Perhaps if you were Taylor Swift, you would make it clear that you hate on-again, off-again relationships by writing a diss track (read: complete banger) about having no interest in ever getting back together, like ever. Of course, if you aren't a country-turned-pop super star with a billion fans and a record deal, making your needs clear to your here-and-there boo can be a little daunting. If you've found yourself in an undesirable back and forth, making it clear that you're not into on-again, off-again things can be a critical step in finding the relationships you want.
"When people enjoy on and off relationships it’s because they are still exploring what they want versus need," Clarissa Silva, behavioral scientist and creator of Your Happiness Hypothesis Method tells Elite Daily. "But knowing what type of relationship you want helps you not idealize unhealthy relationships or settle." According to Silva, being clear on the types of relationships you're looking for in the beginning (like: "This off and on thing is not doing it for me,") ultimately can help you make more substantial and healthy connections with the people you date. And when dealing with an on-again, off-again boo, being clear on your needs can inspire your date to do the same, and can potentially save you both from some major heartache down the road. "If they weren’t sure they could commit, you might not be the one to make them commit. Circumstances that you were aware of before getting into the relationship don’t always change," Silva says. "Expressing how their inconsistent behavior impacts you is preventing you from further hurt in the relationship."
Of course, knowing you should do something (like have an honest dialogue with your date about your feelings) is a lot different than knowing how to do it. As Silva attests, if your date is totally into the on and off thing, they may be more of a #YOLO person than a #canttalkplanningmyfuture type. "People that are into on and off relationships are very short-term thinkers. Be specific and explore what it will be like to have that person along with you during major life events and how that person will handle goal-seeking together," Silva says.
According to Silva, though it may feel intimidating, the best way to make it clear that an on-again, off-again relationship isn't for you is to first explain the type of relationship you're looking for right now and then to describe the type of relationship you see in your future. "Share what you think is ideal for you now and see if they are compatible from their answers. Then, talk about what you want your life life to look like with your ideal partner five years from now," Silva says. "Have an honest conversation about what you need and want."
According to relationship coach Nina Rubin, the clearer you get with the people you date, the more likely you are to find dates looking for similar things. "If you are clear with what you’re seeking, you may be less likely to go back and forth," Rubin tells Elite Daily. "If you remember your goal for a relationship, you can look at every other relationship through that lens." If you're looking for love on the apps (#bless), Rubin suggests directly stating in your profile that you're not looking for a FWB or casual dating situation. And if you've been seeing a cutie for a while but they tend to come and go on their own terms, Rubin shares that the best way to send a "This isn't what I want" message could be to not send any messages at all. "When you go out with someone and they ghost you and then come back around, don’t reward this behavior by being available," Rubin says.
If you are feeling totally in sync with your boo, you may assume that they want the same type of relationship that you do. Yet, experts say that if you don't clearly state your needs from the get-go, you may be opening yourself up to some confusion and pain later on. "If you don’t speak up for yourself, nobody else will know what you seek," Rubin says. "Maybe the person will understand your perspective, maybe not. But, you will be able to make decisions based on truth."
If on-again, off-again love is a big turnoff for you, there is nothing wrong with telling your boo you have no interest in being wishy-washy. In fact, getting clear on your needs before the heat really turns up can save you and your date from any potential confusion or pain. Whether it's totally casual, completely serious, or some mixture of totally and completely casually-serious, you deserve the type of relationship that you're looking for. And if on-again, off-again relationships aren't your thing, you don't have to feel put off by saying so.