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Can You Sleep With Someone Else While On A Break?

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small break from relationship

(Photo Courtesy: mimisays.com)

Not too long ago I’m on the bus with one of my friends. We caught up on a bunch of things: we spoke about work, Grand Theft Auto (goes without saying) and women. This somehow leads us to what I consider a great debate.

I love to have my thoughts challenged, so in turn, this post is written to challenge all our thoughts. The debate my friend and I were having dealt with whether or not you could sleep with people while single. As simple as that may sound, there is a twist. You see there’s an idea that we all have where someone may break up with you… but they didn’t really break up with you. I’m sure we’re all familiar with the break in relationship. I’m personally not big on them; although, in some cases, I guess they’re necessary.

Here is my very simple and straightforward opinion about the break in relationship.

If you are in a relationship and you all legitimately break up, I deem you single. Whether or not you get back with someone in the future is irrelevant. If you want to explore some options during your single period, as far as I’m concerned, it’s right by the book. In truth, there’s really no book, but you know what I mean. My friends usually say I’d get them in trouble with my views. I just operate with the idea of facts. The facts in this scenario are I’m not cheating, and I was good to you while I was with you. Those are unequivocal facts. Whether or not you tell someone after the fact is on you.

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My friend felt different and just to clarify, it is a guy. His take on this might be refreshing to some. He really thinks if you think you’ll eventually get back with someone, then it’s wrong to deal with someone else. He asked “what if a girl did her on a break with you?” I by no means said you won’t be upset if the roles were reversed. I also didn’t say that someone wouldn’t like the fact that you may have been with someone on a “break.” But really, what could you say? You would have to tell me what rule was exactly violated.

The essence of what my friend was harping on was emotions that are involved in these situations. If you ask me, emotions can be quite independent from what you do.

Your physical needs and your emotions aren’t always in tune.

My whole point was that in theory, if you’re single, then you’re single. Under those pretenses, I’ll reference an old Nas adage and tell you, “the world is yours.”

I think there can be many philosophies on this issue. I want to hear yours. Have you dealt with this issue before? Have you done your own thing while on a break? What about separated married couples who are going to file papers, eventually? Can those people do them? Speak to me, I think it’s a conversation worth having.

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These are my words and I make no apologies.

P.S. How long are breaks supposed to go on for anyway?

DamnPops is a writer on the staff at SBM: “I’m not a biter, I’m a writer for myself and others. ” Brooklyn born dude trying to figure out this life just like you. Come on this journey with me. Follow me on Twitter @DamnPOPS 

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Comment(59)

  1. I for one don’t believe in breaks. Either you’re together or you’re not. If you guys are in a relationship then there shouldn’t be an in between. I fully understand needing a break from your significant other, but that shouldn’t last longer than a week. Whatever issues you have as a couple won’t be solved by being away from each other.

    NOW, on to whether you can sleep with someone else while you’re on a break, I think you should be able to. If you needed to go as far as to arrange a period of time to be away from your significant other then you should expect that whatever your significant other does during that time does not concern you. If you don’t want your significant other to sleep around, then you shouldn’t be on a break. A break to me means broken up, not together, single temporarily etc. I’m talking in circles but I think you get what I mean.

  2. People cope differently. The popular opinion is during a break or breakup both parties should be home listening to Drake waiting to reconcile…Nah. if I’m single I do as I damn well please, I’m back in pursuit of my own happiness, whether its winning her back or laying someone else on theirs. Entendre. People equate misery and pain with love and its quite annoying, worlds shattering because shes gone sounds cute in theory but lifes too short for all that

  3. I don’t believe in breaks . Were together or were single. Now we may be going through a rough time and need a little space . For example we may get into a big argument and we may not talk for a few days, but were still together . If you go ” Smilez I want to break up with you” then that’s exactly what were going to do.

    In most cases ppl aren’t sleeping with other people on a small break ” a week or two” but if we haven’t been together in 3+ months , I’m just suppose to sit to the side and hope you come around. Sometimes things just happen, your heart broken , angry and just want some company. If you don’t want your lady with someone else, don’t break up with her .

  4. You can sleep withy someone anytime, but for the sake of the article it's a grey area. However I would think men would be more comfortable doing it if SHE initiated the break, after all she's telling you she's good with you for the time being so it is what it is, especially if the break is prolonged. At the same token a break isn't necessarily a break-up so technically you'd be cheating. At the end of the day you all are either together or not.
    My recent post Dress To Impress: What’s Up With Black Men In Hollywood?

