Turn Your On/Off Relationship Off Again: The Argument


If you’re reading this, you probably know what it’s like to be in an on-again, off-again relationship. It’s tiring and stressful, but there’s something about your partner that you can’t get enough of. Maybe you think they’re the One, maybe you’re sure you can work it out, maybe you love them too much to let go. Maybe, maybe, maybe.

Often, an on-again/off-again relationship just isn’t working for a myriad of reasons. Here’s why you should just break up, and stay broken up this time. Your future self may thank you.

Do you know your real motives?

Sure, you probably love this person; else why would you constantly go back into this relationship that’s failing more often than not? But often, our reasons and rationale are a lot more complicated and rooted in much more difficult feelings than just love.

We tend to get back together with exes chronically because on some level, we don’t think we have any other options. Maybe we think no one else will love us or appreciate us than this person will, and that they’re our last chance at happiness.

This isn’t true. The only way to tell for certain that this person, with whom you are constantly breaking up and constantly struggling to make a relationship, is to let them go and date other people. Something isn’t working if you’re constantly breaking up, and you should always know your worth.

Know your worth, what you deserve. Love yourself enough to want to give yourself the best: someone who will be sure about you, someone who will never even consider breaking up with you. It takes completely removing yourself from a bad situation to have perspective and distance from the whole thing.

You’ll never be able to make it work completely

Even if you stay together and “make it work,” chances are it isn’t working as well as it could be. It’ll be forced and strained, because there can be past hurt, resentment, lack of communication, and the small cracks that always widen if they’re ignored.

It’s like a drug: you love the high you feel when you’re with this person, or you love the idea of being in love, or that feeling of being in love. You are in love. But sometimes, love comes second to honesty, commitment, selflessness, and communication. If there are roadblocks to intimacy, they’re not going to go away without serious effort, and without confronting your serious issues. Ignoring those issues in favor of feeling like you’re in love isn’t worth it.

Better to love and let it go, and find a better relationship with fewer roadblocks to intimacy, fewer things to agonize over, and fewer things to rationalize.

They’re not going to change

A lot of us hear this when we take back former partners: “I’ll be different this time.” They’re beautiful words, aren’t they? They promise that all of the pain and hurt of the past will stay in the past, that they’re going to be there for you this time, that they, themselves, are different.

The thing is, it’s so difficult for anyone to truly change. At the end of the day, they’re the same person they always were, and will likely default to former behavior.

You deserve better

Yes, you love this person. Maybe they deserve your love, maybe they don’t. Maybe they’re genuinely wonderful, maybe they’re not. But the fact remains that something just isn’t working. You can love someone and still recognize that they’re just not right for you. On some level, you know they’re not right for you, that the effort to push the puzzle pieces together will be fruitless.

You deserve better: a relationship that will seem effortless and right. No relationship is perfect and even the best ones require hard work to maintain and nourish, but you’ll want to put in that work because you’ll know it’s going to bring you a lifetime of love and peace.

Lisa Lo Paro
Lisa is a freelance writer and bibliophile living on the outskirts of New York City. She likes 2 a.m. with a good book, takes cream in her coffee and heavily filters her photos. Check out her blog The Most Happy, her Instagram, and Twitter.

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