Is a timeout in a relationship a smart move?Your relationship is no longer what it used to be. You get into heated discussions more often, the feeling of love has disappeared, or you just have too little time for each other. Yet you’d prefer not to end the relationship right now. In that case, you could also opt for a timeout. But is a timeout in a relationship a good idea or something to be avoided? Below you can see all the pros and cons carefully laid out. So you and your partner can determine whether a timeout is a wise move not.
- Is a timeout in a relationship a smart move?
- Time to think during a timeout in the relationship
- The ability to discover yourself
- You may just grow further apart
- The impact of a timeout in your relationship
- Make clear agreements
- What you can do during a timeout
- What are the alternatives before a timeout?
Your relationship is no longer what it used to be. You get into heated discussions more often, the feeling of love has disappeared, or you just have too little time for each other. Yet you’d prefer not to end the relationship right now. In that case, you could also opt for a timeout. But is a timeout in a relationship a good idea or something to be avoided? Below you can see all the pros and cons carefully laid out. So you and your partner can determine whether a timeout is a wise move not. In most cases there is still a chance to save your relationship.
One advantage of a timeout in a relationship is that you have time to think. Do you want to end the relationship, or do you still want to work on it ? Do you miss the other terribly, or do you notice that you can do without each other? During a timeout in your relationship, you have the opportunity to think about the relationship for yourself. This helps avoid hasty decisions being made. So a timeout can be a good idea if you both want time to think about the relationship.
Sometimes you can lose yourself in a relationship. For example, because you take the needs of your partner into account more than your own. During a timeout, you have the opportunity to rediscover yourself. It can also be better for the relationship if you have a good idea of who you are as an individual. And if you have a clearer idea of your own personality, you generally feel better about yourself.
A timeout in the relationship can also have drawbacks. You no longer have contact, and as a result you go your separate ways. It can mean you grow even further apart. If either partner disagrees with having a timeout, it can actually worsen the relationship. How a timeout can affect a relationship depends very much on the situation, and varies per person. Some people find it very difficult to be alone, while others are fine with it.
The impact of a timeout varies depending on the situation. Do you and your partner live together, and do you have children? The impact will probably be much more significant if during the timeout you don’t share a family or home. If you have your doubts about your relationship and entering a timeout, it’s therefore wise to carefully consider the potential impact of this. On the other hand, if breaking up is the alternative, it's not wrong to try timeout first.
Do you want a timeout? Then agreements must be made in advance. For example, whether you will still have continuous telephone contact, you won't have the opportunity to think for yourself and clear your head. So discuss carefully with each other how much contact is necessary (because of the children, for example). Also discuss carefully whether you can enter into (sexual) relationships with others during the timeout. By making clear agreements in advance, you prevent yourselves from growing further apart.
Agree on how long the timeout will last and plan how and when you’re going to evaluate it. This way, you maximize the chances of success.
What you can do during a timeout
A big disadvantage of a timeout in a relationship is that no action is necessarily taken. During the period that you are separated, you may not be communicating with each other: you don’t have the opportunity to work together on the relationship’s problems. So there is a chance the same problems will recur if you decide to carry on with the relationship after the timeout. Which is precisely why it’s so important to evaluate a timeout afterwards.
So whether a timeout is sensible or not differs depending on the circumstances. But if you experience difficulties in your relationship, we recommend you try Monsley's online program first. Our program is based on EFT couples therapy. EFT stands for Emotionally Focused Therapy. This form of therapy focuses on emotions and is based on attachment theory. According to this theory, as humans we are not made to be alone. Everyone should be able to share their emotions with someone. This proven form of therapy succeeds in imrpovig most relationships.
If you still feel a timeout is necessary, you can continue to work on your relationship during the timeout with the Monsley online relationship counseling program. You will gain a better understanding of your relationship patterns, your own needs, and ways to handle problems better. You could describe the program as a course in ‘how to do healthy relationships’!
You can complete the Monsley online program in 12 weeks. But you can also go through the program at a slower pace. The program couldn’t be easier to follow, as you follow it together from home. What’s more, following the online program is a lot cheaper than relationship counseling!
Going through the program together allows you to discuss emotions constructively. You get to know better why the other person reacts to certain situations as they do, but also learn to respond better to certain things. You can also only follow the online relationship counseling program during a timeout. This way you get a lot of insights about yourself and the relationship.
You can always contact us if you have any questions about the online relationship counseling program and you’ll get a response within 24 hours.