflect on the relationship and the issues that led to the break being necessary.
Consider your weaknesses and outline plans to work on them. Distract yourself by performing hobbies, joining clubs and classes, and enjoying me-time!
When you work on yourself during a break, you’ll come back to the relationship stronger than ever. Your boyfriend will likely be impressed by your growth and may really miss you and want you back as a result.
And if he doesn’t, well – look how much you’ve grown, just for yourself!
Don’t Try To Fix Things Right Away
In the time leading up to a break, emotions are high and tensions are strong. When your boyfriend brings up that dreaded break, it’s tempting to beg and plead.
You’ll offer up solutions, make huge promises, and do anything to keep him here.
But none of those solutions will ultimately work. They come from the wrong intent and that intent will only make matters worse in the long run.
The pause that a break offers will give you the right perspective to actually offer up and follow through on real, productive solutions.
Live In The Present
Breaks are scary. When it’s over, you might want to quickly return to “normal” and rush to re-establish the relationship. But breaks signal a time for change to be made in a relationship, and that can often mean needing to rebuild.
Instead of longing for once was or rushing to what could be, take it one step at a time. Focus on doing the best for the relationship for the best results each day. Make goals together, but don’t overwhelm your connection by being too hasty.
If you and your boyfriend want to stay together, what’s a little extra time spent taking it slow?
Know When To Call It Quits
A break isn’t a breakup, but sometimes it leads to one. Your boyfriend may disrespect the boundaries of your break.
He might refuse to work on himself or desire a break for the wrong reasons.
Maybe the break made you both realize you’re better off apart.
There’s wisdom in knowing that these factors can be a good reason to turn the break into a breakup.
The words “I think we should take a break” are scary in any relationship.
But they can be the start of a beautiful new beginning!
Communicate about what the break means for both of you and handle it with maturity.
Maybe that break will bring you back together much stronger than you were before!
Just know you will be okay and you’ll get through this, even if you two make the break permanent.
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