She Needs A Break

From out of nowhere your girlfriend announces she needs a break. Boom! No, “We need to talk.” No subtle hints to indicate she’s unhappy. She just slips it in, mid-conversation. She needs a break? What the hell is that supposed to mean?

Basically, it means you’ve screwed up, so unless you want to find yourself crying into your beer and eating microwave dinners for one, you better pay attention to our advice.

What does she mean?

When she says she needs a break, you can interpret it in a few different ways. And before you beg for her to reconsider, you need to determine exactly what she means by “I need a break.”

1- While toddlers have temper tantrums and hold their breath, females drag out the old “I need a break” line. Often it’s used as way to manipulate you into letting her have what she wants, particularly if you’re commitment-phobic and she wants a Donald Trump-size wedding complete with ring-bearing ponies.

2- The fiercely independent type who likes her own space will declare she needs a break if she feels smothered in a relationship.

She might resort to having a break to modify your behavior, especially if you treat her like an old unloved sock. It’s like being grounded with all your privileges canceled until further notice.

4- The worst-case scenario: She’s too chicken to tell you it’s over, so she’s opting for the cowardly way out and giving you false hope.

What happens next?

It’s important to set some ground rules when she tells you she needs a break.

1- Determine the length of a break. Will it last a couple of weeks or a couple of months? Don’t leave the date open-ended. When the time is up, organize to catch up and re-evaluate where you stand. After a month of hanging with your mates at the pub every night living on beer and pretzels, having a woman might cramp your style.

2- Decide whether you’re allowed to see other people and whether “seeing” extends to kissing or shagging them. Word of warning: If you get giddy with your new-found freedom and get  jiggy with the first thing with arms and legs during week one and your girlfriend finds out, this break will be a permanent one.

3- Make a no-contact rule. For a break to be successful, it has to be a proper break. It will be hard, but if you want her to come back, she needs to go cold turkey. She’s not going to miss you, if you’re calling to say “I love you” every five minutes.

4- Talk to her best friend. She can probably provide you with insight into what’s really going on.

What do you do during the break?

  • Don’t camp outside her house in your car using high-powered binoculars to spy on her or trail her every move. Let her have the space she wants. Being clingy is not cool.
  • Don’t invent excuses to phone her. You might have found her favorite sweater in the back of your car or want to remind her that it’s your mother’s birthday next week. Be assured if she wants to talk to you, she will call.
  • Reflect on your behavior and ways you could improve your relationship.
  • Even if your girlfriend has given you the thumbs up to see other people, don’t sleep with anyone else until you are sure the relationship is over.
  • Don’t spend the days moping around. Use this time wisely. It’s an ideal opportunity to catch up with friends you’ve neglected while you’ve been too busy being one half of a loved-up couple.
  • Take up a new sport, learn a new skill, take time out to find out what makes you happy and whether you’re in this relationship because you truly love your girlfriend or you’ve stayed simply out of habit or because you’re scared of being alone.

Where to from here?

Once the agreed trial separation period is up, it’s make-or-break time. If you’ve decided to carry on from where you’ve left off -- congratulations, but remember to continue making time for yourself. Just because you’re part of a partnership, it doesn’t mean you have to lose your identity or live in each other’s pockets. Also, make a pact to work through any problems rather than take a break. If this is the person you’ll marry and have kids with, you need to know your partner is not going to run every time there’s trouble on the horizon.


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