10 Struggles Of An On-Again, Off-Again Relationship

Loving someone isn’t always easy — anyone who’s been in on-again, off-again relationship can agree. Sometimes it’s so tiring, but your desire to make things work begins a cycle that isn’t necessarily healthy. Many people on the outside might advise to break things off for good, but you truly don’t understand why that might not be so simple until you find yourself in one. So what is it like to never know where you are in your relationship with someone?

  1. Giving up on changing your relationship status. You were very excited to tell the world you found love at first, and then sad to update everyone that it didn’t work out. After the first few times, you’ve learned to keep the information to yourself because you’re starting to look nuts. You wish you could be like other couples who could stay together long enough to keep things public.
  2. Having friends who are tired of it. This type of relationship is emotionally draining to those involved, not only because of the neverending repetitive cycle, but because it’s isolating. Friends no longer want to hear about your relationship, because you can never make up your mind and can’t seem to listen to good advice.
  3. Forever feeling unstable. A fight is no longer just a fight after you’ve broken up a couple of times. Because you’ve both ended your relationship repeatedly, you always think it’s going to happen again, and so it does. You don’t fully trust your partner to stick around since they haven’t before.
  4. Experiencing heartbreak repeatedly. You might think that because you’re breaking up so often that you would be used to it, but you aren’t. You feel sad and depressed every time you two break up because you do actually want to make things work.
  5. Never truly believing you are broken up. Knowing that there’s a possibility that the breakup won’t last can be truly hard to go through the process because you stick to the stage of denial instead of moving on. Although you’re not together, you find yourself caring about what your ex is doing and are possibly still trying to contact them to make amends.
  6. Other people not truly believing you are broken up. It’s tough going through a breakup in the first place, but having no one there to comfort you because you’ll probably just get back together in the end anyway could make things tougher. Because some people won’t believe you, they don’t want to hear about it, which adds on to the sadness.
  7. Dealing with the politics of being “off.” One of you might be a Ross and think that anything that happens while on a break doesn’t count, while the other is a Rachel and considers it cheating. Once you reconcile, it might be tough to not be jealous if one of you hooked up with someone else. Hopefully, both of the people are on the same page and just move on.
  8. Realizing there’s a thin line between love and hate. When stuck in this cycle, you realize that this isn’t just a saying. You love a certain part of someone, so you keep trying to make it work, but you hate another part of them, so you keep going separate ways. It’s tough to know which feeling is right, so you keep struggling with both.
  9. Possibly having the same fight over and over. When two people break up there is a reason behind it. If you want to try again, then you have to acknowledge the problem, and many don’t. Instead, you try to pretend it doesn’t exist because you just want to be happy. However, that means the problem can just rear its ugly head again, and it totally will.
  10. Finally being done with the relationship, but your ex doesn’t believe it. Many of these types of relationships end with the two going their separate ways for good. But sometimes, one person feels like completely cutting ties while the other doesn’t. Who can blame them? You’ve been here before! Usually making the clean break to really get the point across is what’s best so you can’t continue the cycle.
Nicole Weaver is a staff writer for YourTango and regularly contributes to Hollywood, The Bolde, and Proud2BMe. She is a lover of all things entertainment meaning she spends most of her nights in New York binge watching television shows. Follow her on Twitter at @nikkibernice.
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