What do you do when your partner speaks those dreaded four words–“I want time apart”?
If you’re like a lot of people, you immediately go to feeling that this is the end of the relationship and that you are being let down easily–or not so easily.
There’s a lot of confusion, hurt and uncertainty and you don’t know what to do next.
**Question from Reader…
“I’ve been in a relationship for almost 2 years. He recently told me that he loves me but that he wants ‘time apart’. What does this mean? He says he wants just some time apart and then he wants to get back together with me. I don’t believe in breaks and think this will be the end of our relationship. Can you help??”
We won’t lie to you–it could go either way. The two of you could end up together after this hiatus or you could end up ending your relationship.
We’re not going to mislead you…
Statistics show that when a partner wants a “break” or “time apart” from the relationship, it usually doesn’t work out that the two people get back together.
But sometimes they do.
The bottom line is that if this is what he wants, you can’t force him to stay with you without the break.
There are a few things that we suggest you do to clear up some mysteries and make the reason for the time apart clearer…
1. Get very specific about what this break means and for how long. Be clear about what’s going on.
Do you date/be with other people during this time? Do you have any contact/communication with each other? If so, in what form. How will you come back together and when?
Make sure you both agree on the terms of this time apart. He may be unclear but try to get an agreement of some kind from him so you know where you stand.
2. Look at how you each want your relationship to change (without blaming each other)
He wants something to change or he would not need and want this break. The change may be within himself or it
may be within your relationship. Either case–asking for a break is asking for change.
It’s also an opportunity for you to look inside yourself and your relationship at how you want it to change for the better.
It might be to create better communication.
It might be to dust off the spark between the two of you.
Whatever it is, take this time to look deeply inside you for what you want. Check out our “Should You Stay or Should You Go?” program that will help you sort out exactly what you want and your next step.
We know that time apart, especially when you think things are going well between you, is not something that you probably want and are afraid of.
What we’ve learned is that you can’t argue with what is but you can be clear about what you both want and the next steps you’re both taking.