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My Guy Wants to Take a Break But I Don't


Published August 5, 2015 at 10:00 a.m.

Dear Athena,

I have been dating a guy (more like "going out," as we did not consider each other "boyfriend and girlfriend"), and when all seemed well, he said that we should "pick things up in September when school starts." He also said that he feels we're both too busy for a relationship, even though I personally was prepared to make time for it. I'm not sure if we broke up or if he is just truly too busy to talk to anyone. Please help!


Clearly Confused

Dear Clearly Confused,

This sounds like a case of two people wanting two different things. You want more. He wants a break.

I've never been a fan of breaks. They're often a veiled way for one person to have their cake and eat it, too. Still, I think they can work sometimes. It really depends on the circumstances.

If a well-established couple is going through a rough patch, then a little room to breathe might make all the difference. This only works when the two ultimately want to be together but just need some time to figure things out. Even so, they have to be willing to take the risk that the "vacation" might sever their bond. A little space can potentially bring people closer, but it's a slippery slope.

You both have to want the break. You both have to communicate about how the time off is going to go down. Boundaries need to be established. Does the break mean you can see other people? If you can pull that off and come back together, then more power to you. But, again, you both have to want that. And if only one of you does, you're better off calling it quits.

My instincts in this case tell me he wants something that you don't. And don't bother trying to convince him to be with you. If he can't find the time, or doesn't want to, then he's not for you. Should you wait around until he feels like coming back to you? No.

He might be great in lots of ways, but he's lacking in the most important one: interest in you. You deserve someone who is enthusiastic about you, excited and available. When you're with someone, that person should be a priority. It doesn't sound like you are on this guy's priority list, and for that reason I'd say goodbye.