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We MIGHT go on a "break"


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I had a discussion last night with my boyfriend of nine months about how I feel like a low priority in his life right now. He’s cancelled dates, made little effort to see me, and been obviously unenthusiastic when I try to make plans with him. In the last three weeks, we’ve only actually gone out and done something once. Besides that, it’s been short conversations. I asked him if he still wanted to be with me, and he said he did. He then proceeded to tell me all the stress he’s been under lately. He HAS been under stress, and I feel really bad for all that he’s dealing with right now. I asked him if he wanted to go on a break, at least until he’s feeling more on top of his life and has the time he needs to be in a relationship.


His first response was a NO. It scared him. He was afraid that he might like it and not get back together with me, and then he’d be “sad forever.” I told him, first off, “You won’t be sad forever,” and then reminded him that if he’s happier being single, he shouldn’t be in a relationship anyway. He said he’d think about it and let me know on Sunday if he did want a break.


So my question… I’m new to this whole “break” thing. What are the rules? Is it true that a “break” is just another word for “break-up”? Can a break be accomplished with little pain and with reconciliation as the ultimate (though by all means not certain) goal in both parties?


My reasoning behind giving him the option is this: I like him and want to be with him, but I don’t want to be in a relationship where the other person is unwilling to make time to be with me. I do understand how busy he is, though, and I don’t want to end things forever when his stress will be reduced dramatically in the near future.

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What the rules of the break are really depend on what you two decide on. The most important thing to remember is to actually take a break, though. If you're calling each other all the time, still sleeping together, etc, then it's not really a break. One possibility might be having a set time period for this so that it doesn't stretch on forever - for example, two weeks of NC, then you can meet up and talk about things.


Breaks aren't always breakups. They can help make relationships stronger, and bring problems that you didn't know you had to light.

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Hi there,

I dont think there are any "set" rules except for the ones you guys decide together to establish.


For example, you might want to consider the following:

1) the duration of the break -- 2 weeks? one month? 3 months?

2) how often you two will contact each other during the break -- no contact whatsoever? once a week? once every two weeks?

3) and what kind of contact -- im? phone? email? face-to-face meeting?

4) and some stuff to think about in the meantime -- do I want to be in a relationship? do I want to be in a relationship with this particular person? what kind of changes do I need to make and do we need to make for this relationship to improve?


Hope this helps a bit.


Take care.

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Thanks for your advice, everyone!


debaser, he said he didn't want a break at first, and I wasn't going to push it. But then he said the reason he didn't want a break was that he was afraid HE'D like it too much and we wouldn't get back together. I still didn't push it, but I reminded him that if he finds he's happier single then it's probably better that he is single.


Also, when I was talking to him, I got the feeling that I was part of the stress in his life, and I don't want to be that.


I brought it up because I know that I can't be in a relationship that doesn't include quality time (seriously, just doing something together for like an hour a week... lately we've been seeing each other only five or ten minutes a day, which isn't much considering we live in the same dorm). I talked to him about spending time together, and I felt like I was adding one more thing on his already pretty full plate. I mentioned a break so he would have an option to lessen his stress without closing doors like a break-up would do...


...maybe I did the wrong thing.

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Hi again, if you are questioning your decision to go on a break (or not), then how about NOT calling it that -- a break -- and just take some time to figure out what you want? As you said in the above post, you aren't satisfied with certain parts of the relationship and maybe you need some time to figure out what you want to do, be it "taking a break," or trying to remedy what's bugging you while staying in the relationship?


If putting a label on it is what's concerning you, just think of it as time-off to clear your head?

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