Is Taking a Break a Good Idea?

Most of us know a happy long-term couple or two who took a sizable break at some point in their relationship and ended up deciding they really did want to be together. This sort of post-break reconciliation isn’t super rare, but it also isn’t as common as most couples want to believe when they’re considering spending some time apart.

Know what underlies your break.

Why are you and your woman considering taking a break from each other?

Relationship breaks usually come about for one of two reasons:

  1. The relationship isn’t working, often for ambiguous reasons.
  2. One, or both, of you wants to sleep with someone else.

Are there other reasons why people decide to go on relationship breaks? Maybe.

But even if the reasoning behind a break doesn’t hit either of these nails squarely on the head, there is a good chance one of them is the underlying cause of the dissatisfaction leading up to abandoning ship.

And one of them is much easier to settle in a mutually positive way than the other.

Consider opening up your relationship.

Nowhere is it written the only form of an acceptable, valid relationship is a relationship where both members only ever have sexual and/or romantic experiences with each other.

There are plenty of successful relationship models out there that provide a slightly more flexible view of monogamy than strict one-on-one pairings.

If the desire to have sex with someone else is the only reason why you and your woman are considering splitting up, then you two crazy kids need to ask yourselves how important the stickler of total monogamy really is to your coupling.

When posed with this question, most couples decide they’d rather stick together than split if sticking together means occasionally getting the chance to step out in a mutually agreeable manner.

Whether this stepping out means exploring other partners together or the occasional solo escapade lies beyond the scope of this column.

For now, just know you have alternative options if you and your woman are considering splitting up because one or both of you want to explore the perfectly natural urge for variety.

Consider just ending it.

How often have you seen a couple take a break where both members of that couple really wanted the break?

How often have you seen a couple on a break where both the man and the woman were getting the same amount of new experiences out of their break?

How often have you seen a couple on a break where both of them wanted to get back together?

There’s a reason why the answer to all the above questions is “Not very often.”

When it comes down to it, many of the “breaks” couples go through are nothing more than the woman’s way of ending things.

In most “take a break” scenarios, the woman is the one who wants to take the break, the woman is the one who goes out and starts dating other people, and the woman is the one who wants to stay broken up.

I say all of this without an ounce of malice toward women. I could have just as easily said it’s the man who doesn’t want to go on a break, the man who sits around lonely, and the man who wants desperately to get back together.

“Going on a break” because of a vague sense of unease or dissatisfaction within a relationship is a common way women break up with men. If your woman wants to go on a break, know this is probably it for the two of you and act accordingly.

It’s better to go through the pain of a clean breakup than the long, torturous ache so many men unnecessarily put themselves through.


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