Relationships

DWG: Dating While Grown - Driving and Riding Shotgun

A mild ranty-pontification this morning if I may...

There's kicking it for laughs, there's cuddling for cocoa, there's dating and there's Dating While Grown. Dating While Grown is serious business and it starts with the tenuous premise that both people in the DWG situation are really and truly grown. But I'll leave that debate ("How do you define GROWN?") for another day.

This thing about Dating While Grown is that there are certain challenges one has to anticipate from jump beyond the regular challenges of dating. The one I'd like to speak on today involves control. And of course, I must use the car metaphor to do it.

I've been chatting with some of the grown and dating and this particular set of growing pains seem to pop up regularly. The conundrum lies in one party (usually the man, sorry fellas) wanting a together, responsible, pays-her-own-bills, got-her-own-stuff, knows-her-own-mind woman to immediately allow them to take the relationship lead.

I have, on more occasions than I can count, been accused of not allowing a man to "drive the car" if you will. On some occasions that is most assuredly true. But here's my issue (staying with the car theme) - if you want a partner who not only picked out her own car, but takes care of it, drives it, knows how to navigate it, get where she's going and get back home safely... do you really think it to be easy for her to hand over the keys and say, "Here you go. Take us wherever you want."

You have got to give someone a minute to ascertain that you know how to drive this particular vehicle. You have to reassure them that you know how to navigate. No one wants to get into the car and drive in circles for hours. Ya'll don't hear me though. Ask. For. Directions. Fellas. I'm begging you. In real life and in this analogy, quit pretending that you know where you're going when you're as lost as Frosty the Snowman in Hell. 

Even more irksome than driving in circles and not having a clue where you are heading is to climb into a care where someone is reckless as all the damns. Speeding on icy roads, swerving unnecessarily, spastic breaking, you know what I'm talking about. Starts out find and then you're fishtailing towards a cliff. No. Thank. You.

My last DWG relationship was deceptively easy. We climbed into the car, drove it arond the block a few times and I offered some side-seat advice every now and then. When we got comfortable, we headed out onto the highway and opened it up. Our bad, neither of us discussed what the destination was going to be. I assumed we both wanted to head in the same direction, he assumed we'd just stop somewhere and decide if we both like it when we got there. Oops. This caused him to slam on the brakes (in the middle of the road) and flee down the highway on foot only to later realize he kinda liked the ride. Umm-hmm. Different topic. Moving on...

I was talking to another girl of mine whose new man had an opinion on everything. What she should wear, eat, take for a cold, listen to in the car, and so forth. When she assured him that she was able to dress, feed, medicate and entertain herself, he felt insulted. She felt crowded. One of my brethren indicated that he felt his woman didn't trust him to make a simple decision and therefore they could never get their relationship car out of the garage.

I get it. I do. Grown men like to run things. That's awesome. Grown women are used to running their own things. Awesome as well. But at some point, only one person needs to steer at a time. I say talk about it. Discuss it. Who drives better, who navigates better, lay out a clear destination plan before you get in the car. Now that I've worn this analogy out, I turn it over to you, BnB..

What to do when everyone wants to drive and your GPS is broken? How do you all work out the navigation of relationships? Do share...

Prom dates, past missteps and present witch hunters

Dear 6 lb, 8 oz Baby Jesus - do not let me be judged for my prom date. When I saw that someone felt it relevant to dig up and publish pictures of our 44th President's prom, I rolled my eyes so far to the left and back to the right. Because for why... really?

My prom date, who went by the classy moniker of Duck, is in the penitentiary... again. To say our paths were divergent is an understatement but me from 20 years ago thought he was fine and exciting and different.  My parents thought he was a felon. Turns out they were right. Should I be judged lo these many years later for my judgment at 18 years of age?

This past week, Nouveau Beau and I had some (limited) discussion about one of my exes. (If you missed the crazy tale of PsychoMike, go ahead and enjoy) Turns out that Nouveau Beau knows PsychoMike by professional reputation and it ain't good. Since it's been over 12 years since I dated PsychoMike, he just shook his head and said, "Well now you know better." He then went on to say that he didn't want to know about my other exes. They had no place in our relationship so let's just leave them out of it. Whew! It was all I could do not to get up and praise dance in the middle of the restaurant. 

