Sometimes the stress of a relationship can become too much and gets to the point where couples agree that a trial separation, or break, would be appropriate. This gives people a chance to step away from a relationship for a period of time with intentions of eventually getting back together. Although the rules of taking a break vary based on what couples mutually agree upon, there are some standards that most breaks abide by.
See Other People
When many couples embark on a trial separation, they agree that dating other people is appropriate. By doing this, they're able to test the waters and see if there's something else out there they're missing. If there is, then couples might take the next step in a break, which is to completely break up. But if there's not something better out there, it will make the person realize just what he had in the relationship. It might not be easy to visualize a significant other with another person, but this can be an essential step in mending a relationship.
Part of taking a break in a relationship is not speaking to your significant other on the same scale you did before. This may include eliminating email exchanges during the day, nightly phone calls and, if still in school, stopping at the person's locker between classes. This doesn't mean that you have to cut off all contact from her, but sometimes for a relationship to work, people have to realize what they're missing out on if conversations and contact are eliminated.
Set a Timeline
Decide how much time you might need to spend apart before you're willing to return to the relationship. This doesn't have to be an exact date, but setting a timeline can help people better schedule how they'll spend their time during the break to get the most out of it. Timelines don't have to be calendar dates either, they can be events, such as a certain amount of dates. Like many other things that are decided by the couple prior to the break, how they set a timeline is up to them.
Commit to It
This is arguably the most difficult thing to do when taking a relationship break. It's often too easy to take comfort in the arms of your significant other rather than follow the break all the way through as discussed. For this reason, it's important that both parties agree to the terms of the break that are laid out and are comfortable with the terms. If that's not the case, the break could end prematurely and without either person in the relationship really feeling like the break did any good.