Under the Kilt: Breaking down the ins and outs of taking a break


Courtesy of Universal Pictures
Courtesy of Universal Pictures

“Just let it die / With no goodbyes / Details don’t matter / We both paid the price,” a wonderful vocalist named Mariah Carey once sang. Carey brings up a prominent point, however, that many people in relationships fight for a relationship that is beyond saving by employing useless gimmicks. But relationships aren’t machines, and there are no set steps to repair them. Taking a momentary break and returning to normalcy is nearly impossible and just isn’t realistic. If your relationship suffers from chronic breaks and separation, it’s only a matter of time before a permanent end becomes a reality.

Taking a break in relationships has been a form of coping to quell various aspects of being in a demanding relationship. The idea is that a break allows for some alone time among significant others to think about their problems while self-reflecting. In theory, this sounds like a foolproof plan to repair any relationship damage and return things to the way they used to be. But while people are fixated on the surface meaning of the notion, they ignore what the action actually ends up doing to the relationship at hand.

While taking a break does allow for some alone time, it also makes certain issues fester and become larger because the anger is only being mitigated through avoidance, rather than combating it directly with your mate. Eric Alido, first-year sociology major states, “The point of being in a relationship is to be with your significant other through thick and thin, and to work on any trials and tribulations as a couple. Taking breaks means you’re already working towards a dead end.”

It’s definitely a valid point to declare that people in relationships should stick together because that’s what the premise of a romantic relationship is. You vow to stick together even when things become rocky and the future ahead is uncertain. Separation begins to create a void between the couple because certain rules and boundaries the relationship was founded on become weakened. Some will feel as though they can do things out of spite such as getting flirtatious with another person at a party or kickback, and other things they normally would not do because they are temporarily disconnected with their significant other.

There will be some who defend the implementation of breaks and argue that having alone time will make you realize how important your significant other is. This may work for some people, as long as they are not solely relying on wishful thinking and fantasies to smooth the pain. You can’t leave your relationship to chance or fate, because there are so many anomalies and outside factors that can make taking breaks difficult. “It promotes unhappiness because having time to yourself in solitude allows you to think yourself into more negativity and unnecessary thoughts. You start pointing out flaws and negative things instead of trying to make things better. You end up corrupting yourself,” third-year biology student Joana Schillinger remarked.

During that interval, the two scorned lovers will likely attempt to seek solace from a variety of friends who will all give their commentary on the relationship. Hearing everyone’s opinion but your partner’s could weaken your own conviction of your relationship because you are letting outsiders into the fray. You are taking their advice in a state of vulnerability and appraising it as gospel which could cause you to think in a drastic way. Talking directly to your significant other about any grievance is the only solution because you’re exchanging words and emotions that are organic, which will ultimately lead you to understand each other more when you are both in states of emotional distress. If it comes to the point where you need to take a break, understand that it can be the determining factor for whether the relationship lasts.

Taking a break isn’t the end of the world, but it’s definitely not a good sign that things are on the right track. It means there is something seriously wrong with the relationship, and tiptoeing around issues and separating for an unknown period of time will only speed up the breakup. When faced with the opportunity to take a break, understand that relationships are living and breathing things that need to be tended to constantly. Take a garden for example: If you leave the garden unattended just because it’s become a handful to manage, it’ll eventually die because of the avoidance to do anything about it. Treat your relationship like a thriving garden, and know when your best is not good enough so you can walk away knowing you tried everything.

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