How To Take A Break In A Relationship When You Live Together

So, you’re in that in-between state. Not broken up but also not together. This space is uncomfortable for anyone and when you add in the element of living with the person, you have yourself a full-fledged nightmare. 

We’re covering the topic of how to take a break in a relationship when you live together because it’s more common than you would think.


Many couples have various reasons for taking breaks and staying in the same living situation. Let’s explore why this happens so you can evaluate your own situation and see how it stacks up.

Let’s also take a look at some possible solutions. A break doesn’t always lead to a breakup but where it does lead to primarily depends on how you handle the situation.

5 Reasons You’re Taking a Break While Living Together

The better you understand the reasons for your break, the more proactive your approach will be. There’s often a reason you’re still living together which means there may still be hope for the relationship. Consider the following most common reasons for pausing the relationship while sharing a place.

1. Your partner doesn’t want to go through the same arguments again and again

Arguing is part of a relationship but constant bickering over the same issues isn’t fun for anyone. If this is the case in your relationship, she may just be at the end of her rope. 

She’s asked you to change certain things you tend to do or say a million times. You always assure her you will, but you end up in the same argument every few days. 

So, she’s done. She doesn’t want the argument with no resolution anymore. And honestly, do you? 

She’s asked for a break because she still loves you and moving out is too final but she’s exhausted and often unhappy. She’s deciding her next move. 

You have a window here. She’s looking for you to convince her to stay but she can’t re-state her arguments yet again. So, show her that you’ve been listening, and you can make changes because you want your relationship to work. 

Think about the issues you always argue about and what can you do to change them. Here are some examples.

  • She gets heated and it feels like she’s trying to get you to react. Don’t. Stay cool, calm, and collected. You could even use comic relief in these moments. Make her laugh. Make sure you’re not invalidating how she’s feeling but show her that you’re mature and you’re not going to lose it over little things anymore. 
  • Listen. According to Psychology Today, one of the top 10 reasons people break up is because they don’t feel supported. If she starts talking about a problem she has with one of her colleagues or friends, don’t blow it off like you usually do. Also don’t offer a direct solution and then walk out of the room. She just wants to vent, and you need to show up for her in these moments. Hear her out and don’t interrupt with your opinions and ideas. Just let her talk and come to the solution herself.  

2. The break is a step towards a breakup (she just can’t do it all at once) and she’s hoping you’ll lose interest while on the break making it easier for everyone

Another reason she may have asked for a break while living together is to lessen the blow. Breakups are uncomfortable and often messy, especially if you’re living together. 

She wants you to lose interest over time so that when you do break up, it’s more mutual. 

If you want to fix things, don’t fall into the trap. If you fade into the background, she’ll inevitably lose interest entirely and the breakup is all but sealed. 

During this period, remind her why she loves you and why she was with you in the first place. Re-ignite the passion. 

Touch her back when you walk by her in the house, make jokes about the break so it feels less serious between the two of you, ask her if she wants to go for a walk or a drink. 

Make her want you and want to be in a relationship with you again. Don’t give in to the master plan, take it into your own hands. 

3. She needs a breather so that the relationship can go back to being as strong as it once was (she genuinely wants to get back together after)

This one has a relatively easy solution. You both have to figure out what it is that has died and bring it back to life – bigger and better than it was before. 

Take your breather but don’t entirely retract. Give her little signs that you’re still in it and you want it to work out.

For instance, try making her a delicious dinner when she’s working late and simply leave it on the stove with a nice note. “Made this for you, let me know what you think.” Then she knows you’re thinking about her. And that you still want to take care of her but not in an overbearing way. 

4. You both don’t know what else to try

So you think you’ve tried everything to fix your relationship but have you really?

Maybe you’ve tried lots of remedies but they’re just not the right ones. For instance, you’re going on “date nights” to re-ignite the fun and flirty life you used to have with each other when you first started dating. But these nights end up feeling like a forced trip to a random restaurant where you end up bickering and going home upset. 

This idea is nice in theory but in practice, it’s just not what you need. Don’t try to get back to a place you used to be but rather create a brighter future for the two of you. 

Consider the little things that make your relationship unique. Maybe this is something as simple as sleeping in on Sunday mornings and staying in bed for hours chatting and being romantic. Don’t force things. It’s often the simplest thing that can save a relationship.

5. She would like to break up but can’t move out for financial or other logistical reasons

This one is tricky because she’s likely in the mindset that you’re already over. She’s just buying time until she can figure out her living situation. 

Rather than admit defeat, consider the positive aspects of the scenario. You still have a chance while she’s living with you to change her mind. 

Don’t back off and play into the idea that your relationship is doomed. Be present and be better than you were before. Show her all the amazing qualities you have and the reason she loves you so that she re-considers her mindset. 

If you make yourself important and positive in her life, why would she want to end it?

Things That Will Solidify the Breakup: a.k.a. What Not to Do

If you’re taking a break while living together, you’re in some hot water and you need to play it carefully. So, remember to avoid the following behaviors as they could be the nails in the coffin.  

1. Closing yourself off during the break to make her miss you

If you think removing yourself from her life as in staying out of the house, leaving the room when she enters, and giving her the silent treatment will save your relationship, you may want to think again. 

Sure, she may miss you if you disappear from her life. But she also may grow used to it and misinterpret your cold behavior as though you’re just as over the relationship as she is. 

Be warm and make her love you more so that she can’t picture a life without you as opposed to giving her one without you. 

2. Not being you (being overly cautious, nice, rigid) so she’ll come back to you

The second you start acting like a stranger, she’ll start treating you like one. She started dating you because of who you are so trying to act differently will only push her away. 

Don’t speak formally as though you barely know each other. Don’t walk on eggshells until she feels uncomfortable. Don’t lose touch with who you are and what the essence of your relationship is. 

In fact, the more you play into the parts of yourself that you know she loves, the more likely you are to bring her back to you.

3. Wasting the time you have left with each other

If you’re on a break while living together, you don’t have long to sort things out. It’s not a comfortable and enjoyable experience to continue living with each other when you’re separated. 

It’s an in-between state, not a destination. 

You have a chance to either fix things or end things. Use your time wisely. 

Final Thoughts

A 2011 Pew research study found that around 60% of Americans who lived with partners felt their relationship would lead to marriage. So, living together is a great step as long as you don’t let it slip away.

To ensure it’s not final, get out of the mindset that you have to be someone you’re not or act as though you don’t know each other.

Remind her why she loves you by evaluating where your situation sits and what needs to happen. 

Don’t dwell on the circumstance, focus on the solution.

You Might Also Like

Speak Your Mind