The Problem with On-Again Off-Again Relationships

Break up to make up, that’s all we do. First you love me then you hate me that’s a game for fools – The Stylistics

It shouldn’t be that way, but sometimes, love does seem like a game. And it’s even worse when you’re the one getting played. 

You know how it goes, you meet a guy, you hit it off, things go good for a while, then they don’t. Whether you were in a serious relationship (or a committed relationship, at all), you’ve invested your time into the person and for whatever reason, things come undone. A few weeks go by the, Mr. Wonderful, seemingly has a change of heart and wants to give it another go. Things get shaky again, he falls off the grid, only to resurface again in another few weeks. You’ve convinced yourself, “There must be something between us because he keeps coming back, right?” WRONG

Meanwhile, what started as great potential has turned into a shit show that you’re constantly trying to save face in front of your family and friends after having ragged on the asshole for what he did to you in the first place (lying, cheating, broken promises, disappearing). And that’s just one reason why on-again off-again relationships are no bueno

  1. It’s not the connection. It’s the convenience. While it’s easier to believe that you two have such an amazing connection as the reason why a fair-weather partner circles back, the truth could be that it’s simply easy to “slide through” with no accountability for what they’re doing all the times they’re not with you.
  2. Things get swept under the rug. Typically when couples get in a pattern of on-again off-again relations, it’s because they’ve failed to to address the real issue. Whether it’s defining what the relationship is, an issue of commitment, faithfulness, taking it to the next level or whatever it is…what normally happens is that when couples fall into this pattern, one person wants the other person more, so when they drop off & then decide to come back, the other person is so happy (& relieved) to have them back in their life, they don’t want to risk losing the person so they choose not to disclose how they really feel for fear of scaring them off. Author’s note: If you are dealing with someone that you can’t be honest with about your feelings and expectations, then you’re probably with the wrong person.
  3. Your family & friends may not be so forgiving. My baby sister explained it best to me when she said, “You love him so you’re loyal to him. I love you so that’s where my loyalty lies.” I know, we are all grown and grown folks don’t have to explain their relationship to nobody, but when you have told me about dude & another woman, then you back with his triflin ass 3 weeks later, oh yeah, you gotta explain that shit. Besides that, your mama-sister-cousins have had to hear about all the shit he’s done and how you’ve already caught him doing wrong so in our eyes, he’s already an asshole & it ain’t no coming back from that. But to you, the woman that he’s giving the good strokes to, your level of tolerance will be exponentially higher than your family & friends. Author’s note: Please understand this has nothing to do with jealousy or not being happy for you. This is seriously only because we give a fuck about you. Think of the last time you were actually in a good relationship, was anybody “hating” then? 
  4. Certainty vs. Uncertainty. Women, particularly, don’t want to have regrets when it comes to love. For this reason, we’ll stay. Sometimes waaaaaaay longer than we should. But we do it with the hope of giving it everything we’ve got, to be able to stay that we gave our all & it still didn’t work. We have to know that we tried and we tried hard. And then once we’re invested…that’s a whole other blog, but we want to see a return on our investments. But due to the very nature of these relationships, it’s a risk either way because there are several options. Of course, the two of you could break up only to discover that you are meant to be together and live happily ever after. You could also go years repeating this cycle: break up, make up, break up, make up, with some notable  make up sex sessions, I’m sure. Finally, you could, as most research reveals, break up, make up, then break up for good once you ultimately realize there’s “Ya’ll broke up for a reason.” 
  5. Instability. If I were to poll 100 women, I’d be willing to bet that stability would rank high on the list of what women want. On-again off-again relationships are the exact opposite of stability. And when your foundation is rocky, then so will be your relationship. Most people I know who are married (or in healthy relationships) didn’t start out going back and forth, trying to figure out “what are we doing” and “are we or aren’t we”. No. In fact, in the 2 healthy relationships that I’ve had, they didn’t start out that way. But best believe anytime I was about to waste my time on some bullshit for a year or more, it started out just. like. this. Dysfuckingfunctional.

The moral of the story is this: Just because you are in an on-again off-again romance doesn’t mean it won’t lead to your happily ever after. But it does mean that in order for it to work, like any good relationship, you and your partner will need to communicate the issues of why things can’t seem to stay on course. 

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