  5. When you’re in a relationship sometimes things aren’t always so black and white. Things kinda fall into a grey area. But if you absolutely know your relationship is in that grey area where you guys need space but you didn’t break all his stuff and throw it in the garbage yet (I kid, I kid) then you probably shouldn’t be messing with anyone else. That’s how people start traveling with baggage.

  6. she should expect you to fornicate. ESPECIALLY if she wanted the break like my man earlier said. I mean reallY! how could she ask for space and then expect you to keep the jimmy johnson guarded up. Also we need to have more of an open mind when sex is concerned. Everyone is fornicating with everyone. Its hard to trust anyone so just try to not care so much. I am in a long distance relationship with a girl in Costa Rica! we have a (Mario Winans) type of relationship-sings- I dont wanna know lol. You see we are not on a break but I know she is probably fornicating with someone. and she expects me to be. Thats life we are human, people and their jealousy man…If you are on a break….you are not with anyone…wrap it up and sew your royal fricken oats! dope blog by the way

    1. If that’s the case then why even bother being in a LDR?? Costa Rica!!!!??? o_O. Just be friends.

      That’s krazy!! y’ll ain’t even in the same continent.

      When was the last time you saw her?

      1. I agree GirlSixx, but maybe their in an Open relationship. They have an emotional bound. But sometimes physical needs have to be met. That situation wouldn’t work for me, but if their happy, it's cool. As long as they’re being honest with each other.

      2. Thats what I'm saying GirlSixx…..why be in a Committed Relationship if you wanna do ya thang and really be single?
        Thats like saying, "yeah I want that Corporate Exec job and Corporate Exec money but I don't want the Corporate Exec responsibilities…..Da Hell. Naw Slim it don't work like that in an imperfect world.
        If u want to live the "Single Life" like Cameo do that. Why get in a "relationship" where the other persons feelings are involved and u could potentially break their heart. Thats just greed and selfishness. smdh

        1. Fella's maybe, just maybe in the afterlife women will be cool with you "doin you." But right now that does not fly with us. Pick a side and stick to it.

  7. I don’t believe in breaks, I only believe in break-ups which implies permanecy. Now if for whatever reason months/years or so down the line our paths re-cross and we decide to get back together (highly unlikely, but God has his own plan) then so be it but whatever is done between that period is none of my damn business. My feeling is that if you love and are committed to me you won’t want to sleep with another and if you DO then it’s time for me to find someone who will love me better. I don’t believe in breaks because of that awkward gray area. We work shxt out like committed adults or we end permanently. For those couples who do have breaks….? Well, in my opinion they can f*&@ like bunny rabbits in that off-time they are single as a dollar bill.

  8. I don't believe in "breaks". I commit fully, and expect the same from whoever I am with. A "break" means we're done, so therefore, go hit up whoever you need to, you're no longer my concern. I feel like if you're willing to put a relationship on pause, you're willing to end it, and I wouldn't invest my heart or my energy in something or someone I can't count on fully.

  9. I don't do (formal) breaks. We're either broke up or not. Back in college and earlier, I pretended not to know my status, but in reality, I simply didn't care to investigate. Ignorance was bliss.

    On your latter point, I do find "separated" married couples an interesting conundrum. I've run into a few women like that. It's almost like "separated" is the new "married," in the year of our Lord 2,013.

    I'd be interested in hearing married/separated people's viewpoint on that or how you single folks deal with someone who's married but claims to be separated.

      1. Wellllll…

        An actual Divorce is not always so cut-n-dry and may actually do more harm than good especially after being married for a long duration where you may have accumulated assets, property, health coverage, life insurance policies and such. So there are conditions where a legal separation is best.

        A legal separation is much like an actual divorce in terms of you are now free to do as you please as a single individual (except remarry) while you still get to retain some of the financial/insurance benefits of a married couple.

        If a married person is really separated like FOR REAL FOR REAL.. I don't see any reason why they need to wait until legally divorced to move on and date.

        1. I hear what you're saying. I just think part of going into marriage is that its a legal entity, and until that's done you're in it. Retaining the benefits as you say is like having your cookie and eating too. It's very messy, doesn't work for everyone, and not fair – but it's where my mind is that.
          My recent post Despite Shutdown, Astronauts Still Run Up Walls

        2. "An actual Divorce is not always so cut-n-dry and may actually do more harm than good especially after being married for a long duration where you may have accumulated assets, property, health coverage, life insurance policies and such" AND KIDS.
          I think the situation depends on the individuals involved; we have known each other so long and get along well even during the separation. Sometimes both parties are ok with having their cake and eating it too….it's the people on the outside that are less than enthusiastic about the situation (which is understandable).

