She Wants a Break

Q: My girlfriend and I have been together for almost a year. We are very happy together and have talked about getting married. This weekend, she suggested that we take a 3 to 4 week break this summer to make sure that we should be together. During the break, we will only talk on the phone and will not spend any time together. I have agreed but am starting to wonder whether it is a good move or not. Are breaks a good idea for happy couples? -- Andy, 22

Dr. Susan: In my experience, requesting a break often has a deeper meaning to the requester. The two of you need to set the ground rules for any separation. Does your girlfriend mean that by dating other guys, she will be able to make up her mind whether you and she are meant to be together? Spending time apart can heighten the joy of getting back together, but it won't teach you anything about getting along with one another or learning to communicate. Or anything, really. You can't, and shouldn't, force her not to want a break, but you can insist on knowing her true reasons.

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