He seemed like Prince Charming at first, but reality soon set in, and a few fights later, you decided freedom was preferable. You were single again. But singledom didn’t seem so fun. So back you went into the familiar comfort of his arms. Until he started up his old habits again. On-again off-again relationships can be toxic and draining. The terrible lows of the dramatic breakups, followed by the delirious highs of the exhilarating makeups may seem addicting, but they become exhausting quickly, wearing down both parties. Is there any way to make them permanently on or to simply break them off forever?
1. If you are off-again, determine your reasons for the break up and whether or not they have been addressed before ever reconciling. Many times these reasons are never adequately addressed in on-again off-again relationships, leading to endless cycles and unhappiness. Appropriately addressing them before ever re-entering the relationship can avoid the drama of repeated breakups.
2. If you are on-again, ask yourselves if you are on the same page. Are you both wanting something casual or serious? Have you both moved beyond the latest break-up (as well as past break-ups)? Have you overcome any lingering trust issues?
3. If you are off-again, explore your options. Often returning to a past partner is more comfortable than exploring the unknown. However, exploring the unknown keeps us from returning to past mistakes and learning about newer parts of ourselves and meeting new people. Speed Date St. Louis is a fun way to meet new people, includes pre-event mixers with free drinks, and hosts events for every group of people — including various age groups, single parents, and more.
4. If you are on-again, consider seeing a relationship counselor about past relationship issues and future goals for the relationship. One study found that breakups can actually redefine a relationship. If past issues can be worked out in a healthy, appropriate manner, there is potential for your relationship. If your partner refuses counseling, you may be better off single. Go alone to counseling and follow your therapist’s advise.
Breaking up permanently is hard to do, but if it’s something you need to do, delete his number, change your locks, do whatever you need to do to remove him from your life. Sign up for a dancing or cooking class, go out with friends, literally put yourself out there and do new things. Find ways to fill your time and the void in your life, and you will find that you are stronger than you knew.
Study source: Journal of Social and Personal Relationships
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