My girlfriend wants a break; how long should I wait?
When I was growing up, there was a local Catholic Church in my neighborhood.
Yearly, they organized and held an event known as the “Annual retreat.”
According to a priest I spoke with, the event was a mid-year activity.
It was likened to a time in the middle of a battle when soldiers were commanded to retreat.
The retreat presented a time and an opportunity for soldiers to take some water, rest and nurse their wounds, review old strategies, find out what worked and what failed, and create new battle strategies.
For the local Catholic Church, the annual retreat was a time for the church members to take some time off to reflect on their spiritual lives, find out what worked and what didn’t, and map out new strategies to help improve their relationship with God.
Let’s narrow it down a little.
In romantic relationships, taking “breaks” are common.
They are similar to the annual retreat organized by that local church.
It is a period when one person takes the time to think and reflect on their role in the relationship or any major event in the relationship, including its future, and decide if they want to continue and how to make the relationship better or show up in a better way.
Some girlfriends might do you the honor of letting you know they need a break, while others don’t just communicate with you for days or weeks, and leave you wondering what went wrong.
While a “break” has the potential to end a relationship, it doesn’t always signify the end of a relationship.
Truth is, when it comes to romance and emotions, men and women are wired differently.
Women are more attuned to their emotions than men and men tilt more toward logic than women.
When your girlfriend says she needs a “break”, it’s not always because she wants a breakup.
Several other reasons may have informed her decision and if you stay with me, we can explore those reasons together.
Plus, based on the nature and dynamics of your relationship, you’ll be able to decide how to handle her request and how long to wait for her.
”My Girlfriend Wants A Break How Long Should I Wait?”
Here are several reasons your girlfriend is asking for a break:
1. She’s Going Through Stuff.
Your girlfriend may be experiencing suppressed emotions, unresolved trauma and past hurt, a difficult time with family, a tough and stressful time at work, etc.
You may wonder what all these have to do with you and your relationship that will make her want to take a break.
These challenges form huge parts of our lives.
If your girlfriend is a highly-sensitive person- someone who feels and responds to things deeply- there’s a high chance that if one or more of these things happens at a time, she will be overwhelmed and it may affect her relationship with you.
She may decide to take a break to sort herself out and avoid bleeding on you.
2. You’re Suffocating Her.
If you’re a possessive and overprotective boyfriend, your girlfriend is likely feeling trapped and unable to move around and have a time and life of her own.
You have no other friends, and your whole life revolves around her and your relationship.
Truth is, a healthy relationship requires that both parties take time to have and build their personal lives.
If your girlfriend feels trapped and suffocated by you, she’s asking for a break because she needs to be by herself and do some things she enjoys doing.
3. The Spark Is Gone.
Relationships aren’t about sunshine, roses, and happy days.
There are bad days, argument days, romantic days, and boring days.
If the argument and boring days are coming more frequently than the romantic and happy days, it could mean that the relationship needs some rekindling and some spark.
The break she’s requesting may allow her the time to see what changed and why it changed, whether she’s the problem and how you can restore the relationship.
4. You Aren’t Treating Her Right And She’s Deeply Affected.
She needs your attention, and she’s not getting it.
She tries to tell you about her day and share her experiences with you just to connect with you emotionally but you are too distracted to pay attention to her.
It gets worse when you repeatedly dismiss her.
She feels abandoned and overlooked because you focus more on work, hanging out with friends, and playing video games than spending time with her.
She has tried to talk to you and express how she feels but you didn’t understand.
Worse still, you accuse her of being too emotional and sensitive.
She then decides to take a break from you to see if she can get your attention or see if she can help herself mentally.
5. She Wants Out But Doesn’t Know How To Tell You.
I wish I didn’t have to say this but yes, it could be why she’s requesting a break.
Many ladies want out of their relationships but don’t know how to tell their partner.
Instead, they’ll say that they need space so that they can exit the relationship slowly.
You’ve seen the different reasons your girlfriend may be asking for a break. It’s now time to know how long you’ll wait and how to handle her request.
First of all, when it comes to deciding how long you’ll wait, there are no hard and fast rules and no one size fits all.
It all depends on the nature of your relationship, the reasons for her request, and your discussion with her.
It is something you two should discuss and decide but generally speaking, the waiting period shouldn’t exceed three weeks.
In other words, it is always advised to be between 24 hours (1 day) and three weeks.
This is because there’s another human being (you) in the picture whose feelings must be taken into consideration.
Requesting a break and taking more than three weeks or a month will be selfish and inconsiderate.
How To Handle Her Request For A “Break”.
1. Acknowledge And Honour Her Request.
Don’t dismiss her request or say or act in a way that makes her feel she doesn’t know what she’s saying, she’s too emotional, or she’s overreacting.
As shocking and as unexpected as her request may feel, thank her for letting you know how she feels and let her know you understand her.
This would make her feel heard, seen, and understood, and make communication easier.
2. Ask Questions.
Seek to understand why she needs a break and provide a safe space for her to vent and talk about how she feels.
Try not to be defensive.
Instead, just focus on listening to and understanding her views and feelings.
If you can get this right, you may discover that at the end of it, there may not be any need for the break.
3. Allow Her.
If communication fails, or if she’s insistent on taking a break, allow her.
Don’t manipulate or beg or coerce her into changing her mind
Let her take the break she needs. It may be painful for you but your relationship isn’t just about you.
It’s also about her and trusts me, you don’t want to be in a relationship with someone who isn’t just there or who is bored with you.
3. Use The Time To Your Advantage.
Apart from the relationship with your girlfriend, you are still human and there may be certain parts of you that you need to pay more attention to.
Take advantage of your time apart and use it as your time of “retreat”.
If your behavior is the reason she took a break, reflect on it and find out ways to be a better partner and show up in a better way.
4. Let Her Go.
I hope your girlfriend’s break doesn’t come to this but if it does, after you’ve asked questions, communicated, and waited, let her go.
A relationship doesn’t define us.
Let her go and learn whatever lesson you need to learn.
Make efforts to move forward and trust that it’s all for the best.
So, how long should you wait?
When you have done all that’s written on this page and waited, and you get tired of waiting.
You are the only one who knows your limit and the amount long-suffering you can endure.