On-again,off-again relationships are usually doomed to failure. You hear the hopeful — and rare — tales of people being on in their young, college years, off for most of their twenties, finding each other again in their early thirties, going back off and reconnecting later in life thinking all hope is not lost. That a relationship like that can actually work because those two individuals are completely different people each time they meet. They’ve likely learned from their experiences, worked on themselves, and approach relationships from completely different perspectives. But people who carry on on-again, off-again relationships with very little off time (half a year, at best) almost never work out in the end. Because that “off” period was fake—no real growth can happen in a few months. Old issues don’t go anywhere just because you casually dated someone else for a minute. And beyond that, there are a host of other reasons why on-again, off-again relationships never work. Like these.
You date in between
You go on dates in between. So does your on-again, off-again boo. And you both find out about those dates. This facilitates an enormous amount of jealousy, which is very hard for a relationship to survive.
And those dates reach out
Since you are on and off so frequently, some people you dated never quite know when you’re single or not. So you often have other guys reaching out to you, while you’re in bed with your on-again, off-again boo.
You hook up with other people in between
You slept with other people when you were off with the boo. That creates an enormous amount of jealousy. And the need for STD tests.
You hook up with each other in between
You know you keep sleeping together when you’re “Off.” This just means you’re still attached, and not really giving this a breather.
You’re always willing to go “off” again
Since breakups have become pretty commonplace, you’re always willing to do one anytime a problem comes up. You’re too willing to push the eject button since you’ve done it a dozen times before.
Which makes the “on” times not very valid
That means you’re only mildly invested in the “on” times. You probably aren’t willing to make many sacrifices or changes, since you know you can just bail if things get hard.
You have so much baggage
You only accumulate more and more baggage. By the third time you’re back together, you need a storage unit for your emotional baggage.
You say nasty things during the breakups
You say things you regret during the breakups, and you never forget them (and neither does the guy). You slowly begin to resent each other.
Your friends won’t accept it
Your friends do not believe in this at all. They gave it a shot after the first breakup and reconnection, but beyond that, they stopped believing in this relationship. When you can feel that your friends think a guy is bad for you, it leaks into the relationship and causes a lot of fights.
And honestly, they’re over it
Oh also—not only do your friends not believe in the relationship, but they also don’t support it. They zone out when you talk about it. They change the subject when you complain about it. You begin to feel very isolated in the relationship.
Your family really won’t accept it
There is nobody who hates seeing you in an on-again, off-again relationship more than your family. After the first breakup and reconnect, they probably decided they would never accept this guy.
His friends won’t accept it
Being around his friends is a nightmare because they don’t like you, they don’t trust you, and they’ve stopped investing in you. They don’t really want to talk to you because they know you’ll probably be gone again with the month.
You stunt each other’s growth
It’s impossible to do any personal growth in an on/again, off/again relationship. Why? Because you never really feel single. Deep down, you know that guy is available anytime you want to get back together. So you’re not forced to do much reflection or self-discovery.
You’re just not compatible
News flash: if you can’t stay together, you’re probably not compatible! That will catch up to you, even if you somehow smooth things over.
Or that into each other
If you were crazy about each other, you wouldn’t have any “off” periods. Your on-again, off-again boo might just be someone you go to because you’re afraid to be alone. In other words, you’re settling.