I admit I haven't always had the best taste in men and/or when I did choose well things had a way of going south (or left or whichever direction means no bueno). I own up to my part in these dissolved relationships but I sure didn't relish having to tiptoe down the long-ass highway of Doomed Relationships Past with him. I mean some of you all have been reading the blog for a while... it's a lot to take in. Particularly all at once. 

A girlfriend of mine has just started dating again after a particularly bitter divorce. Her new man is great but his sister? She is straight CSI'ng everything about Rosa's past. Rosa said, "I wonder if this is how Obama feels, having everything he ever said or did, anyone he ever dated under scrutiny by someone looking for the absolute worst spin." I said of course it is but then she could multiply it by a gazillion media outlets with millions of dollars behind them. The witch hunt is real.

All of this to say - should we really be judged by the people we've dated in the past? Okay, maybe in the recent past, yes but ten plus years ago? Is there a statute of limitations on relationship missteps and if so, what should it be? 

Do share....

What if there's someone better?

Today's Ask a Bougie Chick comes from Cassandra. She's 32, single in Jackson, MS and has been in a committed relationship for about 18 months but lately she's wondering... is this all there is?

Hi OneChele,
I recently found your blog and love your style of writing and thinking. I noticed you have people write in with their issues and wonder if mine might be worth posting? I've been with a really great guy for close to two years. We went from being friends who hung out to friends with benefits to boyfriend and girlfriend. It was all kind of seamless. 

Recently, he's started having conversations about marriage and a part of me is flattered and thrilled at not being single any more while another part of me wonders if I'm settling because I'm so comfortable with him. I keep reading about people knowing that someone is The One and feeling a sense of certainty that the person they are with is the person they are meant to be with. I have to admit, I'm not quite there. I like him, I do love him and we're good together. We think alike and want the same things long-term.

Is that enough? Should I worry that I don't feel that utter complete faith that this is the guy I'm supposed to be with? Or am I just being selfish and looking for greener grass when things are fine here? I don't know. Maybe I"m overthinking it. Any advice from the BnB crew?
-Cassandra

Hey there. Well. Let me take this from two angles. First, my personal experience. I'm sad to say I've got a bit of experience with proposal anxiety. When someone proposes marriage you are forced to look at the relationship in it's entirety and judge its worthiness for long-term happiness. Sometimes a proposal is a logical next step, sometimes it's a wake up call to get the hell out while the getting is good. In my experience anyway. 

From your angle, a few red flags in your letter. You were pleased about the proposal because you won't be single any more? If that's your first thought, there's an issue. Next you said you liked him first then tacked on that you do love him. Just based on the overall tone of your letter I wonder if you started swirling cocoa with a good friend and let it progress because it was easier than any other alternative.

The grass isn't always greener and what's out there may not be a better fit for you than what you have at home. It depends on what exactly you think is lacking? Only you know if this guy ticks all the important boxes for you or if he's just good enough for now.

I don't know you guys. So I don't know how deep your connection runs. I do know that you can not judge your relationships by others' standards. Not everyone wants or needs to feel that bone-deep validation of This-Is-The-One-ness. Some people go with their instincts, others with their hearts, others with their brains. You have to decide what to listen to.

I will say this. If you asked me yesterday, six months ago, one year ago and three years ago if I knew who I was supposed to be with - I would have given you an absolute certain but completely different answer each time you asked. So I'm glad I took the extra time to let things play out before committing everything. Let that marinate. Ask me four different times, I'd give you four different answers. Le Bougie Shrug. I'm of the belief that when it's right, you know it and that's it. I also believe that when it's not 100% right, a part of you knows that too whether you admit it to yourself or not. But I'll let BougieLand answer.

BnB - What say you? If Cassandra has doubts, should she explore them or chalk them up to mid-relationship jitters? What would you advise her to do? Do you believe people know when they've found The One? Or is that just a fantasy? Do share...

You might be in a relationship if...


Yesterday someone joked in the comments section that we should define what a relationship is. I found it amusing until I received emails with people sharing their stories and then asking "is this a relationship?" My first reaction is to say that if you have to ask... you probably are not. My second reaction is to say - I'm not sure I can define your relationship for you. But here's five quick ways to tell if what you've got is a romantic relationship... off the top of my mind:

1) Are there strong feelings beyond casual fondness that have been declared, reciprocated and acted on by both parties? 

2) Do you want to spend quality time with this person and they with you? Do you both make an effort to? This means doing things that you both enjoy and the experience is enhanced because you are together. 

