Community Forums

Reload this Page Community Forums > Breaking Up, Reconciliation & Coping > Breaks and Breaking Up

What is the difference between 'taking a break' and 'breaking up'?

Breaks and Breaking Up It happens to most everyone at some point in life! Share your experiences!

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 30th August 2004, 11:15 AM   #1
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 38
What is the difference between 'taking a break' and 'breaking up'?

Okay, I see this a lot and I'm confused - what is the difference between taking a break and breaking up? My boyfriend (now ex) wanted to take a break, but I think I got confused and didn't know how to act. I basically just told him that I wanted to break up because in my mind, taking a break means exactly that. You no longer have an obligation to someone and it seems the taking a break - you don't see them or do anything with them anyway? Can someone clarify for me? I just can't seem to conceptualize what the differences are....
supergirl79 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30th August 2004, 11:37 AM   #2
Established Member
beautiful's Avatar
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 167
A break means just that...A BREAK! You not with that person anymore for whatever reason.

When someone tells you they need a break in a relationship, they already somewhere else! Sometimes people want to break up and are cowards so they say "oh I need a break"! It's an easy way also can leave the other hanging on a string. Not a good thing!
beautiful is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30th August 2004, 11:41 AM   #3
Established Member
tiki's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Somewhere over the rainbow
Posts: 7,925
A break from my boyfriend gives him, myself or us a chance to sort through some feelings. It's like giving someone time alone without completely breaking it off. I've only done it once (and we didn't speak for 24 hours). Woohoo, right?! But it was enough to knock him back up to par with what was needed in the relationship. It worked for me and hopefully we won't have to experience it again.
"Well itís time to go home
And I ain't even done with the night." JcM

Peace, love and tie~dye...I'm out yo!
tiki is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30th August 2004, 1:24 PM   #4
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 12
There is no difference. It's just semantics.

Keeps hope alive and thereby keeps the one who didn't want it thinking "it's just a break". But within a short period of time, you'll find that there was someone in the wings just waiting for the "break". They're not thinking of feelings or anything. They're exploring another option while you sit at home and wait.
Pharmboy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30th August 2004, 1:59 PM   #5
Posts: n/a
It would seem to me that a break up would mean that you no longer intend to see a certain person.
A break would bewhen you are unsure of whether you want to continue seeing that person, but you are more sure then not because you do not want the official "break up."
It is as TikiBrandy said, breaks are more or less to sort through feelings, sort of like that No Contact thing I see posted so often.
  Reply With Quote
Old 30th August 2004, 2:55 PM   #6
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 38
Yeah, I really don't believe in 'taking a break' so that's why I broke up with him. Now we're not dating, but he calls every day and even comes over sometimes. But, will never initiate a date of any sort but continues to tell me he loves me. I am so done with this crap! I think you're right when you say there's someone else out there - he wants to keep me around and not date anyone else, but doesn't want to date me! Now, I just need to determine how to proceed, but his excuse he just wanted to take a break is complete B.S!
supergirl79 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30th August 2004, 4:35 PM   #7
Former Member
lexnmike4enomore's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: The Jersey Shore
Posts: 379
Did you guys ever see that episode of Friends when Rachel says she wants a break, and then Ross goes and has sex with someone? I side with Rachel on this. To me, a break is some time apart from eachother...not the relationship.
You are still together when you take a break...just not physically together.
So if you say you want a break, and he sleeps with someone else...he cheated.
lexnmike4enomore is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30th August 2004, 4:42 PM   #8
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 38
Okay, now with that said....does that mean no contact - whether that's verbal or physical?
supergirl79 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30th August 2004, 6:51 PM   #9
Former Member
lexnmike4enomore's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: The Jersey Shore
Posts: 379
Well whats the point of taking a break if you guys have contact. A break is a few days where you guys dont speak or come in contact with so that you have time to really see what the relationship means. If you dont want to come back from the break, than the relationship shoud just end right there.
lexnmike4enomore is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31st August 2004, 12:42 PM   #10
Established Member
faux's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 2,030
From my personal experience, and observations of others' situations, I tend to find that there is virtually no difference, in practice, between the term "break up" and "break". If someone were to phrase it, "Seeing you a bit less often during the week, so that I might have more time to myself for [insert legitimate reasons]", I would agree with this.

On rare occasions, I have experienced "breaks" which have worked. We did not call them "breaks", however. There was a lot of communication about why one person needed some more time alone throughout the week, and if it was still alright to phone one another and such. Sometimes, people just want an extra night or two alone to watch television, sit down with the family, or get some more studying done.

When the simple terms "break up" and "break" are used, however, I tend to notice no difference between them. Whenever I have known something to be referred to as a "break", bad things have always happened.
faux is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31st August 2004, 1:01 PM   #11
Established Member
NatoPMT's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: London
Posts: 790
I agree with Faux in that reading situations on LS, and seeing friends go through the same thing a break often becomes and breaking up. Sometimes its a way of the dumper sugar coating the break up, sometimes its because the dumper needs time and decides in that time that the break should become a break up. The break can work to sort through feelings, but if the dumpee becomes more insecure and the dumper sees further reason to break up (which invariably happens), the break becomes a break up.

