Tell me if this sounds familiar: With summer coming, you’ve already started imagining all the warm weather adventures you and your SO will get up to. Trips to the beach, romantic dinners at outdoor venues, maybe even a getaway or two. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, bae drops the bomb that they want to separate for the season. Wait, what? What does that even mean if your partner wants to take a break over the summer? Is it officially time to hit the panic button? I mean, is this even normal?
According to Trina Leckie, breakup coach and host of the Breakup BOOST podcast, it’s not exactly uncommon for people to want to pause the relationship in the summer, but it does offer some insight into just how seriously they are taking the relationship in general. “I would say this is common for people who aren’t looking for anything serious and are kind of all over the map when it comes to dating,” she tells Elite Daily. Erica Gordon, millennial dating expert, founder of The Babe Report, and author of Aren’t You Glad You Read This?, seconds this opinion. “Taking a break is not normal if it’s true love,” she tells Elite Daily. It all comes down to immaturity and getting caught up in the “paradox of choice.” Gordon explains this as “unwittingly discarding a prize possession for the opportunity explore other options. These people usually regret allowing the illusion of choice to sabotage what they had with someone amazing.”
Is it really just that easy? Does someone wanting to take seasonal hiatus from their relationship just a sign that they want to explore their options? The experts say it’s a little more complicated than that. Here’s what they explain this request from your SO could mean — and what to do about it.
1. They want to see other people.
If your partner wants to see other people, Gordon says, it might just be simple as that — they want to be free to meet new people and follow their desires without being beholden to you. “During the summer months, everyone comes out of hiding, and during the summer there are a lot more social events and more opportunities to meet people. Temptation is everywhere — barely clothed — and your partner has a fear of missing out on those opportunities,” she explains. It can also just be a tactic to justify behavior. “They want to fool around with other people guilt-free,” adds Leckie.
2. They want to have their cake and eat it too.
You might wonder why, if your SO wants to get back out there and meet new people, they don’t just end the relationship. Gordon says it’s because they could be hedging their bets. “Taking a break means your partner can have their cake and eat it, too. They don’t want to have to answer to you this summer, but they also don’t want to lose you,” says Gordon.
3. They want to find out if the grass is actually greener elsewhere.
Summer is an exciting time, with lots to do and see and plenty of freedom — some of which is naturally curtailed if you are attached. So, your SO’s desire to separate for the season may just be a sign they are suffering from FOMO. “Some people feel like summer is the opportune time to meet new people, so they don’t want to get miss out,“ Leckie says.
It could be that what they are missing out on is finding out what else is out there for them. “They might be interested in seeing if something better is out there,” says Gordon, who suggests that this should be taken as a sign that they don’t care about you the way you deserve to be cared for. “In essence, the suggestion of a break is a statement that says they’re just not that into you,” she explains.
4. They are craving freedom or feel trapped in the relationship.
It’s possible, Gordon says, that the request for a summer break may not always be about wanting to see other people, or even about how the person feels about their partner. It could simply be about needing to get some space, and they using the summer as an excuse or an impetus for opening up about it. “Sometimes, the need for a break stems from your partner feeling ‘tied down’. Are you always keeping tabs on them? Do you act controlling, needy or jealous? Do you give them any freedom? First, ask yourself if you’re acting in a way that warrants a break, and if not, know that the suggestion of a break simply isn’t fair,” advises Gordon.
What to do when your partner asks for a summer break from the relationship.
Knowing why your partner wants a break is just the first step in dealing with this situation; the next step is up to you, and that’s what to do about it. Gordon says what happens next depends on how you feel about their suggestion. “If you’re interested in meeting other people this summer as well, keep an open mind,” she suggests. "However, if a break isn’t something you really want, stand up for what you feel you deserve. If you feel you are worthy of a partner who only wants to be with you and would never risk sabotaging your relationship, then this ‘break’ should actually be a break up,” she concludes.
Ultimately, the reason they want to take a break for the summer matters less than how you feel about it and what it is that you want. If you don’t mind the break, great! Take the season off from the relationship and regroup when the weather cools again. However, if this is something you don’t want, or it undercuts your self worth and self confidence, then perhaps your best bet is to take Leckie’s final bit of advice: “If they are willing to let you go because the season has changed, they are actually doing you a favor by revealing their true feelings towards you. Sure it may sting, but the sting will only be temporary. Go full-on no contact so you can move on as quickly as possible. And if they come back after their ‘summer fun’, do not be available for them. Ignore.” ‘Nuff said.
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