3) Do you communicate with each other on more than a physical level, regularly?

4) Are you intimate? No, not the cocoa. Have you BOTH shared things (more than a toothbrush) with each other? Personal, middle of the night, 2 shots of tequila confessional type things. Do you often know what they are going to say or think before it's said or happened? 

5) Do you both talk about the future? As in the one you have together, beyond next week or next month.

If you answered yes to three or more of these, you just might be in a relationship. On the flip side, in response to the emails... No to the following:

1) He sees me everyday! 
I see my UPS guy everyday, we are not in love.

2) We stir the cocoa all the time. 
If all your activities can be replaced by battery operated appliances, it's not a relationship. That's a smash habit.

3) But I met his mother! 
Congrats... where, when and in what context? How did he introduce you? I need more intel.

4) I leave things at his house, and he lets me! 
Um, hmm. I left my purple laptop mouse in the waiting room of a hospital in Florida. What does that mean? Nothing.

5) She gets jealous. 
I get jealous of Beyonce's hair. I don't want to date her stylist.

Honorable mention to #6 - "She brings my favorite coffee every morning and  I buy her afternoon snack. We talk and laugh together at work all the time." Okay, that's cute. Ya'll are work flirts. Any after hours beverage sipping? If that's all ya got, nah son. Don't go ring shopping quite yet.

But really, you know what the easiest way to find out if you are in a relationship is? Ask. Listen to the answer. Maybe it's a friendship. Maybe there's a kinship. A mentorship. Something more, something less. Assume nothing. Ask and act accordingly. There it is.

BougieLand, any to add to the yes or no list? Thoughts. comments, insights? Please help these folks.

Relationship Realities Week on BnB and 5 on 5


It's about that time, good people. For those of you new to BnB, we used to do a "special" week abut four times a year called Relationship Week... and then whole blog turned into relationship life. And now I basically blog about whatever pops into my mind. But Valentine's Day is this week so let's just take it there. We'll start with some getting to know you questions today. We'll have some interactive stuff later in the week. And back from a long dormant hiatus, The BnB Radio Network will re-launch on Wednesday at 8:00pm central/ 9:00pm eastern. +Carolyn Edgar and I will be joining forces with +Slim Jackson and +Darryl Frierson to discuss where the heck all these s-called relationship "experts" came from and what to do now that they're here.

Today let's do a Five on Five. Five questions, five answers and then it's your turn to answer. I was sent a list of 50 questions (excessive) about relationships and asked to answer and return. That seemed like a lot of sharing. But here are five that I found interesting:
1) Is the last person you texted someone you're in a relationship with?
My younger brother and I have a life-long relationship, so I'll say yes. 
2) Do you remember the first person you kissed, how old were you and do you know where they are now?
Yes I do. I was 14. And no I don't know where he is. No clue. 
3) Do you believe everyone deserves a second chance?
Hmmm. Depends on what they did to blow the first one. 
4) Who was the last person you danced with and are you in love with them?
I'm not naming names. In love with them? The votes are still out on that one. 
5) Could you be in a relationship with someone who doesn't make you laugh?
Absolutely not. Humorless conversation is so not the hotness.
It's your turn, answer one, answer all or merely discuss...

It's not about the bacon, baby.

Not sure where this originated but it cracked me up.
disclaimer - this is not fiction. this mess actually happened. read on:

