Is sex on break wrong?

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-01-2003
Is sex on break wrong?
11
Mon, 04-07-2003 - 3:48pm
We've been together for three years. He's going through some really tough times in terms of work, finances, and family...and he admits to feeling guilty that he cannot be together as much right now (like movies, dinner, playing sports) in the relationship as he did before. And so we agreed to take a break (minimum 3 months) ...so I can lower the probability of pain, and so he work on getting to a point where he feels stable again without the pressure of maintaining a relationship. BUT, he said he still wants to get together and have sex. Why does this feel wrong to me??

Some say he wants his cake and eat it too. Some say he's just saying that he is going through a period where I have to lower your expectations of him regarding emotional closeness/availability/being there but that he still looks to me as the person he'd want as an exclusive sexual partner.

I am divided. Should I say all or nothing? Am I not being understanding if I say that? Should I leave him (knowing he may go to bed with other people in that time), and then see if something is still there several months from now? What are men's take on breaks?

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Avatar for mamma2my3sons
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 04-07-2003 - 4:18pm
To correct: "We" didn't decide to take a break, HE decided that, you agreed to it, because after all what other choice did you actually have?

Sorry but it doesn't bode well when a man wants to take a "break".

People truely in love support each other through the hard times and don't look on the other as a liability to take a "break" from!

I would consider the relationship over. What he is actually saying is that he doesn't want to lose the "benefits" of your past relationship (ie the sex) but is unwilling to have a relationship or any other responsibility toward you.

Its a personal choice of whether or not you answer booty call. However if you do, it would be wise to have no expectations of any future relationship & to weigh carefully the possibility of pregnancy, & stds with a guy who wants no commitment.

Sorry, know this isn't what you want to here.

Best wishes, Barbara

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 04-07-2003 - 4:20pm
I think the key sentence in your post is that it feels wrong for you. If it does, then it is wrong for you. There's nothing wrong with saying that you don't want to participate in half a relationship. There's nothing selfish about not getting into a situation where your needs aren't being met. You sound to me as though you're already being very accomodating regarding this whole "break" thing, but if you don't feel ok about having sex outside the bounds of your committed relationship, then don't. You've known one another a while, and he should be as understanding of your needs as you're being understanding of his. You'll only be angry with yourself about it in the end if you do something you're not comfortable with.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 04-07-2003 - 4:26pm
So, he wants all the benefits of being with you...without being obligated to you. This is extremely typical of the "take a break" type of people who don't live by values...but by assessing opportunities.

A relationship is a job. It's two very self-aware and self-accepting people maintaining their individuality and happiness, success and security outside the entities of relationships or situations...while prioritizing appropriately and compromising appropriately for a partner's needs, wants, and goals. A true relationship offers only intangible benefit - emotional investment and involvement to/from/with the partner with trust available due to shared values, goals, interests, and definitions of a great life and how to achieve it.

But dating...which is often confused with "relationship" becuase duration gets involved....is something else entirely. Dating is when two people attracted to one another physically, get together and get to know one another in very external, superficial and "in the moment" ways. Not to say that emotions aren't involved - they are. But it's all the "high flown" emotions that are involved - not the long-term satisfaction emotions prioritized. So you date, spend time together, get involved, have someone to hang out with, have sex with, and give your daily life a little structure.

And it's that "structure" that is at first beneficial, fun, and desired...that is what is asked to being ignored as to the obligations of it - when someone says they "want to take a break."

If they're wanting to take a break, restructure their lives with no guarantees that the relationship will resume...and YOU choose to remain on hold until they decide - they've done nothing wrong by asking for the break and you've done nothing wrong by choosing to await their decision regarding resumption. So realize...that anything you give to them during this "break" is "in the moment only" as if it were a one-night stand. There's no obligation or requirement of them to meet your needs, live up to your standards, or resume the obligation portion of the relationship - just because of sex, gifts, or you putting your life on hold.

Erin

quickblade14@hotmail.com

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Mon, 04-07-2003 - 4:46pm
Well, do you trust that he's being honest with you about the reason to take a break? You are the only one who can make the decision, not your friends. They do not know him or the situation nearly as well as you do. So decide if you trust his reason or not.

If so, are you getting any pleasure out of the sex with him? If so, I'd say there are worse things than being pleased by someone you care about and trust, regardless if there is certainty of the future.

If you trust him, but don't really get much pleasure from sex with him, or if you don't trust him, then you are not really missing out on anything. You certainly don't owe him anything, and you may feel like you are there just for his pleasure, because he's certainly not bringing any to you, so you would not only be disappointed and frustrated physically, but you would feel bad about yourself emotionally for lowering yourself.

