Monday, November 12, 2012

Pump Your 'Breaks'

Imagine you’ve been on the phone for the past hour and you’ve been put on hold…and then essentially hung up on by that customer service representative whose tone of voice indicated that she was too through caring about why the internet-phone-TV package you are paying for wasn’t working for you. There was no closure or solution; just an empty dial tone full of bitterness and denial. As the music droned, you continued to see red and wondered why she wasn’t just upfront about not being there for you in your time of media systems crisis so that you could find someone else who would. Well, at least that’s one way of looking at the infamous relationship “break”. Most of the people I encounter in the dating scene don’t know what the heck a break really is, or what it actually entails. Numerous questions dance in their heads like: Are we still…together? Should I change my Facebook status to something more ambiguous? Why did he change his Facebook status?! How long is this supposed to last? If they cheat, can you technically call it cheating since we’re on a break? Should we contact each other? Should I call him/her first – will that make me look desperate? Are we allowed to see other people? Is he seeing HER?! This list could go on and on, so here’s my definition:

A “break” n. - The metaphorical equivalent of slowly pulling the band-aid off halfway, allowing infection to set into your relationship.

You’ve probably been hit with the break by at least one partner like a foul ball that pops you in the head while you’re scarfing down nachos at a baseball game. Your relationship was probably at a point where it seemed to be running over every possible bump in the road for no reason; and while you longed to communicate the heck out of those irrational problems, your partner jumped ship and suggested you two “just take a break”. While some breaks are mutual between partners as a type of breather, most are not. Why? Because one partner is seeking a temporary out, but wants to leave his/her option open to return in case the grass isn’t as green on the other side and is, rather, infested with zombies, or some other flesh eating virus. Let me tell you, I NEVER do breaks. Like, ever. To me, it’s a cop-out. My philosophy is, ‘don’t let the door hit ya where the Good Lord split ya, because you’re never walking back through my door again’. Breaks are indecisive, indefinite and inconsiderate if it’s nowhere in the other person’s parameters of working things out; especially if it’s a way of avoiding communication and confrontation…or the truth. Most likely, your “break” is his/her spring break, and while you’re journaling out ways to make things better when(ever) s/he comes back, your love is probably playing beach volleyball with the half-naked trainer. My advice to you, dear readers: never tolerate the suggestion of a break in your romantic relationship. If you’re both mature enough to be in it for the long haul, great! Work out and talk through your problems. If worse comes to worse, fully break up and perhaps you two will find your way back to each other down the road. Wouldn’t you want to be given the chance to find someone who appreciates you and your time instead of pining away for someone who is taking you for granted? Never put your life on hold for someone else.

What's your definition of "taking a break"? Have you ever been on one? What did you do or not do?