By Chris Seiter

Updated on February 25th, 2021

Your boyfriend says he wants a break and I am guessing you don’t.

Maybe you’ve told your friends and family that you sense a breakup is coming and then when they press you for details all you can tell them is,

I just have this feeling

But they aren’t locked in your head. They haven’t obsessed about every detail and interaction you’ve had with him.

And then it comes…

The dreaded,

Let’s take a break

And that leads us to the topic of today’s article.

What the heck are you supposed to do if you find yourself in this situation.

Well, what if I told you that I have come up with a very unique three step process to guide you through this very difficult time.

The Three Things You Need To Do If Your Boyfriend Says He Wants A Break

You’ll find that where I stand on this situation differs from most outlets.

You see, most people like to tell you to handle things the “politically correct” way. They’ll tell you that you shouldn’t play games and that if you set something you love free it’ll come back.

I don’t subscribe to these beliefs.

All I care about are results.

And in my experience letting things “just sit” doesn’t work too well.

But more on that in a minute.

There are three things that I want you to do if you find yourself in a situation where your boyfriend says he wants a break.

  1. Understand that the two of you are broken up, you aren’t a break
  2. Don’t try to fix things immediately
  3. Utilize a form of no contact

I’d like to go through each of these things one by one so that you know exactly where I stand on them and you can have an idea of what can ultimately get you results.

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1. Understand That The Two Of You Are Broken Up

Every time I gear up to write one of these articles I do research.

This research comes in many different phases.

  • First, I’ll map out a strategy that I think will work
  • Next, I’ll cross reference that strategy with what I am seeing with clients or other people that I am working with
  • Finally, I’ll search and see what my peers are recommending to see how my strategy compares to theirs

Interestingly when I started looking at my peers for this article I learned that our strategies are vastly different.

The general consensus with them was,

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See if you can work it out by setting ground rules for a break

Honestly, I think they’ve just watched a few too many episodes of friends,

Now, you may not agree with what I am about to say but honestly is there any difference between being on a break and being broken up?

People will have you believe that if you are on a break that you can pause the relationship.

That you need time to sort out your feelings and that when the break is over you can let your partner in on those feelings. But I find reality is much harsher than fantasy.

In almost every case I have found that a break is simply the gateway to a breakup.

And if you think about it, it makes a lot of sense.

You go on a break when something doesn’t feel right.

You go on a break when you feel that something with the relationship is broken.

You don’t go on a break when things are great.

Break = Broken Up

I want you to do something for me.

Every time you think of this “break” I want you to replace that terminology with “break up.”

The sooner you undergo this paradigm shift the better for what’s to come.

Actually, rather than having me ramble on here I’d like to talk about what’s to come.

2. Don’t Immediately Try To Fix Things

Human beings tend to be reactionary when it comes to breakups.

It’s a bit of cause and effect at play.

Your ex breaks up with you (cause)

You try to fix things as soon as possible (effect)

But what if I told you that the worst thing that you could do would be to try to fix things right now?

You found this article, probably through Google, which means that you typed in some variation of,

“What am I supposed to do if my boyfriend tells me he wants to go on a break?”

This implies that it was him that initiated the “break up.”

So, from his perspective he is in a position of power and you are in a position of weakness. Understanding that it would make total sense if you tried to fix things as soon as possible.

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If you begged…



And you want to know why I think these are huge mistakes.

Because you are trying to fix things from a position of weakness.

It’s not that I am not a fan of “fixing things.” On the contrary, the whole purpose of this article is to put you in a position to where you can begin fixing things. However, I play to win.

So, I am going to recommend the course of action that’s going to get you the best results.

And what gets you those results are two simple concepts,

  1. Perception
  2. Timing

We are going to cover the timing aspect of this strategy when we start talking about the no contact rule. So, for now I’d like to talk to you about perception.

How Perception Plays A Role

I started this website back in 2012 to create an environment that cut through the BS out there. I wanted to get right to the heart of the matter and teach people what really worked.

And for the most part I feel like I succeeded in doing that.

But learning about what works to re-attract someone after a breakup is a little funny. As time went on and I worked with more individuals on a one on one capacity I began to refine my strategies. In other words, the current version of Chris Seiter has way better advice than the version who started this website.


Well, it’s all about perception.

Last night my daughter got sick and the first thing my wife and I did was quarantine me from the situation. Children are like little biological weapons that infect everything they touch.

(Parents, you know what I am talking about.)

Now, generally I don’t mind getting sick but ever since I started this business it’s one of my greatest fears.


