If you've ever been in an on-again, off-again relationship, you know how much of a rollercoaster it is. One day you might be totally in love and riding that high, and the next, you and bae are hashing it out like Rachel and Ross on Season 3 of Friends. Nevertheless, there's a reason these relationships keep turning "on again," so if you love this person and you're wondering how to save an on-again, off-again relationship, know that it's possible. It'll just require some serious work.
An on-again, off-again relationship is essentially a never-ending cycle of breaking up and getting back together. "[Couples] get into those cycles because they haven’t dealt with issues properly in the past, so they keep arguing about the same things," Trina Leckie, host of the breakup BOOST podcast, tells Elite Daily. "Things then just keep building up instead of getting resolved."
"The constant breaking up and getting back together of an on-again off-again relationship doesn't give people time to assess what went wrong — or right — before trying again," dating coach Erika Ettin tells Elite Daily. If you want to make your relationship work once and for all, the experts agree you and your partner will need to talk things out.
Ettin says you should start by figuring out what's causing you to break up every time. "Really ask yourself why you keep breaking up and, perhaps more importantly, why you keep going back," she says. "Is it boredom? Fear of being alone?" If your answer is anything other than love for your partner, it's probably time to take a step back and figure out what you really want. If you do want to make things work with your partner, "then really discuss what keeps going wrong — perhaps with the help of a counselor of some sort — so that the patterns don't keep repeating themselves," says Ettin.
Leckie agrees that having a serious conversation is the best way to figure out how to make your relationship work once and for all. "By sitting down and dealing with all of the issues head-on," she says, you might be able to break the cycle of ending things and then getting back together. "Put a plan together as a team as to how you agree to move forward in a healthy and constructive way," Leckie adds. "Stop covering the issues with Band-Aids and avoiding the fact that they exist. Show through actions you are committed to fixing this relationship."
This might be easier said than done, but remember: You deserve a relationship that makes you happy, without all the "we were on a break" drama, so don't be afraid to speak up about what's bothering you. At the end of the day, a good partner is one who will listen to you and meaningfully address your concerns; one who will want to put in the effort alongside you to make your relationship work. If the person you're on-again, off-again with refuses to do that with you, don't be afraid to find someone who will.