Take A Break or Break Up?
Does Taking A Break From Your Relationship Work?
Dear April Masini,
I'm so confused. My boyfriend of three years just told me he wanted to "take a break," and I'm not really sure what this means. In a way, I feel relieved because at least he didn't break up with me, right? But then again, I have no idea how long this break is going to last and if he's eventually going to come back to me. Do you think this break will make our relationship stronger? What if he dates another girl while we're on our break and he decides he wants to be with her instead? Please give me some relationship advice so I can understand this break!"
Broken Up Over a Break
April Masini's Advice :
Dear Broken Up Over a Break,
Unfortunately, taking a break is never a good idea in a relationship. In fact, it's usually code for one of the parties meaning to say, "I'm done, but I don't want to hurt her feelings, so let's just call it a break, but I'm ready to par-tay!"
Breaking up instead of taking a break:
In fact, the times when couples HAVE gotten back together after a break, it was never called a break. It was called quits. Take the classic example: Elizabeth Taylor divorced Richard Burton -- and then re-married him. If she'd just taken a break, she wouldn't have had the opportunity to experience it being over for good, and really feeling the loss. Taking a break allows you to fantasize that you're still together. The reality is, you're not.
More recently, Shana Moakler and Travis Barker called it quits. Things got ugly, as they often do when two people with ties to each other (read: kids) call it quits, and there were even blows exchanged and restraining orders to be had between Ms. Moakler and Travis' lip lock buddy, Paris Hilton that had jealousy written all over them. And now ... in spite of nasty words on websites and in publications, restraining orders and punches thrown, Shana and Travis are together again.
My point is that taking a break doesn't give a couple the psychological advantage of feeling real loss. It's too wishy-washy. If you're sleeping with someone else -- you're not taking a break. You're seeing other people, no matter what you want to pretend it's called.
Taking a break is a term that men and women use when they don't want to hurt the other person, but they want to break up and date other people. Taking a break is also used by dishonest, selfish cowards who want to string some one that they no longer want along -- while they sow their oats or test the waters with someone else -- to make them believe there's still hope, when all they really are is a back-up relationship in the event things don't work out they way they would like. Sometimes taking a break is a term women use when they want to believe their men are still there for them even though they know in their hearts that those guys are sleeping with other women.