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Posted February 28, Reviewed by Jessica Schrader. Sometimes I love ya, sometimes you make me blue. Sometimes I feel good, at times I feel used. When we think about how romantic relationships work, we probably think about the classic trajectory: Two people meet, they form a relationship, and as time passes they decided to either stay together or breakup. Couples breakup and then make-up, then breakup and make-up again, establishing a routine roller coaster of intimacy, hurt, passion, and loss.
Why does this cyclical pattern happen? The breakup.
These breakups typically lack the clear and open communication that characterizes the kind of negotiated farewell common in permanent breakups Dailey et al. The reunion. How healthy is this pattern? Some evidence suggests that a pattern of separations and reconciliations is toxic to both relationship and personal well-being. The more frequently couples cycle back and forth between being together and being apart, the more their relationships tend to deteriorate to involve negative interactions, less satisfaction, and less commitment Dailey et al.
The first, called the capitalized-on-transitions type, describes a couple that makes the most of changing circumstances, letting transitions serve as tests or opportunities for relationship improvement. For example, a breakup might allow for the growth that enables a healthy relationship after reunion.
This coincides with a capitalized-on-transitions approach to a relationship, suggesting that some change i. They might care about the other person, but the relationship leaves them wanting.
Instead of severing the ties completely, they imagine what the relationship could be, and participate in a reunion that then le to realization and another breakup. Should couples reunite after a breakup? In the end, if a couple leaves open the possibility of reunion post-breakup, evidence suggests the couple could benefit from openly discussing the relationship transition, communicating freely and honestly about their individual needs and desires, and using a post-breakup period to evaluate how it feels to live separate lives. Such an evaluation might acknowledge that even good-decision breakups can be incredibly challenging Rhoades et al.
Based on the negative relationship dynamics associated with repeated cycling Dailey et al. Dailey, R. The Journal of Social Psychology, Personal Relationships16 Journal of Social and Personal Relationships26 Rhoades, G. Breaking up is hard to do: the impact of unmarried relationship dissolution on mental health and life satisfaction. Journal of Family Psychology25 Theresa DiDonato, Ph. Theresa E. DiDonato Ph. Meet, Catch, and Keep.
Make-ups and breakups create a roller coaster ride of love, pain, and passion. References Dailey, R. About the Author.
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