“Gilmour has made mutual hearing a cornerstone of her practice. A healthy relationship requires that “each side feels heard, even if the other party doesn’t agree with what’s being said,” she explains. But how do you get there? “You break it down into workable pieces so it’s not a huge emotional blob. Situation by situation, memory by memory. Take 30 to 60 seconds to give your side. The other person doesn’t get to challenge what you said. She just listens – and then it’s her turn to talk.”

“There’s a lot of permission for this sort of thing.” By taking a deliberate step back from her, I hope to course correct our relationship before it reaches that point. This “planned pause” strategy gets the thumbs up from Dianne Gilmour, a Vancouver-based counsellor who specializes in relationships, as long as both parties spell out details such as the length of the pause and the reasons behind it. “It really helps when there are mutually understood and agreed-upon boundaries,” she says. “That way, neither party is sitting back and wondering when communication is going to pick up again.”

Read more about Breaking Up to Make Up at https://www.everythingzoomer.com/ or in the April/May 2021 edition of Zoomer Magazine.