        3. …".it's the people on the outside that are less than enthusiastic about the situation (which is understandable)."

          So true… but it varies depending on the individual, those who may have gone through it (marriage, separation, divorce, or something similar) tend to sympathize somewhat and can understand a viewpoint, but then you have those who feel a little threatened or feel like they never fully have ALL OF YOU because at the end of the day your still legally binded to someone else.

          i've only experienced this backlash once but he was on some ego/macho type ish, it had nothing to do with him feeling like He Didn't Have All of Me..

        4. "you have those who feel a little threatened or feel like they never fully have ALL OF YOU because at the end of the day your still legally binded to someone else."

          THIS IS ESPECIALLY TRUE FOR MEN. I find that women are more apt to agree to this arrangement.

    1. Well as for me, I am legally separated (filed court docs and all that) and we both freely live our lives the way we choose to the only thing is we can't remarry anyone else until we officially divorce.

      It works for us though. *shrug*

      1. The only thing with that is what about when (not your personal situation) the man is ready to divorce and remarry to another woman, but his ex-wife doesn’t want to let go of the benefits?

        That’s where the mess would start with me. And while I know couples have children, I don’t want our relationship to have to wait (marriage) until your kids are grown because you and your ex wife don’t want to go through finishing the process.

        1. Which is why you should have a legalized separation/court filed/ legal documentation which itemizes exactly the terms and conditions of benefits while separated but also making it legibly clear it will become NULL AND VOID once parties divorce. The ex wife/ ex hubby can get mad all they want to it's in the contract.

        2. GirlSixx just curious, why not go ahead and do the divorce and get it done and over wit unless the hold up is: financial reasons, child custody dispute, or something unreasonable in the divorce decree that you refuse to agree to?
          Even if you both say you don't want to Ever remarry again, that can change. I've seen that happen. It's called falling love.

        3. til the [email protected]

          My particular situation is health coverage, division of properties insurance policies and such (financially basically) we agreed to wait awhile so we both can continue to benefit and divy everything up later on rather than being forced to either sell eveything or attempt.to.buy each other out (which neither one.of could do right now) by divorcing earlier, which also would include one spouse getting dropped from.health coverage,

          We chose these method to hold onto whyat we built over the years of marriage at least until the market picks back up.

    2. WIM Im with u on this one. I'm pretty much black and white in my own personal relationships. Either your with me or ur not. Love me or leave me alone. I keep it simple and easy. I have no time or patience for excess and unnecessary drama of any kind. So for me there are no breaks. Your in or out.
      Married folks – I highly suggest your very familiar with the marriage laws in the state you got married in and/or the state you live in. Because until you have filed for Legal Seperation and are Legally Seperated in the eyes of the state, (or some states), I believe your still Legally Married. If you start a new relationship with another man/woman and prior to a legal and formal seperation, in the eyes of some states that is deemed as adultery and can be used against you in the court of law at a later date. You want to be especially careful of this if you have children and will have to potentially deal with a custody battle.

      1. I know 2 people legally seperated going through the beginning stages of divorce right now. Unfortunately it usually gets very dirty and there is a lot of mud-slinging, vileness, bullying, threatening, hatred and it turns into a horrible situation for all involved.
        imo if your not Legally seperated you are committing adultery. I don't think it is wise to start a new chapter in life before you have completely closed the previous chapter. If you want to start dating or "seeing whats out there" thats your prerogative. However, your walking on a very tight rope when you start having "relations" and carry on another "relationship" before your marriage has ended.

        1. This situation relating to unmarried couples I think whether it can be regarded as cheating or not cheating depends on the seriousness of the relationship and the level of it and what the 2 people deem as cheating. For some people, just kissing another person or sharing intimate details of your life that you don't share with them is cheating. So idk it's all relative. Especially if your in a "break up to make up" and "emotional rollercoaster" type of situation. In that case, it's to unstable and inconsistent to even be taken seriously.

    3. Separated is the new married. I have been married for 10 years, right out of college and was separated for a year up until this May; started seeing someone for about 8 months during separation but he eventually grew tired of my separated status considering I was in no rush to make any moves towards divorce. When I reconciled with my husband, we did not discuss our actions during said separation(which is fine with me). The conundrum arises when u still have those lingering feelings for that person you were enjoying during that separation period.

      1. @Female….this is why a lot of people try not to seriously date someone who is separated. It's like yea your not with your ex husband or wife at the moment, but clearly your not ready to 86 the situation.

