What’s the difference between breaking up and taking a break? One usually ends with you picking your shit up from the front yard after it’s been tossed out, the other ends with one last nut and an amicable “I’ll call you later, baby“. Breaking up is the hardest thing to do because unless that person truly fucked you over, you don’t want to hurt their feelings. We all know about the passive sabotage break up where we just stop caring and hope the other person is smart enough to break up with us first so we won’t have to be the one to say it. But I’ve never talked about the alternative—The Break.

In the NBA they can choose to send players who aren’t working out down to the minor leagues where for all intents and purposes they get their shit together and earn another opportunity to play in the bigs. Taking A Break was meant to be the D-League, time away to iron out your personal issues, prove that you’re ready to be a better mate, and hopefully come back to the team for a championship run this time around. But of course in this day in age Taking A Break has become vacation from the stress while still getting the benefits. I knew this one guy who took a break from his girl every time he wanted new ass– Selfish. I knew this girl who took a break when she went to college because she didn’t know how to break her boo’s heart gently– Selfish. That’s not taking a break that’s holding someone who loves you hostage. Instead of focusing on the things that made them a shitty boyfriend or girlfriend, modern day break takers use The Break as just an excuse to go fuck other people or do their own thing, but with a loophole that says I can return if I proclaim “It’s out of my system now“. It’s become the ultimate con for selfish people who just want to have their cake and eat it too. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Relationships have horrible timing, some of us meet the right people at the wrong time and a little more life experience or self exploration is all we need to make it work down the line. If you are going through the stress of a relationship moving too fast, career goals coming first, or simply want to see what else is out there before you totally commit—Take A Break. But do it the right way.

Separate Breaking Up From Taking A Break

If you’re ready to move on, be it temporary or permanently, the time should fit the crime. You don’t take a Break because you’re upset about an argument that got out of control or a little lie. Small things like that are worthy of one day breaks i.e. “I’m not talking to you until I cool down“. They weren’t somewhere they said they were or maybe your boo was poking hoes on Facebook, that shit is trivial and can be worked out through communication. When you take a real Break there should be something fundamentally wrong with your relationship such as constant lying, lack of time spent with each other, family in your business, won’t let go of their ex, no career ambition, etc… Those are things that you can realistically put your finger on, go off on your own to work on, and eventually correct. Other things such as chronic cheating, hitting, stealing, knife pulling and other legit cray behavior are deeper issues that a few months off won’t solve.  If a person does those things then you’re dealing with incompatibility and you have to be strong enough to say this relationship isn’t going to work now and it isn’t going to work out later—pack your shit. If you decide that your problems are fixable and want to take some time away from each other to mend, don’t put a time stamp on it. Common sense tells you it isn’t going to go on for a year, but don’t start off the break by saying “give it two months then we’ll try it again” that’s unnatural and it puts pressure on both of you to return to each other. Trust them to keep their heart reserved for you during this time off, if they fall out of love after a month of not talking then clearly it was never love to begin with. Don’t be jealous, don’t stalk, and don’t treat The Break as though you are still exclusive. If Taking A Break is truly going to work, you have to let go.

Shop Around, Don’t Buy

Don’t jump back into the oven! If you couldn’t function properly in your last relationship, it wasn’t all them, it was partly you. It’s so easy to let your ego take over and think, “they wanted a break I wanted a relationship, so I’m going to find me a new one” Don’t fool yourself. Look at this as a blessing to do some soul searching even if you’re not the one who wanted the break. Furthermore, rebound rules still apply, you’ve just got out of a relationship so strong that you couldn’t end it completely; of course you’re emotionally vulnerable. Don’t run off and get serious with the first person that asks for your number and never do REPEATS. Why the hell would a girl taking a break start talking to her Ex-Boyfriend? You’re not moving forward you’re relapsing into the same bullshit that caused you to be damaged in the first place. Leave the past in the past, It’s counter fucking productive! You still have needs and still want attention, so go on dates with new faces. The Keyword is “Dates”, plural. Go off and meet new guys that are totally different from the one you’re on a timeout from. If your ex is a white collar square with a dry sense of humor, go party with a Goon for the night. This is the perfect time to shop around because you already have someone you can fall back on. Date outside of your race, outside of your circle, and get to know more about yourself through them. It’s not about sex, you can fuck who you choose to, but again being that you’re in a vulnerable place you don’t want to spread your legs to the first guy who makes you smile and end up pregnant. Returning from your Break with a seed is going to cause an epic amount of hate if that person decides to take you back. Most of you know someone who’s in a, “Oh, he had junior when we were on a break, but It’s all good.” situation. You can smell the resentment steaming from those words. Don’t be one of those people. If you are serious about the break have fun, do you, but be safe and show respect to the person you may go back to.

Break Means Break

Why the hell would you still talk to the person you’re on break with everyday? Just because you’re not permanently broken up doesn’t mean you’re half-way together. If you still wanted sex and conversation, you should have just demoted it to a FWB situation. You’re losing track of the entire point of Taking A Break, which is to grow into a stronger person. How can you grow if you’re still up under their ass? In a perfect world this is how The Break should go: Cease communication. Focus on yourself. Step back and realize what you had. Decide if that’s what you want again. Reach out. Show them the new you. Decide if you two want to try one more time. The hardest part of that is FOCUS ON YOURSELF. People are so afraid to go back to being single after having someone that they run back as soon as they get bored. News Flash, learning to be alone is the only way you’ll ever truly know yourself. Who are you outside of someone’s girlfriend? What do you enjoy doing that doesn’t revolve around eating, watching, or fucking? Put the phone down, fight the urge to scroll their newsfeeds, and stop thinking about what they’re doing and focus on what you should be doing.

You Owe Them An Ending,

Even An Unhappy One

So the Million Dollar questions are “How long should we break? What if he finds someone else? What if I find someone else?” Stop living in the future and just take it one day at a time. If you’re the type that over thinks everything and will grow jealous every day you two are on radio silence than you don’t need a break, you need to Calm. The. Fuck. Down. He’s doing him and you’re doing you, the only thing that you should keep in the back of your mind is: You don’t have to get back together. Regardless if you initiated the break or merely went through with the break, you don’t owe it to the other party to come back to them a month later when they come calling. However, you should have the decency to let the other person know when you’re officially done with the timeout. Say you meet a guy during The Break, He gets you and seems like someone you really want to get to know better. Don’t be insensitive and commit to a relationship with another person knowing damn well you’re on hold with someone else who thinks you’ll get back together. A Player can’t just sign to the Knicks while playing for the D-League LA Defenders because they’re contracted to the Lakers. Treat The Break like a contract. Instead of popping up with a new boyfriend in a status update, go see them and say “The Break’s been good, and it helped me see that we’re just not compatible” Don’t sneak into a new relationship, own up to your old one and officially end it. That person could say they’ve changed and bag for another shot, but follow your brain and not your heart, if you’ve had the best time of your life away from your semi-ex then you’re making the right decision. On the other side of the fence, if you’re missing that person like crazy don’t just jump back into the relationship. Rushing over and having “Miss You” sex before you’ve completed addressed those old issues will lead to the same exact problems as before. You never stop loving someone you just learn to live without their ass. So don’t let old feelings lead to new pain.

In the end, I recognize that in the 21st century “We need to take a break” has become just a pussy way of saying, “I don’t want to be with yo ass, but I don’t want to make you cry either“. Nevertheless, if you’re willing to take it seriously it can still be a viable option for those who want to salvage a great relationship. Not many people are worth fighting for, but when you find someone special they’re not only worth the fight they’re also worth the wait.

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