How To Take A Relationship Break In A Healthy Way

New relationships can seem carefree and satisfactory in the beginning because everything is being viewed through rose-colored glasses. However, as time goes on, opinions may change if there are many big issues couples can't agree on. Yes, conflicts are inevitable in any relationship, but when if it feels as though you are always on a collision course, it's hard not to think that the sun has set on your time together. 

If you're not quite ready to call it quits completely, consider a timeout instead. Psychotherapist Parisa Ghanbari tells Bustle, "Taking a break in a relationship can be helpful in stopping and de-escalating unhealthy relationship dynamics."

Keep in mind that a break is not a breakup; it's a process where you give each other the time and space to reflect and weigh all the options at hand. Ultimately, this will lead you to make the most informed decision about whether or not to continue your relationship. Here's how you can take a break in a healthy way.

Be tactful and set ground rules

First, you need to have a heart-to-heart chat with your partner about your desire to take a break. Unless you both are 100% on board with the idea, it will not work.

Explain why you feel you need the distance. If it's for self-reflection and growth, say that. If it's because you'd like more time to invest in yourself, reset your priorities in life, or detox your mind from the negative energy, reveal that openly and honestly. Whatever the reason, know that separation can lead to healed relationships, according to clinical psychologist Ann Rosen Spector. "When a situation is complicated, having distance to get clarity is important," she told Women's Health

Once you've reached the mutual agreement to put a pause on your relationship, it's time to set some ground rules. According to relationship expert Kathryn Ford, you must spell out what is acceptable and what is not in order to protect the relationship and each other. "It will be important during the break, as during the relationship, to find ways to take care of yourself, while also behaving well toward the other person," she told Verywell Mind. Typically, these rules should specify the amount of contact you will have with one another and whether or not either of you can enter a sexual or romantic relationship with another person during the timeout. Finally, set a time limit on the break, so you both know the deadline for making your final decision.

Reflect and make a final decision

Remember, the purpose of the time apart is to reflect on your feelings and your commitment to the relationship, but also on what role you may have played in any issues and whether or not you took your partner for granted. As Chicago-based family therapist Anita Chlipala told Prevention, "When you're alone, it can wake you up to what you didn't appreciate in the moment."

And the break could have a happy ending. A November 2012 research article published in the Journal of Adolescent Research found that nearly half of a survey's participants had broken up with their partners before subsequently reuniting. If you do decide to get back together, share the things you learned during the timeout and the changes you expect to see moving forward, with the goal being to forge a fulfilling and lasting relationship.

One thing to keep in mind is that a break goes two ways. It would be wise to prepare for the possibility that you will say yes to continuing the relationship, but the other person will say no. If that's the case, you need to ultimately respect their decision to make the break an official breakup.