In and Out of the Same Relationship? Here Are the Most Important Take Aways!

According to research, the majority of people have been in an on-again/off-again relationship at some point in their life.

The 2009 study published in Personal Relationships found that 60 percent of people have, at least at some point in their life, been with someone, broke up with them, then ended up with them again — and maybe again and again and again. It’s a pattern that can be difficult to wiggle out of once it becomes a habit, even if it’s quite clear that you’re completely wrong for each other.

The problem with these relationships is that they’re not just potentially unhealthy, but they can be toxic as hell. Although things may seem fine when you’re back together, all that constant breaking up and the roller coaster of it all, takes a toll, emotionally, psychologically, and even physically. There’s also the fact that, at least according to research, these types of relationships eventually end up coming to an end and not on a very pretty note either.

But while that’s the case, not all is lost. There are some things you can learn from on-again/off-again relationships, even if you don’t realize it until after the fact. Here are nine lessons these relationships have to teach us.

1. People Rarely Change

While it might not be something you want to hear, human beings are, in general, creatures of habit. It’s not that we don’t want to change or better ourselves by cleaning up some of our messy behavior, but we’re just not that great at it. It’s not a personality flaw, as much as it’s human being flaw.

2. You Don’t Know How To Feel Secure

When you’re in a relationship that is on-again/off-again, it’s hard to feel confident with not just what you have with your partner, but in how you feel about yourself. There’s a lot of second-guessing going on and it stems from the fact that your romantic relationship always feels like it’s hanging in balance and you could lose it at any given moment.

3. You Realize It’s Hard To Move On

If every time you break up with your partner, you end up with them weeks or months later, how are you supposed to move on to either someone new or give yourself time to heal? You can’t. You become to addicted to the pattern and too dependent on that person, assuming that the cycle will go on forever.

4. The Drama Isn’t It Worth

So. Not. Worth. It. Think about it: Do you really want to spend the rest of your life going through a breakup with the same person every few months for the rest of your life? You’ll look like you’re 80 when you’re only 40, because of the stress it takes on your life.

5. Old Problems Eventually Come Up

When you’re in an on-again/off-again relationship, you realize that not only do people never (or at least rarely) change, but since that’s the case, the problems that plague your relationship are likely to come up every single time you get back together. Why? Because you two haven’t changed enough to prevent them from popping up again.

6. It Really Confuses The Senses

You’re together. You’re apart. You’re crying because you’ve broken up and are sure you’ll never love again. Then you’re back together. And you’re happy. And you’re skipping through the streets. Then you break up again and you’re crying on the floor. But wait — did they just text? OK; so maybe you’ll be skipping in the streets by tomorrow again. Do you feel confused? Well, you should.

7. There’s Probably A Very Good Reason You Keep Breaking Up

The reasons why people break up runs the gamut. Sometimes love dies, sometimes you realize you’re growing in opposite directions, or maybe one of you cheated, or one of you wants to join the Peace Corps. No matter the reason for the split, you broke up for a reason, so there’s really no point and going through it all again.

8. The Makeup Sex Isn’t Worth It In The Long Run

Yes, makeup sex is great! But there’s only so many times you can break up, have makeup sex, only to break up again, for more makeup sex. It sounds good in theory, but more than anything, it’s exhausting.

9. You Don’t Have Time For This Bullsh*t

You really don’t! If someone can be with you, then be without you, then be with you again… and so on and on, that’s not what you need or deserve. You want someone who can commit and is in it to win it; not someone who thinks you’re their personal yo-yo.

Curated by Erbe
Original Article

To Barter or Not to Barter for Sex

“The idea that anyone can just turn sex off and on for their partner when there may be a reduced or insufficient connection, is absolutely ludicrous.”

ON LAST night’s episode of the Seven Year Switch, Channel Seven’s reality dating show where unhappy couples swap partners, one couple was given some pretty dodgy relationship advice.

Jason and Michelle have been together for seven years – they have four-year-old son and an eight-month old daughter – but they haven’t had sex in 17 months.

During an exercise with the show’s therapist Peter Charleston, Michelle watches a video of herself having an argument with Jason.

