When I first heard “we’re on a break” while talking about someone’s relationship, my mind jumped to, “Oh, that’s not good.” However, I’d wager I’m not the only person who’s thought that when someone in our lives told us they were on a break with their significant other.

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“We’re on a break” seems to have a sort of stigma; a negative connotation. Some immediate thoughts usually center on the notion that if something’s not working in the relationship, which warrants a break, then we’re quick to assume a break is the beginning of the end; why bother with a break and not just end it?

I was never a believer in breaks because of that negative connotation. My thought process was exactly what I just said, end it. But I can now say with 100 percent certainty that I was wrong… because I took one.

A break doesn’t mean your relationship is crumbling, or even doomed to failure, a break means you care about someone enough to know you’re not ready to throw in the towel, there are just some things you need to sort out. It prevents a heat of the moment, rushed decision and gives both of you time to re-evaluate your feelings and intentions, because somewhere along the dating path you were on together one or both of you got a little lost or realized that the future was approaching and it scared you, bringing cause to pause.

As women, many of us turn to our closest friends for comfort, laughs or to just talk things out when it comes to our relationships, I know my friends and I certainly do. To the guys who {have} date(d) and marry(ied) us, if you don’t already know, we know almost everything there is to know about you and the relationship… you’re welcome. 😊

So it should be no surprise that when faced with uncertainty in our relationships, our friends become the voices of reason who help talk us down from the worst case scenario ledge we’ve built up in our heads, and they also become sounding boards when we don’t know what to do. It’s during these moments that we even learn something about a friend we may not have known before.

I stated above that I was not a believer in breaks, but that my thought process for why was completely wrong, and here is why I say that. While the outcome of a break is uncertain – either the relationship will end or you’ll fall back in sync with one another – the point is that at least you tried something different. I was talking with a friend a few months back and she revealed to me that a few years ago she and her boyfriend took a week-long break.

The future scared her and she had begun to question the relationship and what she wanted. It was during this week apart that she literally realized, “What the **** am I doing?” and being with her boyfriend was where she truly wanted to be. They have been together almost nine years now.

Now, you may be saying, “But what if it falls apart?” You have the right to think and worry about that, and yes, it’s going to hurt like hell if that happens. It may even hurt during the break, but if you ultimately have to walk away, at least you’ll know that you took the time to try to work it out in a way maybe you never have before. I realize that’s not an immediately comforting thought but after some time passes and you look back on it, perhaps it will offer even the slightest bit of comfort.

Break Rules

This is pretty simple really. There are no rules! Each person and every relationship is different. A break is not a cookie cutter that you can slap down. As with many other facets of dating, every single experience is going to be different. For some people a break may mean not seeing one another for a week but still talking or texting every so often, for others it may be a set amount of time where there is no communication whatsoever, and for others still, a break may entail an unknown amount of time with an undecided amount of communication, the time where you have to test the waters and see where each of you lands in terms of comfort level. Remember, what worked for a friend may not work for you.

The most important thing I can leave you with is this: If you truly feel there is something worth fighting for, you fight for it. I have yet to meet a couple whose entire relationship has been all sunshine, daisies and rainbows. There will be clouds, there will be storms, but it’s how you approach these storms that will ultimately determine how you work through them. Not to get too cheesy on you, but, aside from the rare occasion, you need rain before you can see a rainbow.

xo-alyssa-rachel

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