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Is "on a break" the new "it's complicated"?

The recently engaged couple remain committed to each other
Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

It’s official. “On a break” replaces “It’s complicated” as the shadiest relationship status of all time. And if you were confused about what “on a break” means, it apparently means license to have unprotected sex with sidepieces and procreate. Don’t believe me? Check out Miami Heat star forward Dwayne Wade and rapper/actor Ludacris as the poster children for this new status and movement.

D-Wade’s relationship with actress Gabrielle Union was already controversial as people speculated about the role she played in his break up with high school sweetheart and ex-wife Siohvaughn Funches with whom he has two children. The drama almost rivaled the Brangelina/Jennifer Aniston scandal, with people choosing sides, many painting Gabby as a heartless home wrecker. That sect cackled with glee and screamed “karma” when shortly after the announcement of their engagement (replete with photos of a pretty impressive ring he presented as an early Christmas present), the story broke about a new addition to the Wade family in the form of a baby boy with a woman he had sex with while he and Ms. Union were “on a break”.

Rapper Ludacris (real name Christopher Bridges) is not someone whose name is very often attached to scandal. Not your typical rapper, Luda has developed his acting chops in films such as Crash, Hustle & Flow and the Fast & Furious franchise. When we read that he was dating beautiful medical student Eudoxie Agnan, we thought “that’s a good look”. Citing busy schedules and the challenge of seeing each other regularly, the couple took a break. It is while on that break that he fathered a baby girl with Tamika Fuller. And like Gabrielle Union, Eudoxie is standing by her man.

Relationships are complicated and there is respect for couples who can honestly say “this is not working. We need to take a step back and figure out what we are doing”. But having unprotected sex with someone else while on this “break” calls into question the level of respect for the ex (but is it really an ex if it’s just a “break”?), the judgment of the person engaged in the extracurricular affair and the real purpose of the “break”.

Taking a break suggests needing time to sort through emotions (i.e.- it’s not over, still love you, just need some space to decide how we will move forward). How much time is really spent doing this if while you process your emotional angst, you are populating the Earth with someone else. Both these men are high profile people with a good deal at stake financially and otherwise. This makes the carelessness that much more confusing. It makes one question which came first – the affair or the break.

Commitment to a relationship is laudable and there is something to be said for the emotional fortitude Gabrielle Union and Eudoxie Agnan have to be able to forgive and remain in relationships with their men. The fact that both men are worth millions of dollars affording these women a jet-set lifestyle probably doesn’t hurt. But we need only watch the latest episode of Jerry Springer or Maury to see that women stand by men who have done much worse and offer much less. At the end of the day, they have to navigate their relationships and we wish them all the best. I just hope that this “trend” doesn’t go the way of the Beyonce Single Ladies’ bodysuit (that started showing up at nightclubs across the country) and have the masses thinking that taking a “break” from a committed relationship and making babies with the jump off while on that break is what’s hot.