Dating Great! with advice by

The Cowardice of Taking Breaks

DR. DENNIS NEDER AND KYLIE Dr. Dennis Neder, Author: "Being a Man in a Woman's World"

Dear Doc,
I've been going out with this girl for 3 months now after trying to get with her for about 7. Before we got together she said she didn't want to date me because she loved me but "wasn't in love with me". She later said she was in love with me but still didn't want to let her guard down.

We finally got together and everything was going fine until last night. She dropped a bombshell when she said she needs a week break to find out how she truly feels. I feel betrayed by this and angry but I still love her. She says that in a week she hopes she comes back to me saying that she misses me and wants me back and I hope that it happens like that too.

Am I placing false hope in thinking there is a happy ending in here or could it be just that she needs this space as everything is coming at once? How can I make her fall in love with me while she thinks things through without taking away her space?

If you're content to let her lead everything here, then, yes, you're placing false hopes in the outcome. She's on the exit-plan on you're holding the door for her!

People, (or, as I like to call them: "cowards") are misusing this "break" thing within relationships to protect themselves and harm others. I hope that everyone that reads this learns how to handle the "break" properly; whether you're the one that's asking for it, or that's having it inflicted upon you!

A "break" is a very specific thing. It has very clear rules, goals and a timeframe. It is used exceedingly rarely and only with the mutual agreement of both parties. No one person in a relationship can call for a break! She gave you the timeframe (which frankly, few people do), but everything else is left up in the air.

That's not a "break", it's a "staged break up".

Let me ask you: would you cut a dog's tail off piece by piece? Of course not, that would be cruel! You'd do it all at once and get it over with. It's just as cruel to break up with someone in stages, but that's exactly what cowards do. First, they take breaks. Then, they stop answering the phone or returning email or voice mail. Then, they just let the other person find out that they're dating someone else. I have no respect for anyone of any gender that does this - and neither should you.

Do you know what else cowards do? They let someone abuse them with these so called "breaks" because they are afraid to stand up for themselves and make things happen in their relationships. They are afraid of losing someone so they tip-toe around everything and suffer alone, by themselves, instead of standing up and taking the wheel to craft a relationship that is mutually beneficial.

In any relationship you're going to be in, you're the man (right?) That means that you have both certain responsibilities AND certain rights. Regardless of what the feminists would have you believe, we are not all absolutely alike (well, at least they want you to believe that until it works to their political advantage to be different - see my latest "Hate Mail" article on my website for an example of this!)

As the man, it's YOUR job to control the relationship and give it a direction. You need to get that picture firmly implanted in your brain. As soon as you start doing this, you're going to stop being a victim of women that already know this fact.

When she said that she wanted to take a one-week break, your response should have been, "Absolutely not. Either we're in this together and we're going to work out our problems as the team that we are, or you're going to walk out that door right now, realizing that you're not welcome back. The choice is yours, but make it right now - not in one week!"

Do you think she would have reacted differently if you'd said this to her? I'll bet she would have! More important, you'd have a totally different relationship right now and wouldn't have even written to me. Now all you can do is hope that she "gets the religion" of your relationship and comes back to do what you should have done in the first place.

I'm being a little hard on you, but let's face it - you didn't handle this very well and with some minor backbone, you can turn any relationship problem into an advantage where you grow together - not apart. But that, my brother, is YOUR job as the man in this - or any relationship.

Let's talk for a moment about your next step. Unfortunately, it's not as strong as you could have had in the beginning, but your next step should be to NOT give her space. You need to contact right away and tell her that you're not going to play this game with her. Either she's in or she's out - there are no gray areas here.

If she's in, she's going to benefit by having the support of her team to get through everything. If she's out, she's on her own, but SHE TOO has responsibilities here - it's not just you!

Once she makes her decision, your stress is all gone. If she decides that she's out, then so be it. Take it away from her and let her experience that on her own. You get to see things with a new, clear eye. At the absolute worst, you walk away with your head high and get to look for someone that recognizes quality. Just because her tastes are something far less shouldn't affect you in any way - that's her problem, not yours!

However, if you approach her with this sort of strength, I'll bet she's going to change her attitude 100%. Why? Because she's not going to want to lose the benefit of the strength that you'll have shown her. If she needs support, you're proving to her that you're the guy that'll give it to her in this one simple step!

The choice is yours, but regardless your responsibilities in a relationship don't change; only attitudes and understanding do.

Best regards...
Dr. Dennis Neder

Have a love, relationship or man/woman question? I answer all email. You can write to me at for answers.
For more information about my book, "Being a Man in a Woman's World", visit:


Copyright (c) 2007 Dr. Dennis W. Neder All rights reserved.



Dr. Dennis Neder


Dr. Dennis W. Neder
Author of: Being a Man in a Woman's World
Dedicated to advancing the arts and sciences of relationships.
Start having the relationships YOU deserve!
Got a love, relationship or man/woman question? I answer all letters. You can write to me at for answers. For more information about my book, "Being a Man in a Woman's World", visit: 

Got a love, relationship or man/woman question? I answer all letters. You can write to me at for answers. For more information about my book, "Being a Man in a Woman's World", visit:

aLoveLinksPlus is pleased to feature Dr. Dennis Neder every Thursday with new articles to help men take their place as partners in a women's world.



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