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