I was sitting in an airport coffee lounge not too long ago (don't ask me to be specific, I've been in 7 airports in the last 2 months). Next to me sat a youngish (mid-20s) looking couple with breakfast. Tight as the tables were, there's very little privacy. Consequently, when the couple looking like a Banana Republic ad come to life began to quarrel, I missed not nary a minute of it.
"Jonathon, you really should have gotten the granola and yogurt." The woman was eating a fruit cup and as she spoke, she waved her spoon around for emphasis.
"But I didn't want the granola and yogurt."
"It's better for you."
He paused and sent her a significant look. "So now you know what's better for me than I do? Really Susan?"
I immediately thought, "Girl, it's a trap question! Do. Not. Engage!" But I said nothing and Susan walked into the trap.
"Well in this case it is obvious so yes, I do know what's better for you."
"Uh huh." He picked up his bacon, egg and cheese bagel and took a huge bite.
She made a disgusted face and snapped. "Are you seriously going to eat that bacon?"
"Yep." He took another bite.
"Bacon is like the worst thing in the world, you'll be dead before you're 30."
"Bacon is one of the best things God invented."
"It's salty and fattening and you'll get fat when your metabolism slows down."
"My grandfather has eaten two eggs and three slices of bacon for breakfast for the past 40 years and he's fit as a fiddle."
"It's just like playing Russian Roulette with your health."
"I'll take my chances."
"That's just silly. Pull the bacon out of the sandwich and eat the rest."
Jonathon set down his sandwich slowly (it looked delicious by the way) and looked Susan dead in her eye before announcing, "It's what I want."
"You should have the discipline to know you can't always have what you want."
"That's it, I'm done."
"With the sandwich?"
"With us."
"What do you mean you're done? Like you're breaking up with me?"
"Not like I'm breaking up with you. I AM breaking up with you."
"Over bacon?"
"It's not about the bacon, baby. It's you always thinking you know how my life should be. Even down to what I should eat for breakfast."
She looked shell shocked. "It's my way of showing you I care."
"It's not working for me."
"I don't want to break up."
Ya'll already know what he said, right?
"You should have the discipline to know you can't always have what you want."
Dude walked off to eat his sandwich in peace. I was both fascinated and repelled. On the one hand, I'd never witnessed the actual break up of another couple. I've had enough of my own not to want to sit in on other folks' awkward "I'm outta here" moments. On the other hand, I was also irked that he went there in public. Dude, get through the plane ride and tell her when you land.

But then again, who knows how long it had been building up. That damn bacon was apparently the last straw. The bacon was the straw that broke that relationship's back. Now I don't know how long they were together and what there back story was. It's like a meteor strike. No one knows where it formed or how long it took to reach the earth's atmosphere. All we see is the impact and the fallout. Yes, BougieLand - I've now compared bacon to a meteor. Let me wrap this up.

It got me to thinking - do we know when we're approaching that bacon moment? Have we sat in relationships thinking "if he/she says one more damn thing about *insert issue here* - I'm outta here? Have we been the Susan, just positive we are doing what's best while the other person is ready to flee? Who do you empathize with? Susan or Jonathon? What's with the public break-up? Who has done this and why?

Are men really intimidated by uberSuccessful women?


As many of you know, there is a popular meme that one of the reasons why so many of the "Black SuperWoman" types are still single and in fact struggling to find a date is because men are intimidated by all the glossy wonderfulness. There is an entire cottage industry devoted to answering that 'Why still single?" question on our behalf. Be that as it may, I wanted to see if this is a real thing or something women tell ourselves to feel better about being alone. 

So I took a straw poll. Not a big one but still... I asked 20 guys, some married and some single, ranging in age from 25 - 45. I asked two questions:
  • Do guys ever think that a woman is "out of his league" and if so, do they admit it?
  • Would you be intimidated to date/marry a woman far more successful (professionally) than you?
Mayhaps it's the guys I know but 20 out of 20 fellas said they do know when they are dating "above themselves" but that it's something they never admit. 20 of 20 said that their boys are the first ones to tell them "Dude, she's out of your league." Apparently, this does not deter a man from trying. As one of the fellas said, "Everyone wants to climb Mt. Everest, men always believe they can be the one lucky bastard to make it to the top." (And ladies, aren't we worth the climb?)

4 out of the 20 guys said they would not be comfortable dating/marrying a woman who was way more successful than they are. 16 of the guys said they had no problem with it. Of that 16, 10 said they would love for a woman to bring home more than half and/or all the bacon. 

On the flip, I know when I was living in Marina del Rey, I went out with a guy who was cool until he saw the car I drove and realized where I lived. His exact words, "Oh you getting down like that?" He proceeded to bail and later sent me an email saying he wasn't down for a high-maintenance diva with standards he had to constantly live up to. Umm... it was appetizers at the Cheesecake Factory son. Calm down. So was he intimidated by my paycheck or by his perception that I was high maintenance and he couldn't maintain me?

Also, the 20 fellas said it was more likely that a man would be intimidated by looks before accomplishment but that wouldn't stop them from hollering. Haven't we talked about seeing a couple together and wondering "What is she doing with him?" and vice versa? Someone decided it was worth the climb.

I remember seeing an interview with Stevie Nicks (of Fleetwood mac) and Sheryl Crow and they were talking about the difficulties in being the star in a relationship. As Sheryl said, "No one wants to hold the purse and be called Mr. Crow all night."