        1. Female as much as I loooooooove me some Boris and Morris I wouldn't even do that with them. Regardless of whats goin on in the marriage I gotta respect the sanctity of the marriage vows and what they represent.
          Where is Most???

        2. noun
          noun: sanctity; plural noun: sanctities
          1.
          the state or quality of being holy, sacred, or saintly

          Well that would be the divide, i am not a religious person. I believe in Spirituality but religion has been forced down my throat since i can recall by overly devout Baptist grandparents and i just can't fathom that life as an adult. Marriage (as I perceive) is a contract, an economic and societal arrangement between 2 individuals with common goals. Now don't get me wrong, i have to be attracted and respect my husband, but i did not get married because i was googly-eyed and head over heels in love. I don't believe in that fairy tale so if the two married parties made a consensual agreement to separate then I have no problem…..as long as there is no deceit involved.

        3. Exactly Smilez. I Do Not date seriously or otherwise what I consider "married men." To me this means men who are not divorced.

  10. I'm not down with the break stuff. Be an adult and lets work these problems out, or break up with me. You telling me you want a break from me says you want to run away from working out these problems with me, so I'm single and doing what I want lol you wanna stop that, don't take a break lol

  11. Break= You have been downgraded from my S/O to my failsafe. I'll get back at'cha as soon as I re-confirm that I can't pull better. Thanks a bunch!

    Nope, nah, never that.

    Also…even if I do accept said bullsh*t break, I'm working on my daggone self. What does smanging a stranger you otherwise likely wouldn't have touched with a 10-foot pole that now seems attractive with your Drake-clouded judgement improve? I never understood that.
    My recent post Out & About; BLF at the Launch of Eva Mendes for New York & Company!

  12. What exactly is a break? If you need time to find yourself, if you've been listening to Donell Jones' Where I Wanna Be, if you say you need your space, that's a breakup. You may get back together sometime later, but that's a breakup. All bets are off, and the breakee has no obligations whatsoever to the breaker.

    If it's just a big argument, then that's not a break. Any creeping during that time is cheating.

    1. Cosign Hugh. I honestly don't know of anybody who got back together anytime soon after that. More often than not many people don't get back together after they "take time to see where they wanna be." Because what they figure out is where they wanna be is not with you.

      1. I think it might be simpler for guys. I know after tough break ups I could slip into some other nani by the end of the week. Doesn't mean I wasn't hurt, but my emotional climate and my physical aren't necessarily contingent upon one another.

  13. I wasn't aware that couples took "breaks" post-high school. That situation just screams "I wanna study anatomies with someone else for a while".

  14. Never been in a relationship but I know me. Life is gray enough as it is so this whole "break" just sounds like mud. If I need a break I need to break emotionally as well, and being in this in-between stage where stressing about whatever caused the break and what he may be doing now is too much from here. We'll do a clean break and you do you in the meantime. We may get back together in that case I wouldn't hold it against you (didn't say I wouldn't feel some kinda way but)

  15. Its cos of this I find it funny telling people I have never cheated on anyone because sleeping with someone while on a break isnt cheating but then again I would always feel awful about it so I just decided to not do it. Vaseline can do the job for my physical needs until I find someone I can date or I m sure it's over. My feeling on the issue, do what makes you feel good. If your conscience will let you, I guess you should do it but under no circumstances if you get back with the person let them find out because it will hurt like a mofo.
    My recent post Nice/Shy Guy = No Game? Do nice guys finish last?

  16. What is this 'taking a break' business? LOL. I have never done it. We're either broken up or we're not. Now I have given a woman some space if things [non-relationship] was going on, i.e., busy with work, travelling for work, caring for a relative, etc….but I haven't done a 'lets take a break'…and I've only gotten back with one ex…briefly…and that was a mistake. __Ultimately, folks will do what suits them and their desires….and lie about it. LOL.

  17. Having done a break before and met my current during said break, I'm of the school that "if you throw that word on the table, don't be surprised when I act single." However, you gotta be careful w/ the relations hoppin. I'm too terrified of the monkey and too old to smash something new w/out some level of vetting.

    I agree w/ Amaris. Breaks only come up when either A) it's really just a test can I/he/she do better or B) they're simply tired of the responsibilities of the r'ship. If that answer is unknown, then most people don't set any terms to the break period. They just kinda have a conversation about it and see what happens. But if your intentions are to use the break as a mission down under, then it's only right to let it be known you plan on sleeping w/ other people.

    So either both of yall can sleep w/ other people and DADT or you get familiar w/ p0rnhub and the likes until you make a decision.

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