You love each other, and many aspects of the partnership are rock solid.
But the relationship crashed into some turbulence, so you took a break.
Now the heat has turned down, and you’re reconsidering a reunion.
You want it to go well and are searching for a few tips.
Can a break rekindle a relationship?
And if so, what are some tips that will make it a success?
Pull up a screen and get comfortable because we’re breaking it all down below.
- What Is a Break from a Relationship?
- How To Reconnect After a Relationship Break: 21 Expert Tips
- 1. Make Sure You’re Good (Internally)
- 2. Apologize for Your Wrongs
- 3. Practice Mindful Patience
- 4. Ask Open-Ended Questions
- 5. Frame the Relationship as Something New
- 6. Set and Respect Boundaries
- 7. Be Honest About How Much You Missed Your Partner
- 8. Keep an Open Mind
- 9. Establish a Date Night
- 10. Go on a Trip
- 11. Start Writing
- 12. Embrace Change
- 13. Do Mindfulness Activities Together
- 14. Take Things Slowly
- 15. Keep it Quiet (at First)
- 16. Lower Your Expectations
- 17. Commit to Transparency
- 18. Let Compassion Be Your Guide
- 19. Practice Self-Care
- 20. Talk About the Future
- 21. Start Therapy
- Can a Relationship Go Back to Normal After a Break?
What Is a Break from a Relationship?
So we don’t have any Ross-and-Rachel confusion, let’s begin by laying out the different types of relationship breaks.
- Full Break: A full break is akin to a breakup. Both parties are free to date other people and get intimate. The only difference between this and ending things completely is an agreement to reconvene and reassess the situation at a future date. If you go this route, don’t expect miracles. It’s easy to move on after a full break.
- Half Break: Half breaks are half measures but work in some situations. Typically, both parties can date but not have sex. It’s a way to see what’s out there without diving into the deep end.
- Still-Together Break: A break where you can’t date or be intimate with new people is a still-together separation. They give both parties time to clear their heads and think about the next steps.
If you decide to get some space for a while, pinpoint the exact type of break you’re taking.
Don’t assume anything.
Have the conversation to ensure you’re both on the same page.
Cement the deal by reciting the rules aloud.
Heck, if you enjoy a little extra accountability, record yourselves doing so.
How To Reconnect After a Relationship Break: 21 Expert Tips
Are you interested in learning how to reconnect with someone you love?
Our team has identified a list of 21 suggestions for executing a successful romance reunification.
Ponder them all, but remember that every relationship has unique contours and contextual considerations.
1. Make Sure You’re Good (Internally)
You’ve probably heard the old saying: You can’t love others until you love yourself. And for the most part, it’s a truism. (We say “most part” because life is a rollercoaster, and when on a downward swoop, we may not be glowing beacons of self-adoration, yet we’re still capable of loving friends and family.)
But things are a bit more high-stakes when reuniting after a relationship break. So making sure your head and emotions are straight is essential. After all, one of the main reasons for temporary separations is to give each partner time to work through their issues contributing to the problem.
2. Apologize for Your Wrongs
Here’s a very true thing about humans: None of us are nearly as “correct” as we think. Sure, we all have convictions; and times arise when the “right side” is indisputable (i.e., pineapple and shrimp should NEVER be pizza toppings).
So seal the reconnection with a frank admission of your wrongs and genuinely apologize for your role during the rough waters.
3. Practice Mindful Patience
You’ll be filled with emotions when reuniting. Your hormones will likely be ping-ponging all over the place. But don’t let them carry you away.
Sure, have fun. Enjoy reconnecting physically. But don’t lose your head.
Remember, this is a reunion, and part of the test is seeing if both of you have truly overcome the troublesome obstacle that originally tore you apart. As such, be mindful and alert. Plus, practice patience. Rushing things may lead you right back to square one.
4. Ask Open-Ended Questions
Jumping to conclusions could sabotage your happy reunion. So instead of assuming specific conversational details and driving yourself crazy with suspicion, stick to open-ended questions.
Allow your partner to tell their story — and vice versa.
5. Frame the Relationship as Something New
Two things can be true at once. For example, you should remember and forget about the relationship’s past when reuniting after a temporary separation.
While holding onto the good times and lessons learned is vital, letting go of the conflict is equally critical. So reframe the relationship if you want to give the partnership the best shot of succeeding. Restart on a fresh foot.
6. Set and Respect Boundaries
Setting and respecting boundaries is a massive part of being a well-adjusted adult. It’s downright imperative when restarting a previously floundering relationship.
Ensure the parameters are clear and each party knows what the other expects. Also, consider specifics. For example, will you be doing a weekly or monthly date night? If you live together, are you giving one another alone time? If so, how much?
The more detailed you get, the better the transition will go.
7. Be Honest About How Much You Missed Your Partner
Did you weep nights away missing your baby? Could you not wait to run back into their arms?
It’s good to be a bit vulnerable when you get back together after a break. It’s a happy occasion, and sharing genuine and affectionate emotions will build the bond back better and stronger.
8. Keep an Open Mind
If you land on the controlling side of the personality chart, make a concerted effort to keep an open mind. Things change after a reunion. So don’t expect everything to snap back to exactly how it was, just without the looming problem.
Allow room for change and new ideas. They may save the relationship in the long run.
