Is “Break” Code for Breakup?

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The secret to a good relationship isn’t staying together through anything. Yes, when we enter into relationships we intend to stay together through the hardships and rough patches. But that’s not always a good idea, especially if the relationship suffers more as a result. We commonly hear that taking a break is a polite way of breaking up. Breaks have a negative stigma because it often seems that couples who take breaks don’t get back together. Although a break can be the death sentence for some relationships, it could mean a new start for others.

Breaks can allow couples a chance to take a step back from all the chaos and examine the relationship. It gives them time to measure the positives and negatives and figure out if the relationship is really something that they want.

Arthur Peterson, a sophomore at Cornell University, believes in the healing powers of taking breaks.  “I think a break could potentially help a relationship,” he said. “It could allow the couple to appreciate each other over time and space. Through that absence, you gain a greater appreciation that could make your relationship stronger.”

However, there are your good breaks and your bad ones. .The first kind, the exclusive break, means that the people involved are still loyal to each other, but are taking some much-needed space. This break operates on the understanding that the couple will eventually rekindle the flame and until that time, each person is prohibited from becoming involved with other people.

A separated break is often the more dangerous type of break, where the couple can explore other people. A separated break comes closer to the idea of being completely broken up for a period of time.

Jason Abisch, a senior at Keene University, believes that all breaks turn into separated breaks at some point. “Taking a break always ruins a relationship and to me it means we are broken up and have the right to be with someone else.”

This separated break is dangerous when one person in the relationship wants to hook up with other people while the other person has no desire to. Resentment, jealousy, and anger can all stem from this situation, eliminating any small semblance of a chance of getting back together.

 It’s not always a bad thing to separate temporarily; it could actually be a healthy bump in the relationship. The key to any successful break is communication. Before declaring a break, talk to your partner and ask how he or she feels and discuss the reasons why a break might be a good thing for the relationship. Decide which type of break you want and set some rules to follow while apart. Most importantly, always assure your partner that it’s only a break, not a break up.  


Sophomore > Journalism and Environmental Science > NYU

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