The fight covers all bases: She wants help with the kids, she thinks he works too much, he wants sex, she doesn’t want to have sex.

“Michelle, what if you tried to appeal to Jason by talking about something that he will listen to — something that’s important to him,” suggests Mr Charleston. “Think about it as a bargaining tool. What bargaining tool do you have?”

Michelle immediately blurts out, “sex”, and is told to use Jason’s desire for sex to her advantage.
But withholding or offering up sex to get what you want – be it a home cooked meal, an unpacked dishwasher, or actual human interaction – is not a great idea, says Matt Tilley, a clinical professional fellow from Curtin University’s Department of Sexology.

“I wouldn’t support a strategy of bargaining. I would look at the root cause of the dissatisfaction in the relationship to see how the lack of sex could be resolved,” Mr Tilley told

“The idea that anyone can just turn sex off and on for their partner when there may be a reduced or insufficient connection, is absolutely ludicrous.”

How to Tell if It’s Time to Get Help for Your Sex Life

Relationships have sexual ups and downs — and that’s normal. Factors, from stress to busy schedules to hormones, can get in the way of intimacy and make our sex lives feel less exciting than they likely did at the beginning of a relationship.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by your bedroom problems, it may be time to consider calling in some professional backup and seeing a sex therapist. “There are always one-offs here and there, such as stress, lifestyle, and hormones,” says sex therapist Kat Van Kirk, PhD, “but the real indicator that you need someone to address your issues it is to look for a pattern.”

Sex therapist Vanessa Marin agrees, pointing out that waiting to solve an issue can be unhealthy for your relationship. “Too many couples put off sex therapy and the problem snowballs,” she says. “If you’re in crisis mode by the time you land in a therapist’s office, you’re going to have to spend more time trying to address your anger and resentment than you will addressing the original issue.”

Here are seven signs you might benefit from sex therapy from Drs. Kat and Marin.

You’re Constantly Fighting With Your Partner

If you find that you and your S.O. are bickering more than usual, don’t get too alarmed. “What you have to do is make sure the fighting is constructive,” Dr. Kat says. If you feel like your arguments are getting unproductive and repetitive, a therapist can help you walk through exercises to turn your fighting from nasty to constructive. Dr. Kat, for example, works with couples “on getting them aware of what their triggers are, what the signs are in their bodies [when they’re reaching to triggers], and what their negative self-talk is.”

Once patients are aware of why they’re feeling what they’re feeling during a disagreement with their partner, Dr. Kat helps them with tools for managing their emotions and getting out of “fight or flight” mode, which encourages people to get defensive or abandon a discussion altogether.

“This can involve breath work, verbalizations, eye-gazing, advocating for two-minute breaks to regroup, counting to 10, or even reaching out for body-to-body contact in order to switch up the energy of the interaction,” she explains. “Also, having established ‘fair fighting rules’ can be helpful. What works can be different for every couple.”

You Can’t Orgasm

Let’s say you’ve been having sex with your partner for a while, but you haven’t orgasmed from it yet. While orgasm isn’t the be-all and end-all of your sex life, it can be a great part of it and you deserve to figure out what’s going on. Take a look at what’s happening in your life and your relationship: Have you been feeling more stressed than usual? Have you been communicating your desires to your partner? If it’s been a while and you still don’t know why you haven’t been able to come with your partner (and that’s an experience you’d like to have), it’s time to think about sex therapy.

And what if you’ve never had an orgasm — like, ever? Seeing a sex therapist is a great step. “The main issue is that women are made to feel guilty for not knowing how to orgasm, but they’re never given the opportunity to learnhow to orgasm,” Marin says. “They feel really lost about what they need to get there, and it’s hard to find accurate information.”

Sex therapists can be like detectives, working with you to pinpoint what’s holding you back from maximum pleasure and giving you action items, such as masturbation techniques, to help you get there.

11 Relationship Problems That Might Be Sabotaging Your Love Life

Here are 11 common relationship problems and how you can improve them.

