We were on a break! Ross Geller got bit by this romantic grey area on Friends, but Kylie Jenner and Travis Scott might have been smart to take a small step back before ending things altogether. Dr. Cortney S. Warren, a clinical psychologist and former associate professor of psychology at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, exclusively explained to Life & Style why some couples find success or failure by going on a break.
“In general, couples go ‘on a break’ or ‘separate’ when they don’t want to break up but have a significant unresolved issue that is causing distress and pain in the relationship,” Dr. Warren said, while noting that she cannot comment on Kylie and Travis specifically and has never worked with either A-lister personally. “The goal of a separation is usually to take some time to process the issue apart because efforts to resolve the issue together have not been effective, often resulting in fighting, emotional distancing and tension.”
Dr. Warren added that many points of contention from “parenting disagreements” to “communication difficulties” can be the reason behind pumping the brakes on a relationship.
It was confirmed by In Touch on October 1, that the Keeping Up With the Kardashians star and her boyfriend of two years decided to “take a break.” The makeup mogul tweeted two days later that she and rapper are on “great terms” and their “friendship and our daughter is priority.”
Although it sounds as though the starlet has moved the “Sicko Mode” artist to the friendzone, a source told Us Weekly that the chemistry is still very much alive between the two. “Kylie and Travis have been on and off at various times throughout their relationship,” the insider said. “Kylie still loves Travis and this isn’t considered a full breakup to either of them.”
So, do breaks really work or is it just delaying an inevitable split? “Whether going on a break is helpful or not really depends on the couple. Under the best circumstances, both people agree to take a break out of love and respect for the relationship,” Dr. Warren noted. “They recognize that the relationship is suffering from something that is not effectively being resolved using current methods and have the intention of working on the issue(s) at hand apart. The goal is usually to deliberately make an effort to understand what each individual and the relationship needs to move forward in a thoughtful, non-reactive way, which will naturally lead to getting back together or splitting for good over time.”
The biggest piece of the puzzle is keeping the lines of communication open. “To make a separation effective, the most important thing a couple can do is to honestly communicate about the goals, expectations and boundaries during the break,” she added.
Whether a break leads to rekindling love or going in separate directions, Dr. Warren explained that a step back can lead to clarity and a healthier next chapter. “Whether a separation leads to getting back together or a splitting for good depends highly on the couple. If the break is done honestly with transparency and good intentions, the information learned will likely lead to a clear answer,” she said. “Whether that answer is the stay together or move apart depends on what is learned. That said, if done well, a break can lead both people in the partnership to a better life independent of the outcome.”
In addition, a thoughtful break can lead to less saltiness post-split. “It is also more likely that each person in the couple will retain some positive feelings and respect for the other if the break is handled maturely,” she added.
Best of luck, Kylie and Travis!