What Exactly Does It Mean When It’s a “Break” and Not a Breakup?

What Exactly Does It Mean When It’s a “Break” and Not a Breakup?

For Vanderpump Rules' Lala Kent and her man Rand, what did it mean?

By Marianne Garvey
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Lala Kent Spills the Tea on Her Split From Randall Emmett

We were on a break!

Lala Kent and Randall Emmett shocked their Vanderpump Rules pals (and viewers) when Lala revealed the two were taking a break from each other after too much fighting. BTW, things are back to normal now, Lala just called Rand her "date for life."

Glad to see things are back to normal in Lala's world — she's back on the private jet and hopefully she got the Gucci slides back that Rand confiscated during their time out. But what happens on a break? Does Lala move out of the house they share? Can you date other people? What are the rules when you're on a break?

Fran Greene, relationship expert and author of Dating Again with Courage and Confidence tells Personal Space that if you don't intend on making a clean split, you need to discuss the rules during a break.

First, decide how many days, weeks, or months the break will be. "It is essential that the both of you decide the length of the time apart. Ideally, the break should be no less than a month and no more than three months," Greene says. "What is equally important is that both of you agree (at least somewhat) on the time frame. Having an honest discussion is crucial no matter how uncomfortable it is."

Discuss the reasons for the break. "Regardless if you are the one who wants the break or not, both of you must be candid with yourselves and each other why the break is needed. The reason for a break is very simple yet so difficult. The purpose of the time apart is to decide if splitting up is the best decision or if by being apart you realize that you want to be together for the long haul and want more than anything to make the relationship stronger and better," Greene says.

Pinpoint the expectations during the break. "This one is the most challenging and complicated, especially if you want to date other people. Always keep in mind the goal of the time apart (to stay or move on). If one of you wants to date and the other is terrified at the thought of losing the love of your life it is better to know sooner than later that the relationship is not meant to be," says Greene.

"You don’t have to date just because your partner wants to date but saying no to it could just speed up a break up rather than a possible future together. Being intimate with someone else violates the boundaries of the relationship and if it occurs the damage could be irreversible. The goal needs to be getting clarity about your future together. I highly recommend keeping a journal of your thoughts and feelings during the break. It will help you to assess the time spent apart."

To talk or not to talk? "This is the most vital and critical piece of taking a break," Greene says. "Think of your time away as detoxing. Do not have any contact. No texting, FaceTiming, phone calls, emails, meet ups. You get it. This time apart is just that, for you to experience not having your partner in your life. You should experience the full range of emotions — worries, joys, freedom, loneliness, fears. Having contact is only a band aid. Remember you are taking a break to see if what you have is something you want forever or not."

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