So today's questions - Are men intimated by more successful women? Women does this even apply for us? Do we only "swim in our lanes" when we approach somebody? What say ye? Talk the quiz and leave a comment.

Men vs. Women: Who's better at bouncing back?


This week, let's do some Battle of the Sexes type commentary...

@EarthAngel172 and @TiffanyNHouston and I were discussing the myth that men bounce back from failed relationships quicker than women. 

Yeah. I said it. It's a myth. I know folks have you thinking that women lie around in their grungy sweats eating ice cream, watching The Notebook and lamenting for lost loves while men are out getting it in two days after a major break up. Trust and believe that this is no indication that the woman is stuck in CouldaWouldaShouldaville while dude has moved on. I beleive men are better at appearing to move on. In other words, I think men are quick to say they are over it while women actually do get over it. 

In fact, let's take a moment and define the BounceBack. Bouncing back from a relationship means actually accepting that it is over and allowing yourself to truly be happy with another without glancing back. Bouncing back also means not holding onto the anger or the bitterness (or the plan to run someone over in the parking lot at 2:00 am in an unmarked car - wait, that's just me - moving on) any more. When you can truly set the relationship in the closed file and think "NEXT!" without remorse, sorrow or pain? That's a BounceBack. This bounce may take 20 minutes (I can't be the only one who has stayed in a relationship too long so by the time we officially broke up it was like "Buh-Bye Now"), it may take 20 months... there may be no bouncing back from some relationships. [Lord, the boomerang relationships, where you keep going back? Don't get me started]

I also think it depends on the depth and seriousness of the break up. If you were just kicking it for a week or two versus being in a progressive 2+ year relationship makes a difference. Some say it takes a month for every year you were in the relationship to get over it. I say you bounce back when you bounce back and that's that. So who's better at it?

To clarify, bouncing on top of (or under, however you get down) another person is not a sign that one has bounced back. Indeed this is sometimes an indication that one is NOT over it and seeking to hide the pain through excessive endorphin release. [Hence the entire concept of rebound relationships]

In my experience, men hold onto hurts, perceived slights, break ups WAY longer than women - they just don't cop to it. A man will remember the name of the chick who snubbed him on the playground between 3rd and 4th period back in junior high. I know more dudes that swear "I'm over it" but still have girl's name in the cellie, still track her on FB and know exactly who she's seeing now and how it's going. I know a dude who four years later still drives past his ex-wife's house on his way to work. Five days a week, out of his way, to roll past the house. They are both married to new people. That's so not over it.

Women on the other hand, tend to hold onto the pain and nurse it for a minute. They discuss it, dissect it, review it and rehash it until one day either everyone has told her to woman up already, she meets someone who makes her wonder why she missed the last one or she woke up and it's just like... meh. Over it. Women are hardwired to express our emotions (sometimes overly so), men not so much. Not saying men are not sensitive, talkative, let's-get-into-it creatures. Just saying that hallmark carding every thought is not so much a man thing (in my experience).

Nor do I believe that the best way to get over one person is to get under another. But since we're going discussion style this week, I'll let you all battle it out in the comments - who's better at truly getting over love lost? Men or women? Is it harder for men to admit "defeat" in a relationship due to ego? Vote and do tell us your thoughts in the comments section. What say you?

The fellas ask: So we're guilty until proven innocent?


In the aftermath of the trust post from last week, I received a lot of emails and tweets. All levels and ranges of responses from the positive "Thanks for opening the discussion" to the other side of the spectrum. Some were saying that I was ignorant and/or irresponsible, that I was aiding and abetting rapists, that I was just as criminal in my thinking as the perpetrator, that I was racist. Others indicated that I don't know about the number of black women being assaulted. It went on and on. For those who felt I was insensitive or those who missed my point (which was not at all about rape or victimization or the criminal justice system) - okay, I heard you. Thanks for sharing. Let's move on, shall we?

There was, however; one line of questioning that I will follow-up on. More than one gentleman asked me - If women are so wary that they are assuming all men are guilty (of something) until proven innocent, how do we ever build real relationships?

Excellent question. As always, disclaimer first: I'm not a relationship expert. I've just been to the three-ring circus and seen the clowns more times than we need to discuss. Okay? Moving on...

