I’ve always been skeptical of relationships that have been broken and then put back together. Regardless of the reasons, and despite how strong they may now seem, don’t they necessarily have to be a little weaker, even if nowhere else, right down the seam of where the split was? They may look like new, but the scar is still there, and doesn’t it seem like they should be more susceptible to fresh breakage?
That’s what I always figured, anyway, so going on a break was never an appealing option to me before. But I think I get it now. I think there are some very practical reasons to go on a break instead of starting the messy, official breakup process.
- When you aren’t sure you want to make it “forever.” Breaking up is supposed to mean forever, so if you call it a breakup and then get back together it seems suspicious. But if you call it a break, no one should be surprised if it ends up working out, since breaks typically do have an ending point.
- When circumstances make it so a break is the only logical choice. For example, if a long-distance relationship is impossible right now, yet you can’t just close the door on the two of you.
- When you need time to figure out whether this is really what you want, so you don’t want to completely sever ties, yet you still need space.
Reading over these reasons, I can see clearly why I never wanted to go on a break. All of these reasons make the parties involved with the break seem weak. They’re too afraid to make a final decision, so they want to leave the door open for the possibility of getting back together, but they’re not entirely sure that’s what they want. It’s very wishy-washy and noncommittal, and it just doesn’t seem like it makes any sense, to sensible people.
But to me and New York City, it made sense. We weren’t ready to completely end it because we weren’t quite sure whether we were finished with each other. It’s not like either of us is holding onto the other with irrational hope; we both know that at any point, the other could decide to make the split official. We aren’t fooling ourselves about the fact that it’s likely we may never see each other again. But we’re keeping our options open because to us, that’s the smart, responsible, mature way to handle things. We may get back together at some point, and we don’t want the things we said to each other in fits of desperation during a breakup to haunt us forever. We want to be able to make a fresh start, if that’s in fact what we both want.
And we won’t ask each other about anyone else. During the break, we’re free to see whoever we want. So there will be none of that “We were on a break!” confusion a la Ross and Rachel. We’re just going to play it by ear for now and see where that takes us. Because we are still in love, even if we’re a little confused right now, and when you’re really in love, you can’t just cut each other out of your lives forever. At least, I can’t. And NYC claimed it couldn’t either, so I’m going to choose to believe that for now.