what exactly is a 'break' anyways?

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-31-2004
what exactly is a 'break' anyways?
Sat, 01-31-2004 - 4:34am

My boyfriend of 3 years and I have decided we need to 'have a break'. We are going to end up hating each other otherwise and neither of us want that. We are driving each other crazy!

Is it just a chicken's way out of Breaking Up? Is it just delaying the invevitable?

What are the rules? How Long? He will be the one to move out, so does he get to keep the key? Do we talk on the phone, or is it a complete seperation? Do we see other people, or allow one-night-stand type things? What's the objective of 'the break' ? (Apart from not killing one another!) Are 'breaks' so people can see if they get get along ok without the person? To test the waters of Singledom again?

Are they really worth it?

Your comments would be most apprecaited!

Many thanks, Janey


iVillage Member
Registered: 01-30-2004
Sat, 01-31-2004 - 12:44pm
Hi Janey,

I think a break could do one of two things; either help the relationship when you both realize after some time apart that you really want to be together, or, you could both realize that the relationship is no longer what you or he wants/needs.

You guys will have to decide together exactly what type of break this will be as well as the "rules" as far as if you will stay in touch, how often, and if you'll see other people etc.

Obviously you've both decided you need this break (space) otherwise you'll kill eachother so take the break and remember it's not over till it's over. A break doesn't always mean it is over, but, if you two choose after a break that you don't want to be together, then you can move on to better things instead of investing more time in a relationship that you really didn't want to be in. Sometimes someone becomes a habit and it's just hard to let go. Sometims the break is much needed to make you realize how much you really want to be in it.

Hope this helps. ( I've been there before)


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Sat, 01-31-2004 - 1:37pm
Hi. That sounds like what a break is to me. I used to think it was a Friends term, but

I guess it's not. :)

"We where on a break!" Always makes me laugh!


iVillage Member
Registered: 08-10-2003
Sat, 01-31-2004 - 9:07pm
Hi there,

I agree with Amy's definition. That pretty much is what a "break" is; a time apart. Did you or he call for the break? If he did, then wait for him to get back in touch with you; but understand there is no set time. If this was mutual or if what you consider too much time has passed; be it a couple of weeks or a month, then just ask him how much time he needs.

In the meantime, ask yourself if this is the person you want to continue spending time with. Spend time focusing on yourself and your needs. I've been there before, too. The time apart did help me gain insight into the relationship and whether or not it was fulfilling my needs.

Good luck.


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Tue, 02-03-2004 - 11:47am

This is a tricky thing! I don't know exactly what a BREAK is. I know it's not the same as a BREAK UP...did you see the movie, Jerry Maguire? One line from Renee Zellweger

Loving wife to David (3-2

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Tue, 02-03-2004 - 12:51pm
All good questions, but I think that there are many definitions of what a "break" is. Best that you and your boyfriend decide on the ground rules for your particular break.

One thing-As long as he's moving out, get your key back. If the situation turns ugly, you don't want him having a key to your home.
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-02-2004
Tue, 02-03-2004 - 4:41pm

in my experience, a break is worth it. Either it will bring you two closer together in the long run, or will allow other doors to be opened for you both. But before you agree to "break", you both should talk about it...what is expected from the other person during this time. find out what he is thinking and why he feels this break is necessary. Communication is key here...make sure you listen and don't interrupt each other. If feelings get hurt, just focus on the issue at hand and try not to react. Writing things down while talking helps...sometimes helps clarify, also sometimes helps you keep focused on the paper & pen rather than his "irrational reasons" for wanting the break, as you may be wanting to see them as.

Things will work out if they are meant to. As hard as it is to do, just allow the time to pass, take inventory of your own wants, needs and feelings, and suggest that he do the same in that time away. If you believe in a higher power, put your faith in him or her that you will be watched over and you will be on the path you are meant to be.

Agree to a length of time. Agree to the "rules", but know that the "rules" can be broken, changed as long as both people understand that.

Sometimes people need time apart to grow...i kind of relate to it as a flower (as corny as it may sound). But a flower cannot grow under full sun, some darkness is needed (the break). Flowers need food and water to grow and be healthy. And sometimes a flower needs to be placed in another bed with other flowers where it really belongs.

ok...that last one was totally out there, but know that if things aren't meant to work out, you can't force them to. There are so many other opportunities out there...too many to be sitting at home worrying about the "break".

Today I broke up with my boyfriend of 6 months. It was VERY difficult. But i was really unhappy. I accept that I will soon be on my way to meet new people and continue to grow. And if I meet another "weed"...sorry, couldn't resist.

Good luck to you both!

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-27-2004
Tue, 02-03-2004 - 10:27pm
Hi Janey,

Been there done that!!! I know what you are going thru right now but it might be good to take a break sometimes and look at things from the outside. I do hope that this break brings you guys closer together. Good Luck and please keep us posted.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-03-2004
Tue, 02-03-2004 - 11:43pm
I think the rules to a break are set by the people in the relationship. My guess is you are doing the right thing by deciding to take a break, especially if you are both having these feelings. Maybe he isn't the person you ultimately want to make a committment to. If that's the case then you are saving yourself heartache in the future. Good Luck!
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-04-2004
Wed, 02-04-2004 - 5:41pm

Many years ago, my boyfriend of 6 years and I had a "break." We didn't have a set length of time - and it ended up lasting 3 weeks before he called me. But during that time, I realized that I didn't want or need him. I met another guy and started dating him. After the 3 weeks - I told my boyfriend it was over. I had completely fallen out of love. He was devastated and had to go to therapy to "get over" me. I was fine, however. I didn't shed one single tear...

I don't know what will happen with you. Every relationship is different. But I CAN tell you that a break usually indicates a relationship is in peril. One of two things will likely happen... you will either miss him horribly, or (like me) you will realize that life is much better without him. Just take each day as it comes and see how you feel. But don't sit around waiting for a call. Get out and be social. If you sit around - you may think you miss him - when in fact, you are simply just feeling lonely in general. By being social with others, you can rule this out as a potentially mistaken emotion.

Good luck!

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-13-2004
Fri, 02-13-2004 - 5:37pm
My boyfriend (now fiance) and I took a three-month break last year. We had been together for about 5 years at the time and were living together...and fighting constantly! The break was at his impetus, but it was something I had long fantasized about! He moved out, and we left the future of our relationship "open."

At my friends' urging, I dated (but didn't get serious) and spent lots of time with friends and family. It was tough, but after the first few weeks, I realized that I needed that time to recover from old wounds and decide whether or not I wanted to pursue the relationship. And I found myself reveling in my newfound Singledom! I had a blast!

We talked occasionally...at first the talks were strained, but they grew easier and friendlier with time. Ultimately, we "rediscovered" our friendship and were able to figure out the reasons our relationship had deteriorated and work on some solutions. Today, we're engaged, and I credit the time apart to saving our relationship. There have been rocky times (at first, it was very hard for me to give up my single life), but it definitely was worth it in the end.

If you love one another, a break is worth the try (particularly before you say things you end up regretting), and I don't think it has to inevitably result in a break-up! Good luck to you!!