Let's pull apart the premise first. There are several myths wrapped up in here. First being that real relationships are not being built everyday. There is also the myth that there are no good professional single straight men without eleventy million babies' mamas left in the United States. There is the myth that of the two decent men left, one of them is a dog and the other one only dates white women. There is the myth that women don't move on from their pasts but are quick to paint the next guy with the ex's brush. These are myths that need to be debunked, killed dead, buried deep and never no more resurrected.

But the allure of these myths is wrapped up in the unmistakable truth for many of my professional sisters- a good man is hard to find and hard to keep. (Bruhs, my bad - I know it's hard out there for you too)

All that being said, not all women believe men are guilty until proven innocent. However, many of us have encountered a rascal or two along the way so we may have to side eye you for the first 60 90 180 days. Nothing against you personally, gents. It's the whole once bitten, twice shy concept. We're going to try not to lump you in with your ratchet brethren that have come before but I gotta tell you, if we see some of those same tendencies and mannerisms in you, we're going to be right skittish. Like I once announced, "I'm going to try not to drag the entire seven piece matching set that is my relationship baggage into our thing, but this overnight bag is heavy on it's own."

"So what can we do, Chele?"

Well let me tell you, fellas... you're not going to like it. But you're going to have to communicate. You're going to have to ask why every now and then your new boo thang looks at you like she's waiting for you to pull on hockey mask and grab a chainsaw. Relationships are a journey and how will you know how to navigate without a map? That's how relationships go off target, folks get to barreling along without knowing they've hit quicksand and next thing you know? You're sunk. 

And you're going to have to be transparent. I don't mean oversharing. What I mean is that if you say you are going to say or do or be somewhere... let it be so. Consistently. Don't make a woman wonder where your interest lies or what you're really after. Speak plain and let your actions reflect it. 

Not to let the ladies off the hook. The same rings true for us as well. Far too many chicas out there making it hard for the rest of us. We've all run up against that guy who just got out of a bad breakup with a chick who cut such a fool, no one in his family even mentions her name. Yeah, don't be that chick. Don't expect a man to read your mind. They are not that magical (no shade, guys, IJS). When something is on your mind, speak on it before it becomes a festering wound. Again, transparency. 

SO beyond saying both sides need to just. do. better. I guess I'm saying, isn't it worth it in the end to put a bit of due diligence in at the beginning? BougieLand, what say you? Ladies, do you prejudge men based on your past experiences? Fellas, do you feel that you are being judged before you even have a chance to state your case? Do share...

Do "relationship timeouts" ever really work?


I was talking to a girlfriend of mine the other day. She said she and her man have been verbally sparring and generally not vibing lately. They've been together for about three years, not married yet and things are getting a little choppy. It's clearly past time for everyone to put their cards on the table and see who is all in. Instead, they decided that what they need is a little break from one and other. She asked, "Do you think it will work?" And by work, she meant did I think that the two of them being apart for a while would eventually bring them closer together. Well, let's talk about this for a minute.

I'm not sure I understand relationship breaks. I've tried this twice and both times at the end of the "break" period we were done. In my cases, the break was really just a prelude to the break up. Sometimes a break is a chance to get the other person used to the idea of being without you. It's a relationship purgatory, if you will, where eventually you go to the happy place or the unhappy place. Sometimes it's a wake-up call. But mostly (in my experience) it's a stopgap because neither party is completely ready to pull the plug or stay together. It's an uncomfortable place to be. 

Another complicated thing about breaks - what are the rules? Are you still seeing each other, are you seeing other people? Do you talk, text, tweet? Are you going to share what happened on the break with each other after the break is over? Does what happened on the break, stay on the break? How long is the break? Do both parties have to agree to the break? Is it like a performance improvement plan and there are things that need to be upgraded prior to continuing? 

Then again, there are definitely times in a relationship when you want to throw a flag on the play and penalize somebody. At that time, it's best to separate the players until things cool down. Maybe a break is an opportunity to step back and gain perspective? Or an opportunity to miss the water when the well runs dry? Or the chance for the mice to play while the cat is away? Once I start typing in metaphors, it's time to move on. 

To me, once you get to the point in a relationship where you feel you need a physical and mental break - that's problematic. But does problematic necessarily mean catastrophic? The best advice I could give her was to put some clear cut parameters around the break. Set a time frame and rules of engagement. Have some sort of plan in place for after the break. If everything is going to be just the same as it was before the break, what's the point? 

What I'm asking, BougieLand - what are your thoughts on relationship breaks? Have you done this? How did it go? Do we know of any that resulted in the couple getting back together and working it out? Please share...