Because if I go down pretty much everything else I’ve built up does.

Needless to say, I ended up sleeping in a different room from my wife and my daughter (both who are sick now) in an effort to avoid catching this nasty cold. So, I found myself with a bit of free time. I did what any self respecting person does with free time.

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I fired up Netflix and started looking for a show to watch.

Ultimately I settled on a show called Peaky Blinders,

I bought into the show after about 2 minutes.

I don’t really know why but I found myself captivated. In fact, I was so captivated I stayed up till 4 AM just devouring the first few episodes.

Which in hindsight is kind of a dumb thing to do if you are trying to avoid getting sick.

Anyways, in one of the episodes a character said something that really struck me,

You don’t parley when you’re on the back foot

This quote is essentially all about perception.

For those of you who don’t know a “parley” is,

Parley: holding a conference with the opposing side to discuss terms.

So, back to the quote.

It’s all about perception because if you go into a parley where your opponent thinks they have the upper hand it isn’t going to go well for you. However, it’s a completely different story when you go into a parley and your opponent thinks you have the upper hand.

Again, it’s all about perception.

If your ex views you as,

  • Weak
  • Desperate
  • Gnatty
  • Sad

It gives them this strange upper hand and removes any mystery from the equation. And in case you didn’t know you need mystery working for you if you are going to get your ex back.

So, rather than trying to fix things immediately I say you wait until you can approach the situation from a position of strength.

Wait, how the hell can I do that?

I’d like to introduce you to the no contact rule.

3. Utilize A Form Of No Contact

Above I mentioned two ideas that tend to get more results than anything.

Do you remember what those were?

  1. Timing
  2. Perception

Well, above I talked all about perception.

The no contact rule is where timing comes into play.

Let me ask you a question.

Let’s say that the shoe was on the other foot and you told your boyfriend that you’d like to go on a break from him. It’s clear that he doesn’t want to cooperate but he plays along holding on to a shred of hope. Then, unexpectedly, your father passes away.

You and your father were unbelievably close and you are crushed by the news.

Would that be the opportune time to win your heart back if your (now) ex boyfriend tried?

Probably not.


Because the timing isn’t right.

You aren’t in a state where you are even open to the idea.

Do you see where I am going with this?

Pretty much a massive part of this battle is getting your boyfriend to the correct state where he can view you romantically.

And right after he asks for that break isn’t that time.

So, what can we do to help the “right” time to come about?

Utilize a no contact rule.

What Is The No Contact Rule? 

I’ve talked a lot about the no contact rule here, here and here.

I’ve also done quite a number of awesome videos over it,

But if you want a quick crash course,

The No Contact Rule: A period of time (21, 30, 45 days) where you completely ignore your ex in an attempt to make them miss you. It also gives you an opportunity to improve aspects of your life that you need to work on so that you can truly hit that UG status (UG = Ungettable Girl)

It’s worth mentioning that sometimes a straight no contact period isn’t ideal for your situation. If you find yourself wondering if you should be using a limited no contact rule check out that article.


I know that didn’t look like a lot but that took a bit of work tracking down all of those links and videos 🙂 .

Anyways, you are probably sitting there wondering,

How does this even benefit me? Why should I do a no contact rule?

Well, I’ve been thinking that a lot lately.

And while I can sit here and throw out some insane statistics like how 100% of our successes within our private facebook group have utilized the no contact rule that wouldn’t really explain why it works.

Why The No Contact Rule Works

I think more than anything it’s due to the fact that it speeds up the timing of your boyfriend “being ready.” But just ignoring him for a certain amount of time isn’t going to be enough to do that alone and that’s really where the secret sauce comes into play.

Secret Sauce = What You Do During No Contact

I get upset when I am working with a client one on one and we both agree on a course of action that they need to take during a no contact rule and ultimately they don’t do it.

The no contact rule doesn’t yield the results that they were hoping for and they call me back and tell me that it didn’t work.


It didn’t work because they didn’t do the most important aspect of the no contact rule and that is to use that time to change your exes perception of you.

Did the lightbulb go off yet?

There is a synergy between everything I am teaching you here.

The no contact rule hits on the timing aspect by simply ignoring your ex but it’s up to you to change his perception indirectly by using that time away wisely.

Now, how do you do that?

Well, that’s where I am going to recommend that you check out some of the other articles on this website!

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129 thoughts on “What To Do If Your Boyfriend Says He Wants A Break”

  1. Sonia

    July 24, 2023 at 6:08 am

    I read this article now my issue is that half my clothes are at his house along with expensive bags and make up and I have messaged twice if I can collect the items. This breaks the nc rule but what am I to do in this instance. He isn’t replying either. Please advise?

