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Can a Break in a Relationship Truly Work?


You’ve endured three hours of their bland company and consumed two bottles of cheap wine – finally it’s time to say goodbye. In fear of being deemed unchivalrous he walks you to your night bus. You knew almost instantaneously that you didn’t fancy him, dosage and the highlight of your evening was that haphazard and half-cut swipe through Tinder as he pardoned himself for the bathroom.

As you bid him good-riddance, he leans in to hug you. Desperate to end the facade, you humour him and pitifully fill the silence with a graciously insincere remark; “we should do it again sometime.”

As his grip tightens, you attempt to peel away from his protruding gut but he has other intentions.

Oh god, here we go. The pity-kiss.

Courtesy Winch - opt. 2

If you passed me on the street, the last word that would come to mind is ‘intimidating’. I’m just shy of five foot and my face is disarmingly symmetrical and innocent. Yet, that’s how men describe me.

Rightfully so unwilling to settle for someone, I’m what one might call a serial dater. I’m fortunate to have the advantage of knowing what I want from life; I want to write, I want to be successful, I want to comfortably afford Chanel handbags and I want to achieve it entirely on my own. I can understand why a man might find my arrogant self-assurance intimating – at what point would he fit into my perfect life? Certainly behind the Chanels.

What I’m trying to say is that I have no qualms snubbing a potential suitor’s advances.

So why is it I still reciprocate the kiss of a man that I’d sooner flee?

Why? Because I’m British and I’m afraid of seeming impolite.

A nation renowned for its tight-lipped nature and enthusiasm for queuing, this politeness epidemic has now infiltrated our romantic inclinations, pushing us to lock lips with strange men in bad shoes so not to risk offending them.

For a long time I thought I was the only woman that pity-kissed, but it turns out I’m not alone. A deed so desolately common, this act of kindness has attained its own turn of phrase in Scotland – the courtesy winch.

Last weekend I (willingly) kissed an old acquaintance on the stickied dance floor of a club, and as we parted lips he remarked, “My mate told me to watch out for you, he said you’re a prick-tease.” I knew who his friend was – a man that I had once dared to reject and failed to kiss back – the perfect case of a boy-scorned.

Not wanting to be coined a tease, frigid or uptight, us pity-kissers reluctantly reciprocate. But where does it stop? Before we know it, we’ll find ourselves waking up next to them, accepting their marriage proposals and bearing their children, all because we were too polite to say, “No thanks.”

Courtesy Winch - opt. 1

If you read this and deemed me pathetic, you’re right to. My incessant need to please like a British poster girl is woeful. But for those of you who read this with a familiar empathy, it’s time to embrace the art of jilting. Get on that night bus and never look back.

Written by Pippa Bugg

I used to think asking for a break in a relationship was so cliché and disrespectful, website how could it work and what exactly did it resolve?

Whenever I had asked on social media whether a break in a relationship can or has worked, I’d often always receive a resounding ‘no’ as an answer, with no further justification as to why.

What initially comes to my mind and I’m sure many others when discussing breaks, is that classic episode of Friends, where Ross yells ‘We were on a break!’ after Rachel had found out he had slept with someone else in a very short space of time. But what if you’re not as clueless as Ross and understand that your commitment needs a temporary breather which doesn’t include lying naked between the sheets with a different person?


You might want to shoot me, but I think a break in a relationship can work at times and it can be completely healthy, depending on the time of the break and the reason for it. It’s important to understand that relationships do not come with a manual nor is there a blueprint to a successful commitment. Absolutely every relationship works differently.

A very good friend of mine called Maria* who has been with her boyfriend for over 3 years admitted that she went on a break from her partner for two weeks in the second year of their relationship. She explained they were arguing too much and she needed it to decide whether she could continue being with her boyfriend. My response then was, ‘Well what exactly is a break? What are you doing throughout that time? What is he doing during this break?’ It can sound like a cop out for people unable to fix their issues.

When I think about the taboo that surrounds going on a break, you realise how people misunderstand it. The couple who have an on and off relationship aren’t above the couple who understand they need a mutual break from each other for a while. I mean, don’t get me wrong, running for the fire exit every time things go pear shaped isn’t exactly healthy, but when exercised properly it can strengthen a relationship.

The problem so many commitments have is learning how to communicate properly. We’re not listening to each others wants, so we make up our own interpretation in our heads instead of asking for a further explanation. Breaks are not always asked because it’s seen as politer way to terminate a relationship. Having a conversation about what the break is for is essential and allows you to make your own decision as to whether or not it’s something you think is best.

What are your thoughts on breaks? Have you ever experienced one and did it work? Tweet us over at @LAPPthebrand 

Written by Dami Olonisakin




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1 Comment

  1. BOLU April 6, 2017

    Currently on a break atm and it’s really tough especially with the fact that we had a crazy argument with the period. I believe breaks work as it has given me time to think things through properly. Now I am just waiting for it to be over so I can get my babe back. Fingers crossed


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