Freedom on a leash

If you love someone let them go. If they come back to you they are yours, if they don’t, they never were- Anonymous.

I might make some people mad, but that might be the biggest crock of SH*T I’ve ever heard, and I’ll tell you why  (brace yourself, this might be a long one. Go get a snack and come back…ready? Ok).

Let  me put this in context of a real relationship. Boy meets Girl, Boy and Girl are together. Girl senses things are different, Boy denies. After various conversations about it, Boy tells girl he needs a break. Just to make it interesting, lets say Girl had been telling Boy it sounded like he wanted out, which Boy vehemently denied.

Surely, the little details about the conversations they had in the interim would give this story a little more life, but they don’t really matter. For people who need just a little more background, say Boy didn’t know if he was ready for the commitment, was searching for something in himself, something along those line. As for Girl, Girl was trying to feel a little more comfortable about the situation, but the whole take a break thing left her unsure of how she felt about their whole relationship.

I’m going to completely disregard Boy and his whole take on everything, as he is the one who wanted the break. For me, Girl is the person who is placed in the quandry. She the one who really has to reflect on the sagacity of the aforementioned anonymous quote.

In terms of taking the break, she has no choice. I don’t know how anyone can be in a relationship by him or herself (even though I can’t say I don’t know people who have given that venture the old college try, and failed). What she can decide, though, is if she will wait to see if the whole break thing will really pan out, or if it’s a cowards way to break up.

Let’s delve just a little deeper: are there boundaries on said break? If Boy and Girl decided to be single during their break, could Boy get mad if Girl started dating/ entertaining male company, generally doing the things she gave up because she was blissfully in coupledom? Hell, if Girl does do those things, doesn’t it mean she is taking the break seriously, taking that old adage and trying to see if it is true? If nothing else, if she is letting herself get back on the market and giving Boy the space he said he needs, isn’t she giving love the freedom to run it’s course?

That’s not to say it won’t cause friction between Boy and Girl…and that’s the craziest thing about “taking a break” to me. If one party decides they want to be single, whether they envision it this way or not, they are giving the other party license to be single as well.  Now if Boy gets pissed about it…how can he be mad (and rightfully mad) if he was the one that wanted the break in the first damn place?

Moving away from that angle, let’s say Boy and Girl have kept it amiable, but Girl decides that this break was the best thing that ever happened for her. Maybe being apart gave her some insight into his character she never had before, maybe she just decided the whole relationship thing was for the birds, maybe she felt that ol’ buddy had spun her wheels and she wasn’t hopping back onto the merry-go-round for more of the bullsh*t. Does that mean she didn’t love him, or does that mean that time and distance gave her clarity?

Sigh. I want to wrap this up because I feel like I could keep going. My stance on breaks, as you might already be able to tell, is that they can easily lead to break up. If you let someone go but hold out hope they are going to come back to you, you might not completely let them go. You might put him or her on a time schedule and end up pissed off that the time that he or she needed does not match the time you were willing to give them to sort it out. You might love someone deeply and feel that this need for a break means they weren’t ever really yours to begin with, that someone you thought was there for a lifetime was really only meant to be there for a season.

Overall though, I think the scariest thing is taking that step,  being willing to let the person go. Though the love endures, you might find out it’s not that “romantic, happily ever after” kind of love, but the “I love you as a person and I would never want to see bad happen to you” kind of love. You might find out it’s the kind of love come back 50 years later, when both of you have already lived out the lives you dreamed you’d have together with some other man or woman cast as your husband or wife.

It’s a toss up, and there is no way to predict the outcome.


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