    1. Coach Shaunna

      October 21, 2023 at 11:23 am

      Hi Sonia, asking for your things back is not breaking NC. You only break it if you are going to then lead to a conversation about reconciliation or the break up itself. As long as you collect your belongings and leave as soon as possible without engaging in an emotional conversation you will be able to continue with your NC

  2. Ann

    March 6, 2023 at 9:22 pm

    Hi…I just read your article and I found it kinda helpful but how can apply the NC and yet we are in the same house?? He asked for a break saying I keep blaming him for every urgument that we have. I want to give him his space and at the same time try figure out where I go wrong.

  3. Scarlett Stewart

    January 29, 2023 at 9:13 pm

    Hiya me and my boyfriend broke up after me being away from home a weekend he says that the spark is gone and we need to love on from other people he also I feel like might have thought I was unfaithful as I often get anxiety and tell him I’m unsure if he loves me or cares mostly when I was drunk tbh idk why I have tried improving on it plus something happened with a girl and I was honest with him but he says it was a little off after that and I just really love him and want to be better for him what should I do as we also love together and share a cat

  4. Jessy

    July 18, 2022 at 3:19 am

    Hi! I’ve been reading your articles about NC. Does NC (30 days) works if me & my boyfriend only took a break? We haven’t discuss about the official break up yet. He was so exhausted and overwhelmed of the idea having a relationship while just starting his career. He told me he wants to plan a lot of things without thinking of me. He asked me for a break, and I told him to not contacting me for 30 days. The agreement went so casual, we didn’t argue & we even laugh together on the day we decided to go on a break. I’m having this gut after 30 days we’d be breaking up. But will this kind of NC work?

    1. Coach Shaunna Nicol

      July 24, 2022 at 8:56 pm

      Hey Jessy, we class a “break” as a break up in ERP as it is most likely. You need to complete a 30 day NC unless they have started dating someone else which would then extend to 45 days

  5. Bry

    June 20, 2022 at 1:15 am

    My bf of 2 years asked for time and a break. We had been so good and I was the first girl to meet his mother we are both 28 years old and we were going in a good direction and then he started stressing about money and work and just things he wanted to do and he felt he wasn’t giving me his 100% and he says I’m the perfect girl for him but he has to focus on what he has to do and he said he needs time. I tried fixing things with him but he wasn’t responding to me. So then he reached out to me telling me that he misses me. I now started doing no contact. I am so sad because I feel he’s my person but I don’t know what to do.

  6. Lisha E

    June 18, 2022 at 2:27 am

    Hi so we were never actually together but after a disagreement he told me he wanted to press pause on our situationship. I find myself reaching out to him trying to get an understand because I realized I love him. He says he is just thinking. I’m sad and don’t know what to do.

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      June 20, 2022 at 7:05 pm

      Hey Lisha, allow him some space and show him you are not insecure / chasing him.

  7. Cathy

    April 14, 2022 at 8:07 pm

    Bf of 14 years asked me for a break. We have been with eachother since hs sophomore year. He says he is confused half of him wants to be free and half of him wants a future with me. He says he just wants to be free for a bit without me and he wants me to do the same. He loves me but doesn’t want to hurt me I catch flirting with girls and texting. We have been doing the NC. He wrote to em and told me he thinks about me everyday and still sees me as his future. How should I feel about this I’m so sad devastated

  8. Marie

    February 27, 2022 at 10:04 pm

    My boyfriend has recently become very busy with school work and basketball. He warned me that he wouldn’t have as much time for me but he was still going to put the effort in to see me and talk to me. When he didn’t do that, I got a bit clingy and upset dating he wasn’t trying. I think it added to the workload and he told me he can “never catch a break from me” or “get his own space”. He hasn’t directly asked for a break but what should I do?

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      March 1, 2022 at 10:45 pm

      Hey Marie, so if he feels that you are pressuring him to spend time with you. Leave him alone. let him come to you when he realises that you are not chasing him for attention anymore.

  9. Michael tovia

    September 23, 2021 at 7:29 am

    Hi am Tovia
    My boyfriend and I have been dating for about 8 months now, then recently he started acting up ,he no longer cared or called like he usually did .tried finding out wat went wrong but all to no avail ,then recently he came up with the I want a break sentence ,his reason was to observe if the stuffs he heard people say about me were true. At this point I really don’t know what to do

  10. Jennifer

    August 30, 2021 at 5:28 am

    My boyfriend of 7 years has suddenly asked me for a 8- week break. We have been together all these years, although in a long distance relationship and were supposed to marry soon. I know he loves me dearly, he could not even spend a day without talking to me till a month back. He says he feels pressured and suffocated in this relationship, and wants to have some time to himself and wants me to focus on myself too during this time. He is completely ignoring my calls and messages and it is heartbreaking.

