On-Again Off-Again Relationships: Are They Worth it?

These days, most relationships struggle to make it past the three-year mark.

Many couples break up and get back together several times before they can make it to that point.

Do you and your partner often go your separate ways, but always find yourselves making your way back to each other? While it may sound romantic, it’s not entirely healthy.

In this article, we’ll tell you why on again off again relationships don’t work.

Why On Again Off Again Relationships are Unhealthy

Should you stay or should you go? Read on to find out.

You Keep Having the Same Problems

Why is it that you and your partner are constantly on again off again?

Unless you get to the bottom of that, you’re doomed to repeat the cycle over and over again.

You need to find out what the underlying issues are in your relationship. Otherwise, you’ll simply keep having the same conflicts and things will never get resolved. You need to dissect those problems in order to move forward and grow and keep your relationship alive.

This is the issue that many couples with this type of relationship have. They fight and break up, then are drawn back together again. When they get back together, they forget all about why they broke up in the first place. This can make a happy home for a while, but it can only last so long before things blow up again.

Don’t Expect Your Partner to Change

We’ve all heard the cliche, “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result”.

Contrary to popular belief, Einstein never said that. However, that doesn’t mean you should disregard it altogether. In fact, if you’re in an off and on relationship, you should pay particularly close attention.

You can’t expect your partner to change. No matter how many chances you give them, they’re likely to repeat the same behavior that prompted you to ditch them last time, and the time before that.

If you do expect them to suddenly start acting differently and treating you better, you’re setting yourself up for heartbreak. All prior evidence has shown you that the relationship doesn’t work, so perhaps it’s best to think about that.

As Maya Angelou once said, when someone shows you who they are, believe them; the first time.

You Can’t Be Certain About the Future

When your relationship is constantly off and on, you never quite know where you stand.

This means that you can’t plan for the future with any degree of certainty. Who’s to say you’ll still be together in another six months or a year? If you don’t know, it’s not a good idea to start buying property or making investments together.

Of course, there aren’t many things you can be 100% sure about in life. Still, that shouldn’t be a reason to throw caution to the wind and put everything on the line for something that might not last.

Commitment is one of the keys to a happy relationship. It can’t just be something that’s given in the moment and then taken back shortly after. It needs to be long-term.

If you and your partner are constantly breaking up, how much commitment do either of you really have? It’s worth thinking about.

You Stunt Your Personal Growth

Breakups are horrible. However, one of the positive things you can always salvage from them is personal growth.

When you come out of a relationship, you can assess the decisions you made, why it didn’t work, and work on evolving into a better partner who makes better choices.

If you keep going back to the same situation, that’s not the case. By returning to a dysfunctional relationship, you’re denying yourself that growth.

They’re Stressful

These kinds of relationships are emotional rollercoasters.

Sure, they’re filled with bursts of intense passion and happiness. That’s what keeps you coming back, right?

The problem is, once the honeymoon period is over, it’s quickly followed by negative issues. These could be bouts of jealousy, infidelity, conflict, neglect, or anything else that makes you start to question your relationship.

After that, you’re likely to break up and be off again. Then, it’s only a matter of time before you’re on again and the entire cycle repeats itself. This process is an extremely stressful one and you don’t need the drama.

The stress can take a toll on your mental health, self-esteem and energy levels. Save yourself the worry by being with someone who makes you feel secure, comfortable, relaxed and happy. Better yet, spend some time on your own and learn how to make yourself feel those things.

Your Friends Get Tired of It

After the first breakup, your friends and family will be there with shoulders for you to cry on. After the second, third and fourth, they won’t be so willing.

Pretty soon, they’ll get tired of listening to the same story over and over again. They can’t help you unless you’re willing to take their advice on board. If you keep repeating the same pattern, you might find yourself without anyone to turn to.

Next time you break up and want to vent to your friends about it, they may simply roll their eyes and refuse to believe you.

You Can’t Let Go

If you’re expecting to get back together with your partner after a breakup, you’ll still be emotionally invested in them.

This means you’re likely to obsessively check their social media feeds and maintain contact with them. This isn’t always healthy behavior.

If you’re doing this, you’re probably holding space in your heart for them when you shouldn’t. If you can’t commit to each other, it’s best to let go and allow each other to move on to better things.

Forge Healthier, Happier Relationships

On again off again relationships are a whole lot of trouble. When it comes down to it, they never last.

To have a healthy long-term relationship, you and your partner need to communicate, appreciate each other, and solve problems in a respectful, productive way.

That’s how you make a relationship stand the test of time.

To find out more, see our post on the secret to a happy relationship.

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