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5 Hard Lessons From On-Again, Off-Again Relationships

Sometimes, love just ain’t enough.
PHOTO: Nick Onken

Let’s face it: breaking up and making up, or relationship cycling, can be addictive, but we need to see it for what it truly is: an EPIC waste of time. And no, we’re not talking about that one couple you know who dated all throughout college, broke up after graduation, and eventually found their way back to each other. We’re talking about that OTHER couple you know who can’t seem to last an entire week without trying to kill each other. We’re not judging. Relationships aren’t easy, but here’s what you need to keep in mind the next time you can’t seem to break the cycle.

1. There’s no in-between.
It’s either you’re in or you’re out. Yo-yo relationships don’t work because someone always bails when things get rough and that’s how trust is lost.

2. Relying too much on the “someday” version of your relationship is unhealthy.
People who stay in this kind of toxic cycle usually justify their decision by focusing on what the relationship COULD be. It’s not wrong to see your partner’s potential, but the whole point of being in a relationship with someone is loving who they are NOW.

3. Avoid Band-Aid solutions.
Every time you get back together, there’s a temporary state of pure bliss. Everything is shiny and hopeful again. What you don’t realize is more often than not, you didn’t actually fix your problems. You got caught up in the idea of reconciliation and forgot to address the ugly stuff, and that’s what gets you in the end.

4. Love is never enough.
It’s tempting to believe that "love conquers all" and "all you need is love," but strong relationships are based on trust, respect, loyalty, and security.

5. Actions speak louder than words.
You can promise each other all the changes you’re going to make and that it’ll be different this time, but it won’t mean much unless you actually do something about it. Empty promises can lead to bitterness and resentment, which will leave your relationship in pieces. 

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