Being in a relationship isn’t always easy. Even the seemingly happiest, healthiest relationships have their fair share of issues. Most couples experience rough patches at some point — patches where it seems like all you do is argue, or like you aren’t making time for each other. According to experts, this might just mean that you and your partner could need some space or time apart. But when your significant other needs some space from you, it might be hard to tell. (Especially if they aren’t great communicators to begin with.) However, there are signs to look out for that might indicate that your partner just needs a break.
"Emotions can be a wild roller coaster," Dr. Benjamin Ritter, founder of Live for Yourself Consulting, and The Breakup Supplement, tells Elite Daily. "There are highs and lows. The lows aren’t permanent if you give them space and time to play out." Perhaps you and your partner are just experiencing a relationship low, or one of you is feeling emotionally low. It isn’t a bad thing, as long as you have time to breathe and "play out," as Ritter says. Allow a break to happen if you feel confident that it’s what you both need. And if you aren’t sure whether or not a break is what your partner wants, then keep an eye out for these four signs.
1Their communication style changes.
Keep an eye out for whether or not your significant other has stopped texting you when you’re apart, or doesn’t seem as happy to talk on the regular. "A drastic decrease in communication and style of communication" is a sign that they might need some space, Ritter says. "For example your partner may stop reaching out to say good morning or reply with one or two word answers."
2Their attitude seems off.
While this might sound obvious, if your partner just seems off in general, they might want a break from you. Maybe they aren’t as pleasant to be around, they say hostile things that they normally wouldn’t, or they’re more irritable than usual.
"Your partner may also be less patient, more sarcastic, and passive aggressive," Ritter says. "Think of how you act when you are frustrated, stressed, and overwhelmed. You have less patience for anyone, and everyone else becomes the enemy. If you are treated in that way, your partner may need a break from you." It might seem like they’re just in a bad mood, but if you see this attitude become a pattern, Ritter says it could mean they need time apart from you.
3They start arguments or fights for no justifiable reason.
If your partner wants a break from you, they’ll probably get easily irritated, and be set off at things that didn’t used to set them off. "They might be more argumentative than usual or snap at the littlest of things," dating coach and relationship expert James Preece tells Elite Daily. "Your very presence upsets them and they make that obvious."
4They feel far away.
Last, but certainly not least, your partner might be in need of some space from you if they’re literally distancing themselves from you and already creating physical space. "If you notice they are becoming more distant or suddenly unavailable, this can be a warning sign they need a break," Preece says.
As upsetting as recognizing some of these signs may be, try to remember that taking a break doesn’t have to be a bad thing. "A week or so off can give you the chance to miss each other, and when you meet again you’ll be stronger than ever," Preece explains. So if your partner is exhibiting any of these signs, consider talking to them about the possibility of taking time apart from each other. You never know — you might both come back to a healthier, stronger relationship.
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