9. Establish a Date Night
We highly recommend establishing a date night. It provides a formalized, scheduled time to connect on various levels, and it’s a great tool to get your partnership back on track.
You needn’t do something fancy or expensive each week. Netflix and chill is a perfectly acceptable activity. If you have children, also consider doing a weekly or bi-weekly family night. But don’t combine the two. Your relationship with partners and children are separate animals.
10. Go on a Trip
Getting out of town is a super way to rekindle a romance. If you have the time and budget, hop on a flight and head somewhere exciting or new. If not, find a spot close to home for a day trip.
Studies show that getting away with loved ones sparks certain hormones that build stronger emotional bonds. So pick a place and go!
But try not to choose somewhere with memories. The point is to start anew!
11. Start Writing
Are you and your partner literary types? Even if you’re not, try giving writing a try.
Sometimes, saying things to each others’ faces is difficult, especially when navigating reentry. Some couples overcome this hurdle by writing each other messages and letters.
However, if you or your partner is notoriously passive-aggressive, skip this option because it could metastasize into a petulant letter exchange that erodes communication instead of helping.
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12. Embrace Change
Growth requires change — so embrace it!
You’re getting back together because you see potential in each other and the relationship, but you took a break because you needed to think and reset.
So now it’s time to determine what works and throw out the rest. Undoubtedly, this will involve behavioral and practical changes. Embrace the tweaks; value them as much-needed medicine to heal wounds.
13. Do Mindfulness Activities Together
At first suggestion, it may sound a little too “woo-woo” for some. But push through the skepticism! Study after study proves that meditation and yoga are sensational for the mind and body. In fact, many people feel better after just one session!
So don’t knock it before you try it. Establishing a mindfulness routine with your partner can be a bonding experience that helps both of you achieve better emotional balance and improved cognitive function.
14. Take Things Slowly
You’re not in a race. Sure, time-sensitive professional and lifestyle goals may loom, but bend the relationship around those instead of the other way around.
Rushing the relationship is almost always a bad idea. Give it time to get your proverbial sea legs back. Haste will lead to arguments, and scattered disagreements will land you right back in the trouble zone. So take it slow. You have nothing to prove. The goal is to get back on a solid track, not a shaky one.
15. Keep it Quiet (at First)
Your relationship is yours. And while it can be helpful to get insight and advice from friends and family, you and your partner ultimately make the decisions for your partnership.
So if you opt to give it another go after a break, keeping that news to yourself for a while is a-okay. No rule says you can’t start “dating” again without everyone else’s input.
Often, keeping it quiet at first is the best decision and allows you to think through things on your own before being inundated with other people’s opinions, which may or may not be helpful.
Do not follow this nugget of advice in cases of abuse. Always cut yourself off from people who lay their hands on you; and when you’re thinking of going back, tell one of your loved ones so they can remind you why it’s a terrible idea.
16. Lower Your Expectations
They say “comparison is the thief of joy” — and so are expectations. Clearing your mind of presuppositions about how everything will go is wise. After all, expectations are laced with disappointment.
Instead, keep an open mind. Don’t try to control everything with a vice-like grip; go with the flow.
17. Commit to Transparency
Rebuilding an unbreakable bond can’t be done with honesty and transparency. Put everything on the table; lay bare your emotions and fears. Half-measures only engender suspicion and resentment. So commit to transparency if you’re serious about making things right and moving forward.
18. Let Compassion Be Your Guide
Your feelings may still be a bit tender, and you could be scared to be vulnerable. Guess what? Your partner is probably feeling the same exact way. But if you let compassion light your paths, the journey back to each other will be much easier.
Remember that life is challenging, and you’re both doing your best. Give one another the benefit of the doubt and reasons to trust each other again.
19. Practice Self-Care
As mentioned, you and your partner need to be in stable personal states to work on reunification. As such, self-care is essential. Don’t, as they say, put the cart before the horse by prioritizing the relationship over your physical and mental health. Not only does it not make practical sense, but it can trigger resentment down the line.
If you don’t yet have a self-care routine, establish one now. It could be the escape needed to enhance your reconnection.
20. Talk About the Future
The past is in the past, and whatever pulled you apart initially can stay there. Internalize the necessary lessons and move on!
Neurologically speaking, we are what we think, so spend time planning for and talking about the future. It’s like mouthwash for relationships in that it freshens the dynamics. Wallowing in the past helps nobody. Plotting goals and aspirations for the future is bonding and helps cement a sense of discipline.
21. Start Therapy
Therapy is terrific, so make an appointment if you have the means. Talking things through with a neutral third party can work wonders and help both of you see things from a fresh perspective. Some people opt for individual appointments, while others go to couples counseling. We suggest a combination of both if you can swing it.
Don’t have the budget? Consider picking up books written by psychologists and therapists that speak to the issue you’re grappling with.
Can a Relationship Go Back to Normal After a Break?
It happens all the time. People split for a bit, discover the relationship is worth it and then reunite.
In some cases, couples tackle the triggering issues and settle back into their old patterns. For others, the relationship winds up being better and stronger than when you took a break.
Don’t put your faith in the rom-coms: Relationships are anything but easy. No, they shouldn’t be torture; partnerships that devolve into daily hostility usually aren’t worth saving.
But people are people, and we all go through ups and downs — as do our relationships.
So don’t abandon hope when things take a turn for the worst. Maybe, a short break is all that’s needed to fix the situation.