Just about everyone has some knowledge of on and off again relationships. It’s not just adolescents who get caught up in hot and cold feelings. It’s quite the conundrum: It’s difficult to let go of someone you truly care for but it’s also hard to keep a long term relationship going. And there’s the toll that the hot and cold take on your mental health. It provokes the question: “ Does love make you crazy, or do you have to be crazy to love?”
Sometimes it starts off great. You have the cute meeting with the instant chemistry. You call or text several times a day. You seek each other out on every available platform. After a few weeks, you notice that they are slowly vanishing. Calls go unreturned and texts are ignored. And just when you are ready to just call it quits, they pop back up on your radar, incredibly sorry with an apology and an explanation at the ready. So you accept their apology and their excuse and you move on. But the on again will soon erupt into off again.
It could be that you have been in a long term relationship and suddenly something happens. You become more critical of each other. You can’t stop the nitpicking. Finally one or both of you decides to it let it go. But, even after this break up, you can’t quite stop it. You go back to each other and promise yourself that this time you will make it work. And the next thing you know you are breaking up again.
You know that every time you split up, your trust is compromised and you no longer feel that connection.
Are we, as humans, just gluttons for punishment? Why else would we keep going back to this cycle of heartache and pain?
Psychology says that we allow ourselves to continue this cycle because there is a possibility that we will get some kind of reward out of it. We convince ourselves that this time we will get the reward even though we have no guarantee. Still we would rather face this than the pain that would come with a break up.
So how do you get out of this vicious cycle? Simple, you have to look at why it keeps happening. What is the source of the conflict between you? Is it as simple as a personality conflict? Or is it deeper, like you now want different things, and is one of those things commitment?
The only way to get the root of this is to communicate better.
Communication may best be solved by talking to a therapist. If both parties want to make it work, you need to truly address and acknowledge what is going on. You should take a look at your actions and behavior. You will also need to take a look at the problems that you have had on your past go rounds in this relationship. This will help you and your partner decide if its worth saving the partnership.