SINGAPORE: In a recent post on the NUSWhispers Facebook page, a man facing relationship issues asked, “Is it normal for couples to take a break in the relationship?”

“I’ve been in a relationship with my partner for slightly over a year now. This is my first long term and serious relationship, so I’m quite scared at the prospect of taking a break and what it may or actually mean. What can I expect from this ‘break’?” he asked.

In his post, he shared that he and his partner had a recent back-to-back fight in which their first argument escalated into another one, prompting his partner to suggest taking a break.

Adding context, he stated that despite their strong chemistry, shared love language, and deep love for each other, they have had numerous small disagreements and even major conflicts that nearly ended their relationship.

One significant issue they’ve encountered is how they handle conflicts differently. 

While he prefers to address issues immediately, his partner needs time to process emotions and may remain upset for a while. 

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“It seems to be a pattern that I would always upset my partner over things that could be solved if we could communicate better with each other.”

“Do not be in a relationship with someone who has different communication needs from you”

Netizens took to the comments section to express their views on the matter.

One netizen advised, “Do not be in a relationship with someone who has different communication needs from you or someone who can’t meet you in the middle.

I would suggest that you start preparing for a life without this person. 

Do not let others determine your fate for you. Decide for yourself if you want to live with this sort of ‘break’ nonsense forever, each time when there is an argument.”

Another noted, “It sounds like you’re an anxious attachment, and your partner has a dismissive attachment style. 

Taking a break could be due to the intensity and overwhelm of constant conflict, but the fact that you don’t know what this break means, where its going, or how long suggest the partner hasn’t communicated much or isn’t clear on that themselves.”

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A third commented, “There may not be any relationship to come back to. If there is, this time she really needs space. So simply wait until she contacts you.

And if you get back together, knowing her preferred style of resolution, don’t try to force the immediate talk through.”

Is taking a break normal in relationships?

Candace Kotkin-De Carvalho, a licensed social worker specializing in couples therapy, enumerated three reasons couples often opt for a break, according to an article in Business Insider.

The article also indicates that around 6–18% of married couples have experienced separation at some point and that taking a break from relationships is quite common among younger individuals and married couples.

One reason is the need for one partner to have time alone to navigate and work through unresolved personal trust or intimacy issues. Another is the need for the two individuals to re-evaluate their compatibility.

Couples may also have different values, religious beliefs, or life goals. Finally, the couple may need time to deal with personal issues such as a demanding job or family stress.

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Experts say that the type of break a couple takes—and how long it lasts—depends on their situation and specific needs.

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