Hi Sasha, My boyfriend of 4.5 years and I decided to take a break. We're in our mid-20s and both have a tendency to become complacent. We love each other very much but we need to come into ourselves and just couldn't do it while dating each other. Maybe it's because it's so fresh, but I'm terrified of actually losing him. I love him very much and want to be with him, but also very much felt like I needed the break and that we both need to mature before we can be together. I'm worried that I'm going to be a "starter girlfriend" - one of those girls that guys date forever until the "commitment switch" turns on and they dump and then marry the next girl they date for less than a year. I'm worried that because he's also complacent, if I'm not in his life then he'll let me float away. I'm worried that we'll just not talk to each other at all because we think that's how it's supposed to work and then never get back together because of those formalities. How do breaks work? I want to stop communication but not forever. How do I know when it's okay to call him again? Y


In my opinion, “breaks” don’t work. However, breakups do. There may be a minor nuance in the wording there, but the impact it will have on your life is huge.

Y, I know this is all still so fresh and you miss him and you love him and you don’t want to lose him, but if you truly want to figure out who you are and what you want in life – which, by the way I totally support you on - then you can’t pretend that this is temporary.  

Sure, “taking a break” makes for a softer blow to the heart, but in the end it not only causes more confusion, but prolongs the actual act of independence. These kinds of life realizations and self-actualizing moments you’re on the search for don’t just happen overnight, they take time. How much time? Well, that’s the mysterious part! So if I were you I’d fully let go and let it take as long as it takes without any rules and regulations for either of you. 

The fact of that matter is this: in the years you were together you weren’t able to carve out the autonomy, the freedom, the liberation, the whatever you were yearning for, right? So while it will be sad, and at times very lonely, you need to get out of each other’s way to figure it out.

Thanks for writing in and keep me posted! xx