Science Says THIS Is Why Couples Who Break Up Always End Up Getting Back Together

If you and your partner keep breaking up only to get back together again, you’re not alone — duh. According to research, roughly 50% of couples who break up end up giving it another go. As to whether or not it will last the next time around or if several more breakups are in the future, no one can say for sure (except psychics), but there are some very specific reasons why people go for round two — or 10.

  1. They felt indifferent about breaking up in the first place. The study found that the reason a lot of couples broke up only to get back together again was because they felt ambivalent about breaking up in the first place. Like, should we? Sure, why the hell not? You can’t seem to get over the fact that I started Strangers Things 2 without you, so let’s call it quits.
  2. They believe their partner has changed. When it comes to getting back together, no matter how much time has passed, couples turn to the belief that their partner has changed and changed for the better. Although, honestly, do people ever really change? Really?
  3. They assume communication will be improved. Because communication is so insanely fundamental in securing a relationship that’s going to work and not fall apart at the seams, couples who decide to give it another whirl convince themselves that wherever the communication was lacking before, it will be magically improved when they got back together. Although, as the researchers point out, being better at communication has nothing to do with magic and everything to do with working on one’s communication skills. Go figure.
  4. They’ve already invested so much time. Couples that break up but get back together figure they’ve already put in so much time, do they really want to do that with someone else? Does anyone want to start over and, dare I say it, endure the whole dating thing? Hell no.
  5. They fear what the future holds. While the researchers were adamant that this shouldn’t have any relevance upon a couple’s decision to get back together or if it does, then the couple should seriously reconsider this being their reasoning, as humans, we fear the unknown. We especially fear a future in which we’re likely to be alone — forever. And ever.
  6. They don’t want to lose that intimacy. Similarly to having already invested so much time, couples who get back together don’t want to start from scratch in the intimacy department with someone else. If you’ve gotten to a point with your partner where you can shit with the door open, reap the gorgeous satisfaction that comes with popping their back zits, and all that other grotesquely fantastic stuff that comes with ultimate intimacy, it seems a shame to throw it away. It’s also easier to slither back into what you know than try your hand at something new.
  7. They doubt their initial decision. In addition to the ambivalence that comes with some breakups, there’s also the doubt that the decision wasn’t the right one in the first place, which makes a lot of sense. One shouldn’t just throw their arms up in the air and declare it’s time to break up on a whim because they feel this way, but also feel that way, but also feel somewhere in the middle, too. That’s not how decisions, whether they’re personal or professional, should ever be made.
  8. They truly care for their partner. If you’ve had quite a run with your S.O., then you’re not just romantic partners, but friends, and often, best friends. Losing your best friend in a breakup, then not having your best friend to turn to talk about that breakup is devastating. So much so that you find yourself going back because you can’t fathom a life without them.
  9. They believe in second chances. As the study explains, as long as there aren’t issues, such as abusive behavior, believing in second chances isn’t always a bad idea. It doesn’t mean that getting back together again will last and there won’t be a third chance to give later on, but some things deserve second chances.
  10. They’re willing to make an effort. Couples who get back together have resolved within themselves that they’re really going to make an effort this time. They’re going to not just examine, but understand where they messed up. They’ve realized what they should have done differently and are really going to put forth the effort that’s necessary to make their relationship work. For the millionth time: relationships aren’t easy and if you think they are, then you’re doing them wrong.
  11. They’ve realized the true reasons for wanting to get back together. In other words, they know, for a fact, it’s not about a fear of being alone, a fear of uncertainty, or a fear of starting over. And because they’re aware of the genuine reasons why they want to try it again, they get back to together. Because, in the end, love conquers all, right? (Sometimes.)
Amanda Chatel is a sexual health, mental health, and wellness journalist with more than a decade of experience. Her work has been featured in Shape, Glamour, SELF, Harper's Bazaar, The Atlantic, Forbes, Elle, Mic, Men's Health and Bustle, where she was a lifestyle writer for seven years. In 2019, The League included Amanda in their "15 Inspirational Feminists Every Single Person Should Follow on Twitter" list.

Amanda has a bachelor's degree in English and master's degree in Creative Writing from the University of New Hampshire. She divides her time between NYC, Paris, and Barcelona.

You can follow her on Instagram @la_chatel or on Twitter @angrychatel.