  11. Veronica

    August 11, 2021 at 4:32 am

    I’m wondering if NC applies when I sense my boyfriend will break up with me because of depression, anxiety, his feelings of inadequacy and terrible insecurities. He feels like he can’t provide me the kind of affection and attention that I need. He has expressed his love for me even very recently. If he does break up, I am afraid zero contact will make him feel even worse with guilt and shame and that will prevent him from ever reaching out to reconcile. How should I handle it?

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      September 1, 2021 at 9:14 pm

      Hi Veronica, do not go into NC if you are not going through a break up this will only damage the relationship. You need to allow him some space to deal with his feelings but do not add to his problems.

  12. Cheryl

    July 28, 2021 at 12:38 pm


    My boyfriend of 1 year has just told me he needs a break. He says he loves me and I’m his best friend, but he just needs a break. We fell hard for each other very quickly and I let my guard down and this break feels like its killing me. I have been spoiled with affection and attention from him for a year and now I feel lost and so sad. I am reading about your No Contact Rule and if this is what I need to do, I will. I haven’t read all your articles or watched your videos yet, and I will … Is No Contact actually NO CONTACT AT ALL? He says he can talk to me, but not see me.

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      August 6, 2021 at 11:40 pm

      Hey Cheryl, so yes you need to follow a limited no contact if you are not officially broken up. However, I would suggest that you prepare for a break up too as wanting a “break” is a sign that he is unhappy in the relationship. Take this time to work on yourself, spend time with family and friends and show him you are the girl he met at first, that you are fun and happy. That you are not sitting at home waiting for him.

  13. Ozor Chizzy

    July 3, 2021 at 7:10 am

    Hey, my boyfriend of 1year asked for a break after I complained of his changes towards me. Then I respected his decision and didn’t rush to fix things with him but while waiting for him I lost my phone after two months I got a new phone he came telling me me that he tried reaching me becsuse he want me back in his life but I was out of reach and now that he found another girl as his girlfriend… Pls help me! I love him so much! What can I do to win him back

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      July 3, 2021 at 9:28 pm

      Hi Ozor, he could have found other methods to reach out to you and if he has a new girlfriend then you need to work through the program with the 45 days NC since your last conversation.

  14. Maricela

    June 15, 2021 at 2:23 pm

    My partner of 8 years asked for a break after much trouble in our relationship. We have a son together and he has had doubts of being a family man, having goals he wants to accomplish and feeling that we are in the way of that. Making good money and wanting to experience life as a single man. After 8 years I finally stop myself from keeping him home. It’s been. 1 week since our separation and I am staying away from him and only reaching out regarding our son. It really hurts but if he came back after the break and asked me to get back together I dont know if I would be able to resist. What should I do?

  15. Maddy

    June 8, 2021 at 2:14 am

    My boyfriend of one year told me that he no longer feels sexually attracted to me. He told me that he texted another girl to come one weekend and she refused but had she he would’ve slept with her. He also proceeded to tell me that he hasn’t been happy lately and that his suicidal thoughts are returning. He told me that I’m an amazing girl and he wants to love me like I love him but he doesn’t find me sexually appealing. He said he doesn’t want to break up that he wants a break because he knows he’s the one with the issue. He realizes he needs help and he just needs time apart. I lived with him and he politely asked me to take everything with me. He hasn’t blocked me or anything and it’s only been 7 days. I’m just still confused about this break thing because we just went on holiday to Mexico and he told me he loved me. Honestly, call me blind but I thought this relationship would end up in marriage. I haven’t reached out to him in any form and I am proud of myself for that (back in the day I was very desperate with other ex’s). Just wanted to know what were my chances of him coming back to me. I do want to end with, I am taking this time to work on myself , going to the gym, eating right, and meditating.

  16. Yolanda

    May 9, 2021 at 3:34 pm

    Hello. My bf recently had a lot of changes in his life work/kid and pandemic stuff. He started seeing a therapist and he mentioned his therapist said he should not be in a relationship right now until he is able to work in his current stuff. The reason he gave me was that he wouldn’t want me to hate him and can’t give me what I want at this moment. He said maybe let’s take a break? And be happy for eachother and see what happens in the future ? All this via text I asked him to call me so that we can discuss this. He kept postponing the call which we never spoke in the phone about it again it’s been 2 months but he text me every single day funny stuff or about his day. I’m super confused and don’t know if I should tell him to stop texting me for a while or just continue texting him back and just do my thing.

