Why Does It Take So Long To Make A Breakup Stick?

Why Does It Take So Long To Make A Breakup Stick? ©iStock/max-kegfire

Ever feel like you’re just breaking up to make up and then break up again? It’s pretty common and it doesn’t mean your life is a total disaster – but it certainly doesn’t mean your relationship is meant to last, either. Here are some reasons why it can take a few times to make a breakup stick.

  1. Change is often hard. Even the best changes are still outside of our comfort zones, which can leave the bravest person wishing they could climb under their covers and fast forward life a bit.
  2. We break up for the wrong reasons. Nothing will cause a relationship to keep bouncing back if you’re not getting to the root of the issue. Breaking up because he wouldn’t sleep over this week is pretty easy to take back later, but finally approaching him with the hunch that he’s cheating on you… different story.
  3. You still really love (or at least like) each other. Tons of people who break up are still either in love or lust or both, and those feelings don’t go away after just a week apart.
  4. You’re trying to torture yourself. If there’s any part of you that likes drama or isn’t ready for true love, on-again, off-again relationships are absolutely perfect for keeping things chaotic.
  5. You’re terrified of making the wrong decision. Distance can give you clarity, but it can also make you question the crap out of your decisions. Wondering if you gave up the man of your dreams can shoot you back into his arms in no time.
  6. He keeps changing his mind. If he dumped you and turned your life upside down you might see accepting his apology as a more reasonable option than trying to mend your broken heart. At least for now.
  7. You hate being single. Breakups are hard when being alone feels like torture. It might take a few rounds to realize that being alone is actually better than being with that clown.
  8. He’s full of crap. His motives for getting back together might not be the same as yours, but he hasn’t broken your trust enough yet for you to know it.
  9. Your friends are pressuring you to reunite. If you’re in the same friend group, people might be rooting for you guys without really knowing what your relationship is like. If you’re constantly around each other anyway and neither of you want to go through finding new friends (or giving up your old ones), this is even more likely.
  10. You’re trying to avoid pain. In the short term, the roller coaster effect might keep your pain from cutting down too deep, but be careful that it isn’t eroding your self-esteem in the meantime.
  11. Sex is addicting. So is love. We like to feel good, and we’ll seek out good feelings in potentially dangerous places, just like drug addicts do.
  12. It’s impossible to imagine ever getting over him. In the moment, that thought is mind boggling, but sometimes how quickly we get over people we thought we loved is what’s truly mind boggling about breakups.
  13. You don’t trust yourself. One day it’s this emotion, another day it’s that emotion. Sometimes it’s more of an hourly thing, and we assume we’re drowning, not safely swimming toward the next shore.
  14. We tend to over-exaggerate the pain of rejection. But science explains why: when it comes to survival instincts, being pushed away from people can be physically dangerous. This generally doesn’t apply to romance these days.
Kate Ferguson is a Los Angeles local and freelance writer for a variety of blog and magazine genres. When she's not writing, the UC Davis graduate is focused on pursuits of the entertainment industry, spin class, and hot sauce. Look for article links, updates, (and the occasional joke) on Twitter @KateFerg or @WriterKateFerg, or check out her personal blog ThatsRandomKate.blogspot.com