My boyfriend of three years and I have been growing a part for the past few months. We have been arguing and spending less and less time together to the point where we don’t have sex like before. I finally got him talking and he told me he wants to find himself. He’s been struggling a lot lately with his career and getting the job he wants. I asked him if he wanted to find himself by taking time off from me. He told me he’s afraid of losing me.
I feel stuck. I kinda want to take some time too and focus on trying to lose weight and get a hold of my own life. I’m just scared to. Is it really bad to take a break? And how do I know for how long?
By the way, I’ve been reading your book. It’s hilarious. I’m done having a broken heart all the time and being disappointed.
Taking a Break
Dear Taking a Break,
Taking a break can be a positive step in a relationship if and only if the break is used to solve issues. Your boyfriend doesn’t seem to be happy with his place in life, especially professionally. And so it makes sense that he wants to focus on his life and improve his situation.
Men are especially sensitive when it comes to career growth and financial success. To men, professional success and money equals manhood. If he feels he is lost and doesn’t have a grip on his career or finances he will feel like less of a man, and he will not be the man you need him to be. Many men choose to be single (and not date) when they are broke or struggling at work. He is no exception.
Now, should you take a break? I think you want to. You said it yourself – you want to work on things on your own. What will this break look like? Take a page from one of my friend’s book. Her and her boyfriend took time off from their relationship. During their break, they still communicated as friends. And they didn’t date other people while they were on the break. He focused on applying to graduate school while she focused on her health and some issues with her family. When they both felt they could fully invest in the relationship again, they reunited.
So, talk to your man about the break. Set ground rules and, yes, give yourself a timeframe. A break isn’t supposed to last forever. If it does, well, that’s a break up. Your first step is to figure out what it looks like for you so your needs are also met. Then come together and find a resolution.
P.S. I’m glad you’ve enjoyed Love Trips! Thanks for reading!
Love strongly and wisely,
Photo Credit: Flickr.com/Kaderli.