By Mary Grace Garis

Are you in an on-again, off-again relationship? It can feel impossible to break the loop of this type of pattern. My interview with Mary Grace Garis of Well+Good magazine highlights some of the ways you can break free.

Mary writes, “I am the product of a rare on-again, off-again relationship gone right. My parents, who fell in love in an age without dating apps, hook-up culture, and the paradox of choice, broke up three times over the course of six years before deciding that yep, what they had was the real deal. Cut to me, spending 12 years of dating thinking my endless on-again, off-again continuums are ‘healthy.'”

She continues, “Whether the cycle is healthy or not, getting back together with an ex is… actually a pretty standard move. This continues even into relationships that involve real estate and wedding rings: a 2013 study by the University of Kansas suggests that “over one-third of cohabiters and one-fifth of spouses have experienced a breakup and renewal in their current relationship.” But on the flip side, rapid cycling in a relationship typically led to more cycling, greater uncertainty in their relationship’s future, and lower satisfaction.”

“According to relationship expert Susan Winter, attempted break-ups are sometimes our slow-burn way of letting go,” Mary states.

“For some couples, breaking up requires a series of attempts before they’re able to leave each other,” she says. “It’s a process. You’re weaning yourself from you partner. Whether your relationship was good or bad, it was your reality. And humans don’t like change.”

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