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Welcome to Dear Sybersue! Today’s question was sent in by Emily. Why Do My Boyfriend and I Keep Breaking up and Getting Back Together?

Dear Sybersue,

Why do my boyfriend and I keep breaking up and then getting back together? We are both 25 years old and have been in an on-and-off relationship for 2 years. There is no doubt that we love each other, but whenever we have an argument about something, we break up once again! A month later we run into each other and rekindle the romance!

Why can’t we make a solid commitment and stop all this back-and-forth BS? Thank you so much for any advice you have!

Emily 💔
Dear Emily,

This is a more common question than you may realize, Emily. Many people do not like to be alone and will often stay in relationships that have ongoing problems rather than having to go back to being single again. Dating can be very difficult today, but it is not healthy to be in an on-and-off relationship either.

You and your partner may be ignoring the bigger picture here, and it could be that you’re just not that compatible, or on the same page with what you want in a partnership. The fact that you have always been on-and-off over your two years together, seems to suggest this is possibly the underlying issue.

Some couples become addicted to this breakup/makeup pattern because the sex is so good when they reconnect each time!

Makeup sex can be pretty exciting and can give you both a false sense of security. Having powerful sexual chemistry will always keep you coming back for more, but it is not enough to sustain a long-term commitment for many years to come. There has to be a lot more substance between a couple, to build a strong relationship foundation.

I think you both have to sit down and come to terms with why this month-long breakup scenario has become the norm. Why is it always a month? It sounds like you are both taking a break from each other rather than actually breaking up. Not seeing one another for one month will not give you enough clarity to see what is really transpiring between you both. The fact that you always get back together within the same time frame suggests that you have formed a bad habit that is keeping you both stuck.

Are you sure it is really love that you share together, or could it be a comfort zone that keeps you coming back? Anyone who knows me understands how strongly I feel against couples who take breaks from each other. I believe that you should be able to work things out while you are in the relationship and not outside of it while you are living separate lives. This is why communication should be the number one priority on your partner checklist. You don’t run away from each other, you sit down and constructively address the issues face to face.

Running away from each other is not being communicative and adds further insecurities into the mix when, and if, you get back together.

How can you feel secure with each other when you’re always waiting for another breakup to happen? It is time for you both to be honest about what is really going on between you. Is it a fear of being alone, as I mentioned earlier? Is it a sexual addiction to each other? Or is it a power control game? Who is going to end things this time?

Ask yourself this question: Does anything really change in your partnership when you get back together, or do the same problems keep resurfacing over and over again? One way to move forward and stop the breakups from transpiring is to go to couples counseling. You are now at a crucial stage in your partnership where you need to figure out why these repetitive problems keep happening for both of you. Is this relationship salvageable?

Have you experienced any of these situations:

  • Are there big trust issues between you both?
  • Did something happen in your relationship that you can’t get past?
  • Are either you or your partner, commitment-phobic?
  • Are you both emotionally available, or is this an unbalanced scenario between you?
  • Do you or your partner sabotage things when they are going really well, due to not believing you deserve love, or you are worthy of having a wonderful partnership?

Talking about these things with a counselor and your partner will help you get to the root of the problem. You can’t seem to work on this within your relationship due to some sort of communication breakdown. This is a much better way to handle things than repetitively walking away from each other. You both need to come to terms with the elephant in the room.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska

If your partner isn’t willing to go to counseling with you, Emily, I strongly advise you to go regardless. His lack of commitment to making things better between you will give you the answer as to how he feels about having a committed relationship moving forward.

If you can’t resolve things so that you can evolve together without the threat of another breakup, you will have to find the strength to permanently walk away from your boyfriend. A counselor can definitely help you with this and give you the right tools to deal with when making this difficult decision.

Relationships are not always easy, but it shouldn’t be this much work for you and your partner to be in a loving partnership. It is important to own your part in why you stayed in this unhealthy situation, but also to forgive yourself as well.

There can be some difficult learning curves when it comes to matters of the heart, but there are some valuable lessons to help you gain insight, along the way. The trick is not to repeat mistakes or negative patterns of past relationships, so you can continue to move on in a better direction. This will not only give you healthy clarity, but it will also bring you the love you deserve because you know what it is that you want in a reciprocated partnership.

*Please click on the video above to hear what else I have to say to Emily.

Thank you, Sybersue xo <3

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