NatoPMT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31st August 2004, 4:21 PM   #12
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 10
a point of view from the "Other" side

I was one of those people who told my boyfriend I needed a break... well I actually phrased it as "I need some space" My boyfriend would NOT give me any space... literally with me ALL of the time! I would go to my friends house, he would call on my cell phone and I would mention where I was and then there he was! I would mention going with my friends to a movie and THERE he was! It got to where I felt as if I couldn't do anything without him! Now don't get me wrong! I was very much in love with him and we got along GREAT, but I LIKE "girl" things (which DO NOT involve men!) Things like going over to each other houses and taking tests in magazines, watching a really "mushy" movie going out for coffee and just visiting with them. Whenever I mentioned this to him, he would go along with it for a while (a week) tops, but be waiting for me the minute I got back so then I ended up having no time for JUST ME. The more I tried to explain this to him, the more "clingy" he got until MY ONLY OPTION was to tell him to GIVE ME SPACE and leave me alone for a while. And that is ALL I wanted! Nothing more! I was not interested in anyone else, I was not re-thing our relationship, or anything like that! I honestly thought that when I said this, HE would be the one I was going to marry! Well, he went from one exteme to the next, JUST AS ALL OF YOU ARE DOING, first he accused me of not loving him, then he accused me of wanting someone else, then he could not understand why I was doing this to him, then he would start crying and it turned into a HORRIBLE relationship. I felt bad for him because he was feeling so bad and I DID love him and did not want to hurt him so we just went back to the dating (smothering) bit, but, I think, because I never got that badly needed space, I began to resent him and things just went downhill from there and within a month we broke up (no space this time) and it was ugly because I saw that not getting some space before only hurt BOTH of us more that if he had even just given me THREE lousy days to be ME, none of this would have happened! I HAD to be mean to him this time because he wouldn't LEAVE ME ALONE!!! Something so totally innocent turned into a nightmare and changed the entire way I was able to look at him. I STILL hate thinking about that and it was 6 years ago. I lost my best friend in the whole world (at the time)because they couldn't accept that I just wanted a little bit of space with no ulterior motives. I have seen him a few times since we broke up and I can't even be friends with him anymore... if I have a good time around him, he starts making passes at me.

Now I am not saying that everyone has the same motives that I did, but what harm can it do to just do what they want? Will you REALLY fall in love with someone else in a week? Don't you trust them enough to be away from you for a week? Don't YOU have anything better to do? And I am not saying indefinately either, but a lousy week will not make a difference one way or another. Either they need a break or they DO want to see someone else or they DO want to break up... YOU really don't have a choice in the matter when it comes down to it! When someone says this, instead of thinking of all the NEGATIVE things that could happen, why not look at it as an opportinity to get with the guys or to get with the girls! Normally when you are dating someone, friends and family get pushed down to the bottom of priorities and now is the perfect chance to remember why their such good friends and catch up on all the news. And what about YOU? Now you can do all the things that you did when you were single, like spend the day at the beach reading a book or catching up on some neglected chores... anything! Focus on YOU not them! If nothing else, you WILL make them wonder a bit and you may just end up SAVING and not DESTROYING a good thing.... sheesh... YOU may end up doing a bit of re-thinking yourself and decide that THEY are NOT the one for you!
Hannah BHDN is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31st August 2004, 10:49 PM   #13
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Northeast
Posts: 32
the problem with your term "I need space" is that you have used a typical break up line that many people will understand that I am seeing somebody else, people who really need space for personal reasons and really care about their lovers go over a long explanation over why they need a time alone without using this classical BS line.
Good heart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 1st September 2004, 2:21 AM   #14
Unconfirmed Account
hurtingandconfused's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: The OC baby!
Posts: 639
What is the difference between 'taking a break' and 'breaking up'?
Nothing, Same Bull*****. Same outcome.
hurtingandconfused is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 1st September 2004, 2:34 AM   #15
Established Member
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 408
Exclamation Talk to him!

Commucation is key here! It's hard to figure out what the person means by space, a break, etc....without asking...Tell him that you may have jumped the gun and want to discuss what he meant by a break...if he can give you a definitive period of time (i.e.I need a week off to deal with family problems) or a specific change he needs (i.e.I need to be able to do my own thing one night a week) feeling is that if he isn't willing to be specific, he's leading you on and is really taking the cowardly way of breaking up...I had someone do this to me recently...I went to far as to ask him several times if he wanted to break up, practically putting the words in his mouth..he said no every time, that he was just trying to get through a hard time.....Well, I found out in the end that this hard time involved someone else and despite me asking, he wasn't decent enough to be's hard to know sometimes!
snilljente is offline   Reply With Quote


Thread Tools
Display Modes


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Taking a break ahgirl Breaks and Breaking Up 1 15th January 2006 11:32 AM
A difference between time and break? outdated Breaks and Breaking Up 1 4th May 2005 2:53 PM
I HAVE THE ANSWER!!! I HAVE THE ANSWER!!! Taking a break is not breaking up! FolderWife Breaks and Breaking Up 7 22nd October 2004 12:20 PM
What is the difference between a breakup and a break??? surfincowboy02 Dating 4 12th October 2004 9:55 PM
taking a break - what does it really mean? jordan Breaks and Breaking Up 12 29th July 2003 2:40 PM

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 11:40 AM.

Please note: The suggestions and advice offered on this web site are opinions only and are not to be used in the place of professional psychological counseling or medical advice. If you or someone close to you is currently in crisis or in an emergency situation, contact your local law enforcement agency or emergency number.

Copyright © 1997-2018 All Rights Reserved.