I can’t believe I’m writing this…… But my girlfriend and I are having a “break”.
Before you say “oh, Jordi, I’m so sorry”. Don’t. It’s all incredibly positive!
After an amazing 18 months, we’d realised that in order to go forward we need to take a step to the side and just let our relationship breathe a little bit. It was a very mutual decision and one made with all of the best intentions to take stock of something worth salvaging instead of just letting it fade away.
But, this isn’t a story about what we need to work on as a couple, this is a look at that infamous space that lies between the world of heartache and pain of a breakup and that of the rollercoaster ride that is the monogamous relationship…. The “break”.
There Are Breaks and There Are Breaks
“So, this break is a break UP?” A lemon-sucking-faced Renee Zellweger says to Tom Cruise in “Jerry Maguire“.
I used to laugh at my friends when they would say “we’re on a break….. It’s not a breakup, it’s just a break”, clearly trying to convince themselves as much as they were me.
“Of course you are” I would reply sarcastically, clearly eluding to the fact that it their relationship is pretty much over. And, most of the time I was right.
For a lot of us, a break is that final step before throwing in the towel. It’s kind of like saying “let’s breakup…. I don’t have the balls to do it straight away, I mean – I want to, it’s just that this way we can just let it fizzle out with the hope of making it hurt less in the long run”. And, sure, you wouldn’t actually say it like that but a lot of breaks are initiated without even the thought of eventually getting back together.
But, it makes me wonder, why don’t we have more breaks with the hope of rekindling something? Why does everything have to fall into the “is” or “isn’t” category?
Sure, a lot of us can’t imagine ever being without our partner. And, for a lot of us we have become completely dependent on them. Marriage, kids, mortgages – I get it. There are a lot of other things to consider before making a decision on where your relationship should go. But, for those of us that don’t have any of those things to worry about, I don’t understand why we’re not having more breaks.
If you’re incredibly open and honest about your feelings (again, I know it’s easier for some) we should be able to give our relationships a breather when needed as so we can move forward.
In sports they have seasonal breaks as so the athletes can replenish, take stock, regenerate and get back to full fitness – so why can’t we look at relationships in a similar way? Sometimes we feel suffocated and burnt out and instead opening up with each other and asking for some much-needed space, we stay on the conveyor belt until it’s too late and we can’t get off.
It’s Not Always Rainbows and Butterflies
Adam Levine was onto something there.
In a world that continues to grow increasingly impatient, we have to reassure ourselves and accept that things aren’t always going to be 100% positive in a relationship. And, though I’m certainly not saying you should take a break all the time as it really is a big decision (and one that’s not always going to be welcomed by both parties with open arms) – I think that it’s one that needs to be considered more often.
If he or she is saying they just want a break to sleep with other people, then to be honest – even if something does get rekindled….. There are going to be difficulties in the trust department along the way and that’s something that’s really hard to repair. That’s basically called “having your cake and eating it too”. Very technical.
Though I don’t know how my break will end, we’ve both made this decision with the best intentions possible. And, if you do feel that maybe a little space is all your relationship needs in the short-term in order to help your long-term, I can’t recommend it highly enough.
As always thanks for reading. If you feel someone can get something out of this post – don’t forget to share it. Thanks again, Jordi.