DEAR HARRIETTE: I am not currently in a relationship, but I was wondering about them. My best friend and her boyfriend are currently “on a break.” When I asked her what that meant, she summed it up as she and her boyfriend are allowed to see other people, but they are still in communication. As soon as I heard this, I was confused. Why would you want to continue talking to your partner, yet see other people? Doesn’t that mean your feelings for that person aren’t there or strong anymore, so you want to see other people? I don't understand this relationship status, and I wanted to hear what your perspective on this is. -- They Are on a Break, New Orleans
DEAR THEY ARE ON A BREAK: You should be confused. This type of "taking a break" usually leads to the end of a relationship. At the very least, it typically leads to hurt feelings and lack of intimacy. While your friend may feel that this is what she needs or wants to do, I do not recommend it. It’s best to create a clean break when you decide to end a relationship, or work together through your problems to see if you have a future.