We Were On A Break: What It Really Means Stephanie Barnes

You wake up to find yourself in an amazing relationship. Your person seems like the most miraculous human being on the face of the planet and everything feels perfect. Until one day, during a tiny argument you hear a sentence that hits you like a bucket of cold water: “We need to take a break.” Personally, I don’t believe in breaks. You can either stick with me and we’ll work through whatever issues we’re having or you can leave. But if you think about it, a properly executed break could potentially be beneficial. Take for example Gabrielle Union and Dwyane Wade – they took a break and now they’re getting married. We’re going to overlook the fact that he got someone else pregnant because for all we know, seeing other people was an acceptable part of their break. Kudos to them! Then we take a look at our beloved Ross and Rachel; their break took us on an epic emotional roller coaster ride, which didn’t end so well.

Looking back, it would seem the main difference here would be communication. Ross and Rachel didn’t get the opportunity to have an open and honest conversation regarding the break and what would have been acceptable behavior.

I recently I found myself in a situation where staying together didn’t seem like the best idea and a break up felt impossible. It went a little bit like this:

Baby got back

Things were perfect. Baby even had a little back and I was pretty sure it was love.

Then I heard something along the lines of: “You’re making me doubt myself, maybe I’m not ready for this…” and I was like:

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They continued to explain and even though I wanted to be like:

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I listened and I tried my best to understand because that’s what mature adults do in relationships. Eventually, we decided a break would be best and so I needed to know the rules. My questions were (and these should be yours too if you ever find yourself in this situation):

1. How long will this last?

If there is one thing I can’t handle in a relationship, it’s uncertainty. I think setting a date where you’ll come together a discuss your next step as a couple or otherwise is a good idea.

2. Are we allowed to see other people?

This might be the biggest question. If the answer to this question is ‘yes’, then I would call it quits. You needing space from me to see other people makes no sense in my mind but you needing space to work on your issues alone? That makes total sense.

3. Should we continue to speak to each other?

Now, this one is tricky! It will be difficult to cut communication but it’s probably for the best. If they need space then texting every 5 minutes wouldn’t be very helpful.

After getting the answers I needed we proceeded to take our break. We weren’t allowed to date other people and there would be no communication between us. No problem, this will be great! But then my phone goes off and I know exactly who it is. It took everything I had not to immediately grab the phone and reply. But I stayed strong.

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For about an hour. Needless to say our break did not work out. We continued to talk all day every day like none of it even happened. However, we did eventually break up and that was my fault but I’m going to try my best to fix it because my person really is miraculous.

Hopefully, you never find yourself in this situation but if you do, don’t assume the worst. Keep a level head and keep the lines of communication open. Your break doesn’t have to be a break up! If it’s truly worth it, you’ll find a way to make it work.

Featured image taken from here. Gifs from here, here, here and here.

 

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  1. Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wished to say that I’ve really enjoyed browsing your blog posts.

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    and I hope you write again very soon!

  2. My break ended up being a break up (it was definitely for the best in the end though) but we didn’t set any rules before hand. It was horrible. He said he needed space so I didn’t contact him but I had no idea how long this would last or where I stood. I couldn’t stand the not-knowing and having no idea how long this would last. In the end I had to ask a mutual friend to help him reach a decision so I could stop obsessing.

    I think the break was needed rather than just a break up: we both needed to work out our feelings without any confusion but rules would have made the whole situation a lot less painful!

  3. My man and I took a break over the summer. It had to do with his kids not feeling comfortable about things and it caused stress between me and him. I wanted him to stand up to their rude behavior to me, and he would not. He originally said that he didn’t want to date anyone for a year, and he asked if he could check in with me then. I said I wasn’t waiting around, but fine. He came back two weeks later and said he didn’t want to wait a year, that he wanted me in his life and that he was working on making things right with his kids. Over a period of four months, we went on dates (he said he wanted to “court” me) and he simultaneously spent a lot of quality time with his daughters. We moved back in together and his daughters have been fine with the relationship since. So a break can be a good thing! It’s important to set rules though. Mine were: I wasn’t waiting for him, but I would let him know if I started sleeping with someone else. (This really lit a fire under his a$$ to not delay getting things worked out with his girls!) We only spoke briefly a few times a week. (No 2-hour convos!) and I insisted we see a therapist who specializes in stepfamilies. These things were not negotiable. This break gave us both a chance to decide what we wanted out of the relationship and, although it was difficult, I’m grateful it happened. He really stepped up and laid some good boundaries/groundwork with the girls, and stood up for our relationship.

  4. I had always thought breaks were preludes to break ups. One occurred in my 2 year relationship, and it was difficult but ended up being really valuable. It was two weeks, it was painful and very difficult. We didn’t talk (apart from three brief work-related conversations), were allowed to see other people – but didn’t. I wrote every day – which helped me work through a lot of feelings about the break, the relationship, me and him. I think a break can be a good thing if it’s for the right reasons.

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