I don't agree that people should only have sex with someone who promises them something...like a long term relationship...in return for sex. If you care for and respect each other and you recieve as much pleasure as you are giving, AND you are safe...where's the harm?

Curtis

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-01-2003
Mon, 04-07-2003 - 6:07pm
I believe that he is being honest and not taking advantage of my patience or the break. Just to clarify... you mean to ask where is the harm in sex with no expectations, have sex for the pleasure of giving and having sex? I am somewhat confused. So even in a long term relationship, like three years, do you mean to say that sex should have no strings? Am I being insecure, or if I have no strings sex with my boyfriend am I just another lay? I have having trouble clarifying the distinction---if there is one---b/t sex with no expectations, and sex in a long term relationship. Can you have sex in a long term relationship with no expectations?

Thank you for your two cents, it really made me think. I am open to the debate. I am not sure I am quite clear on what you are saying.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-01-2003
Mon, 04-07-2003 - 6:16pm
Hi Barbara, you post makes a lot of sense. The idea for the time apart was actually mutual. He was very reluctant to go with the break. But he felt very bad when he declined my invitations to go out and do things or spend time together. So, I was thinking more along the lines of...maybe the best way to love and care for this person is to let him care for himself and get back on his feet again. However, Curtis's comment about sex in exchange for promises makes sense to me too. I enjoy making love to my boyfriend very much, but is it right of me to want more, more than just sex? We agreed to the break; does that mean I cut the strings and that I shouldn't expect anything if we have sex despite our long term relationship? Take a look at Curtis's post, do you agree?

Thank you for your two cents!

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Mon, 04-07-2003 - 10:35pm
Yes, I mean sex for the pleasure of it with someone you care for and trust. So many people need the other person to be at the exact same point in life they are. It sounds as if you are close to that point, but he owes it to himself to get himself on track with what he needs to do in life first. It was quite mature for him to say he couldn't handle everything at one time right now.

Sex should never be a tool to get what you want from someone. He's made it clear, and you believe him, that he can't give you everything he would like right now. So you two can't share the pleasure of one another? Where's the logic in that? Down the line, if you two go further in your relationship, it may be very likely that your job or hobbies keep you from being everything to him that he wishes. Should he cut you off from sex until you can?

You are trying to link sex to the relationship instead of linking it to your love for a person and your own happiness. You've both given a lot of your time and energy to each other and he cared enough to tell you that he can't be what you want him to be at this particular point in time in your relationship with each other. There are women who sleep with and marry men who lie to them, promise them the world and never deliver, or attempt to. He's at least trying to set a foundation for himself which very well may include you. So you have an orgasm or 50 from someone you care deeply for and who wants to please you as well. I don't see that as being a bad thing at all.

The comfort will come from the trust you have. If you don't trust his intentions, you will be second guessing yourself before, during, and after. In my opinion, determine whether or not you believe he is genuine, and if you decide he is, have a blast.

Curtis

Avatar for mamma2my3sons
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 04-07-2003 - 11:05pm
I think Curtis has a good point, however think its unusual for most of us women in love to be able to backtrack in a relationship! Women, unlike men (generally speaking) don't separate sex from our emotions very well! Think it could likely lead to ending up even more hurt.

It is more encouraging that you are the one who initiated the break. His problems not withstanding though still a red flag though that after being with you 3 years he was unable to make enough time for you. I know way below you also mentioned infidelity (generically) as well & him getting a massage from an old lover & not understanding your concern!

Your gut obviously says don't do it. I would listen. If he is truely sincere in his intention that you & he will get back together, then he should be willing to be celibate for that 12 weeks! Don't be emotionally blackmailed. Don't allow your fears of losing him to someone else persuade you to do something that you're not in 100% agreement with. If your relationship is truely meant to be, it WILL be.

Best wishes, Barbara

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 04-08-2003 - 9:02am
If I were on break in that context it would mean almost no contact - you have to miss each other - maybe a once a week 15 minute check in phone call - but that's it - I personally think having sex under those circumstances will give you no information about whethere you are right together for a long term relationship and you will end up feeling used - do you really want to have sex, have him leave you and then not call till he's horny again (as we all know, there are women who get paid an awful lot to do just that - then again - if that is cool with you - i.e. sex just for sex, just use protection and have a good time) - also if he wants to have sex with others while on break, I would consider it a break up - to me a break means no contact and time apart without seeing others to get some perspective and distance on the current relationship - which is not gained by comparison shopping - just my two cents. good luck
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 04-08-2003 - 9:05am
If you have sex while on break you are telling him that you are willing to accomodate his sexual needs even though he has told you he doesn't want a commitment right now.

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