Sometimes the only way to preserve a relationship is by ending it. Or at least that’s what sitcoms and poorly written romantic comedies have convinced the modern lover. This is due mainly to two conventions.
First, the path of least resistance is the path most traveled. Breaking up is hard because it is final.The magic of taking a break is that it is indefinite. Breaking up is herpes but a break is gonorrhea; neither one is immediately helpful, but at least the bacterial infection grants its carrier only a short timeout from dating instead of casting them down with the Sodomites and MySpace accountholders.
Second, a break can only end in success; it is playing with house money, operating with a safety net and boxing with kid gloves.If the problem necessitating a break (e.g., becoming somebody else around everyone else, a penchant for bangs or failure to accept Christ as your personal savior) is never overcome, the break becomes a break up and its precursive form is forgotten. If a break ends with the relationship renewed, it worked. In either event, as in Rambo: First Blood Part II’s allegorical treatment, the search for love presses forward.
Of course, the discussion above is obvious and likely a review for most readers.But taking a break is also an invitation to secure your power in the relationship, and power rides shotgun with love.Consider the following course.
Take whatever steps are necessary to arrive at the concept of a break as a reformative tool. Note that it is more powerful if you can suggest this solution rather than introduce it directly.Once highlighted as your partner’s idea, agree to a break for a specific amount of time. After trudging through the artifice of collaboration, arrive at the following consensus: during the break, only you can make contact. Enjoy the reprieve from your significant other and spend the time apart contemplating anything but your romantic intermission. If you decide to call or write or visit, it can only be because the break has actually worked (e.g., they take off all their preppy clothes, grow out their bangs or accept a purpose driven life).When you reconvene, rest assured that they will have dedicated countless hours applying the Hegelian dialectic to the challenges facing your relationship.Indeed, it is through the collision of thesis and antithesis that your estranged lover will seek to reconcile their earlier decision with their emotional withdrawal.Thankfully, their exercise will be useful only insofar as it strengthens your dominance, a win-win.
In sum, deploying a break ostensibly reveals the equal maturity of both parties. It shows them to be postmodern lovers, capable of advanced systems of dating unconnected to the conventions established through millennia of human experience. Once back together, this accomplishment will undoubtedly be celebrated as a triumph of logos. Let them celebrate, though, since you are the Greeks and this is your giant wooden horse.
EXCEPTION: Do not take a break to avoid buying birthday or holiday gifts. There is a special place in Hell (Circle Eight, Bolgia Six) for that.