Does Your Boyfriend Want a Break? Here’s How to Handle It

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“I think we should take a break for a while…”

These dreaded words spell doom for most relationships, as many of these so-called “breaks” become permanent vacations from each other. If your boyfriend brings up the subject of taking a break, it’s common to feel hurt, angry, and afraid. What you do next is super important, because it could spell disaster for the two of you as a couple. Make the right moves and you’ll get back together with your boyfriend in no time. But make the wrong ones… and you could end up alone.

The following are steps you should take as soon as your boyfriend announces he wants to take a break from your relationship:

Determine If There’s Another Girl – It’s highly possible your boyfriend wants this break because he’s looking to date someone else. Some guys can be strange like that: they think calling a “timeout” on their current relationship gives them license to explore other options without really cheating on you. This is presumptuous and ballsy. The best thing to do is flat out ask your boyfriend if this is the reason why he wants such a break. Try to do it without getting angry or upset – just ask him. If he plans to date another girl while on the break, he knows you’re going to find out anyway so he might actually tell you the truth.

Let Him Know You’re Not His Back Up Plan – If your boyfriend does want to go out with someone else and tries to hide it from you, he’s doing that just in case the new relationship doesn’t work out. He’d like to know you’ll take him back as soon as he’s done taking this new girl for a test drive. Instead, let him know in no uncertain terms that you won’t be there when he gets back from such a drive. Wanting “space” is one thing… wanting a break so he can sleep with other girls is something completely different. If you love your boyfriend tell him so, but also inform him that all bets are off once you find out he’s been with someone else.

Let Him Go Without Drama – If you’re at the point where your boyfriend asked for a break, there’s probably little you can say to change his mind. So the best course of action? Don’t try. Tell him you love him, wish him well, and then agreewith him that the two of youneed some space. Then kiss him on the cheek and walk away. Your ex will be astonished at how drama-free the whole break up went down. He won’t know what to think: “Does she want this break too!? Is she sick of dating me? Does she having someone else in mind???” All of these things will race through your boyfriend’s head if you can pull this off maturely, casually, and with the least amount of drama possible.

Give Your Boyfriend Time and Breathing Room – The final part of handling the break is actually allowing your boyfriend exactly what he wanted: a complete break from you. This means he can’t call you, email you, text you, or any of the stuff you did as boyfriend and girlfriend (including, of course, sex!) Don’t let him get away with some half-assed excuse for a break up… he can’t have his cake and eat it too. Either he dates you or he doesn’t date you – so don’t sacrifice your respect by allowing him to contact you during the break, or even worse, you contacting him. By leaving your boyfriend completely, utterly alone during this time he gets exactly what he wanted: solitude. Only this probably isn’t the break he wanted – he envisioned you in the equation on some level or another.

When your boyfriend wants a break, it’s a good time to reflect on your relationship. If it’s something you really want to keep, then you have to work together on making it better. You can do this once your boyfriend comes back to you… and if you follow the guidelines above, that shouldn’t take long. But if you do end up breaking up with each other? There are lots of ways of getting back together with your ex.