I’m In A Toxic Loop Of Ending Things & Then Getting Reeled Back In

I’m stuck in a perpetual make-up/breakup cycle with a guy that I’m not even in a real relationship with—we’re just dating. I keep trying to stop seeing him and then somehow he convinces me to stick around. Ugh.

He’s a good guy

Our situation is a hot mess, but he’s a sweetheart and certainly means well. He’s just doing the best that he can at this moment. If circumstances were a little bit different, I’d absolutely love to date him. As things are, I don’t think it’s meant to be.

We just aren’t compatible. 

We’re looking for different things in a relationship. I’m looking to see and talk to someone regularly and he’s looking to see and talk to someone very scarcely, just when he’s bored or can actually be bothered to make an effort. Our definition of what a relationship looks like is different, so we just aren’t compatible. It should be that simple and I should be able to walk away, right? If only.

We still like each other. 

Just because we aren’t compatible doesn’t mean that the feelings aren’t there. On the contrary, we really like each other and think the other is great. Obviously this isn’t enough for a successful relationship but it does keep us hanging on even though I think we both know deep down that nothing can truly come of it.

There’s a lot of sexual chemistry there. 

I think what’s keeping things fuzzy is that we’re sleeping together. Whenever I do that, it scrambles my brain, making it difficult for me to think clearly. We once talked through things, I decided we weren’t going to see each other anymore. Less than 15 minutes later, we were sleeping together. Then I had an impossible time holding true to what I said.

I keep realizing I’m not happy.

When I’m away from him—and frankly, even when I’m with him sometimes—I realize I’m just not happy in this situation. I then see that I need to remove myself from it but I struggle to follow through. Despite not being somewhat miserable, staying in the situation is comfortable. There are some ways that the relationship is feeding me, but on the whole, it’s a life-zap.

I do try to end things. 

Once I realize I’m not happy with the way things are going, I try to put an end to them. I get my resolve way up, thinking that I’m definitely going to be able to end things this time. I go for it, then my resolve deflates when he bats his eyelashes and spews words of consolation.

He convinces me to keep what we have going. 

The first couple of times were OK—he assured me that we could adjust what we were doing to see if I’d be happier. That was fine; I was willing to give him the chance to change. That never happened, and recently it’s just basically been him convincing me we should keep seeing each other just because. I think excuses have run out. I know I’m saying he convinces me, but I also take full responsibility for being convinced.

We do the cycle all over again.

We’ve done this dance several times now. I know it’s a relatable one for many people, breaking up and getting back together despite it being toxic. It’s hard to be stuck in the loop. I keep getting sucked back in and I’m not sure how to find the way out.

It feels so unhealthy. 

I’ve been in healthy relationships and they’re lovely. I know what they feel like and what they don’t feel like. This is not a healthy situation. At least I can be grateful that I recognize that. I like to think that I’m better than this, though—not better than him, but better than staying in something that doesn’t work for me. Hopefully I’ll work up the courage to GTFO soon.

I don’t know how to stop. 

If it was as simple as just walking away for me, then I’d do that. Instead, this situation (and he) have sort of an addictive quality that I can’t quite get enough of. They leave me feeling deeply fulfilled and totally unsatiated all at the same time. I’m not going to beat myself up about not being able to stop, that’d be of no use. I’m going to just keep being mindful and hope I find the strength to break the pattern sooner rather than later.

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