  17. Priscilla

    April 26, 2021 at 8:06 pm

    We’re in a long distance relationship & Last night he told me that he wanted a break after a disagreement we had, and honestly I was so surprised because he told me before that he doesn’t believe in breaks. It’s either we are together or we are not.

    He said because I don’t understand him & due to our communication issues.

    I called him & he was being so off, I got upset on the phone so then he FaceTimed me and said he’s sorry and that he’s just frustrated with not being able to see me & the distance and that he won’t ever say that to me again.
    But feels like I misunderstand him a lot.

    Today I can’t help but feel like things feel a bit different. He doesn’t seem like he usually is to me & all I can think about is that he wanted a break. Not sure what to do at this point..?

    I know he’s currently stressed about some things. He’s currently taking a course and took on a second job so he could save. So I know he’s got a lot on. But seriously I just don’t know where I stand with him right now. And I feel really sad

  18. Miss M

    December 21, 2020 at 6:14 pm

    Hi so my boyfriend recently became super busy. I guess I didn’t understand and I became a little clingy. It led to him forgiving my all the time but I kept on doing it so he could no longer handle the stress… he therefore went ahead to block all my numbers on WhatsApp and told me we should only communicate over text .. right now he has stopped responding to my texts and calls and said we will talk after he is done with his project that he is working on which is in one month time. I’m super afraid.. I hope he hasn’t met someone else. He still calls me his girlfriend but says I trouble him too much and he cannot cope with his project and me. He once promised to reach out to me first but I’m just scared he won’t come back..

    I also went back on tinder when my boyfriend was not responding to me. His friend saw me there and told him now I don’t know if that might have ruined our relationship for good.

    I’m really scared and really love him.. what do I do?

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      December 22, 2020 at 6:51 pm

      Hi M, so I’m asking myself why you would go on tinder if you knew you were still together and he was just overwhelmed with stress and workload? You need to understand your behavior of being needy/clingy while he was stressed made you look insecure, but then to go on a dating app makes it look as if you are also unfaithful. I would suggest that you respect his request for some space and leave him alone for 30 days, if he reaches out to you great, if not then you need to start following the program and in the mean time stay off dating sites.

  19. IrenA

    December 21, 2020 at 6:09 pm

    I did everything that is been said in the article when my boyfriend asked for a break. Its been 5 months in no contact and i am not sure what i should be doing. I really don’t want to give up on things as our relationship was good. He blocked me on whatsapp a month after we took break, not on IG and fb. Do you think i should talk to him and ask him if he is open to talk about the break thing?

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      December 22, 2020 at 6:52 pm

      Hi Irena, you say you have done everything it says in this article, but our no contact periods are not 5 months, they are 21, 30 or 45 days. If you want your ex back you need to be following the program where you reach out to your ex and start an organic conversation as Chris explains in his articles.

  20. Tausha Haney

    December 21, 2020 at 2:12 pm

    I guess I just need some guidance. My partner and I have been dating for about 6 years, and we have been engaged for about 3 of those years. More recently, she has kind of started going out on the weekends, which I don’t do. She kind of has a small issue with alcohol that deeply effects her ability to make rational decisions and will stay out all night or not be very nice to me. It has caused some tension, and because of this, I kind of pull away sexually. It isn’t intentional, but I just could not lay with somebody I love when they are not showing signs of loving me back. Anyway, she has had far too many drunken episodes and recently she has asked for a break. Now we live together, and I have a child from a previous relationship. She still wants to eat dinner with us, cuddle me at night, tell me she loves me and says we are getting married. But insists we are on this break. SHe goes in and out of loving me and needing space. And to be fair, I have not been the most easygoing with this as it is days away from Christmas and my heart really, really hurts. What is some advice I can have? How do I separate myself from somebody I live with where neither of us live around family and neither of us want to have my child involved in a negative situation. I really don’t know what to do and I my anxiety and hurt is really taking over my life. Any advice would be really appreciated.

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      January 19, 2021 at 10:10 pm

      Hi Tausha, so I would suggest that you ask her to move out from your home while she works out what she wants, explain that you are not going to sit in limbo while she makes her mind up. There are articles and videos to advise and help you with limited no contact while you work together, but you also need to explain that her behaviour of mixed signals needs to stop.

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