Is there anything more confusing in a relationship then when you (or even worse, they) decide it’s time to to "take a break"? Not a breakup, but a break. What does that mean? Does it mean you don’t talk for a while? Does it mean — gasp! — you’re seeing other people? Is there a time limit? And should you text your partner when you’re on a break? While the answers to most of these are hazy, on the last one, Eric Resnick, dating expert and profile writer, offers a very definitive answer.

"You definitely want to cut contact in this situation," he tells Elite Daily. He’s not alone in this opinion. Trina Leckie, breakup coach and host of the breakup BOOST podcast agrees completely. "If you and your partner are taking a break from the relationship, it should be exactly that — a break," she tells Elite Daily.

While it’s always nice to have a conclusive answer, especially in moments when it feels like everything is up in the air, the question remains: Why do the experts feel so strongly that you should cut off texting contact? I asked the experts to break down all the reasons why you need to resist the urge to send your partner a text during a break, and their answers are going to make you want to put down your phone.

1You’re on a break for a reason.

First and foremost, Resnick says to remember that there is a reason you are on a break in the first place. “You both have some work to do on yourselves and you need to get right with being on your own before you can be a healthy partner,” he says. He also has some advice for what you should be doing while you’re on the break. “Take this time to do that work. Explore yourself. Reconnect with friends and interests that you let drift during your relationship.”

2By not texting, you send a powerful message.

If your partner was the one to suggest taking a break from the relationship, Leckie says that’s all the more reason to put down the phone. “They have said they aren’t sure about you and the relationship, so you don’t want them to feel like you are just waiting in the wings for them,” she warns. By choosing to cut off communication, you are sending an important message to your partner, she says. “They need to know that you will not just settle for crumbs as well as really feel what life is like without you. If you are always in contact, you are essentially making it easier for them to move on completely.”

3. Texting them has the potential to make you feel even worse.

Being on a break can be really hard, especially if you’re used to talking to your SO regularly. There is a powerful temptation to reach out just to say hello. However, Resnick says that, by breaking the texting embargo, you are potentially setting yourself up to feel even worse. “Imagine you are taking a break from your partner, but you decide you want to text them. They don’t respond with the same speed that they did ‘pre-break.’ Now you are left to wonder why. Did they meet someone else? Do they want the break to be a breakup? Congrats, you are now tying your stomach in knots for no good reason.” Ugh, pass.

4You owe it to yourself to respect the break.

Perhaps the most important reason not to text while you’re taking a breather from the relationship is that you owe it to yourself to respect the process. Leckie points out that you may be surprised by what you learn along the way. “You need a full break to enable you to get fully in touch with your emotions and discover what life is like without the other person,” says Leckie. “Take the time to be completely honest with yourself in how you are feeling and notice the difference between missing them due to attachment, or missing them because they are the right person for you.”

Ultimately, by taking the break and not even reaching out via text, you may learn that that your SO isn’t the right person for you and that a final break would be better. You also may learn how much you value one another. Breaks can also help you refocus on the positive in the relationship and reset. So, if one or both of you requests a break, respect the process, because, one way or another, your relationship with your partner and with yourself will be better off in the end.

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