Relationships go through rough patches — it’s inevitable. But if you feel like your relationships almost always end in dismay or you’re constantly fighting over the same thing, one of the following issues may be the cause.

Here are some common relationship problems that might be at the root of your issues, as well as tips on how to solve them taken from my own personal experiences, friends experiences, and lots of editing I’ve done for expert relationship coaches and therapists.

1. You’re more focused on being right than being in love.

Relationships aren’t about egos, they’re the place where you can be completely yourself. I once had to listen to my friend and her boyfriend fight over a right and left turn. She was right about the turn and he was wrong, but she wouldn’t let it go causing him to get angry. This made it a miserable ride for everyone.

You shouldn’t get so caught up in being right that you won’t let things go. It’s more important to be happy than right, and it’s important to acknowledge that everyone gets things wrong from time to time.

Next time you find yourself in a situation like this take a step back and think about what’s more important. Your ego screaming “I’m right!” or just letting it slide (as long as it’s not a HUGE issue) and being happy. Remember: don’t sweat the small stuff, because it’s only small stuff.

2.You pick apart every little thing your partner does.

Everyone has pet peeves but you have to realize you can’t change someone. You fell in love with who they are, not who you want them to be. Constantly picking and nagging at everything they do will just lead them to be angry or feel worthless.

If you don’t like something they’re doing, try sitting them down and having an in-depth conversation about how you’re feeling. Approach the issue together instead of attacking.

3. You’re not prioritizing your partner’s needs.

Your needs are important but when you’re in a relationship your partner’s needs are just as important. You have to make sure you’re making them feel heard and paying attention to their needs. After all, you want them to do the same for you!

4. You’re focusing on the negatives, or what you don’t have.

No relationship is perfect – not even the #relationshipgoals couples on Instagram. Everyone struggles, fights and has their own problems to work through. It’s so important to focus on all that you do have instead of all you don’t have.

I wanted nothing more than to go on a trip with a guy I dated in the past — but I had the money and he didn’t. I couldn’t change his financial situation and I couldn’t afford to pay for us both to go. So instead, we went on a day trip together and it ended up being a lot cheaper and less stressful.

woman asking apology

5. You’re making everything about you and taking things to heart.

We’re all human, it’s very easy to feel attacked or feel defensive. Instead of taking everything to heart, talk it out. Tell your partner what they said or did that hurt you, and how it made you feel.

One of my good friends hates that her boyfriend goes out all the time because she says when he gets drunk he gets mean. She would bottle up her emotions and pretend everything was okay, while he kept doing it over and over again. But when she finally told him that it was really upsetting her, he started changing his habit.

It’s better to have a calm conversation than to just blow up or become guarded. No one can read minds. If something is bothering you, it’s wise to just talk about it.

6. You’re not allowing each other the time to speak honestly.

Honesty is key in a relationship. You have to create a space where you can openly talk to each other about your problems, concerns, and emotions. You shouldn’t feel intimidated when confronting your partner about something that’s bothering you, and they shouldn’t feel that way either.

My guy friend had this problem with his girlfriend. He felt like she wasn’t appreciating him enough and that his attention wasn’t doing it for her. He was scared that she might leave. When he finally put his heart out there and expressed his concerns, it turned out that she didn’t even realize she was hurting him this way. They made a safe space for communication and worked through all the kinks.

7. You’re not growing together.

Things might not be working out anymore because you’ve grown separately and one may feel as if the other person is holding them back or dragging them down. Everyone grows at a different pace and in different ways. The things you were interested in a year ago might be different than what you’re interested in now.

My best friend and her ex bought a house together, but as time went on they realized they were turning into two completely different people. She wanted to go out to experience life while he was content with staying home on the computer. It ended up driving them apart. It wasn’t anything either of them did — they just started growing in their own ways.

Neither of you are at fault for the way you change, but it’s important to realize that you can outgrow people.

8. You’re constantly jealous or aggravated when your partner does something without you.

If you enjoy spending time with your partner, you’re likely in a great relationship. But if you’re feeling possessive about your partner’s time, take a pause. You have to allow each other time to spend with friends and other people you care about.

I have a lot of friends who do not trust their boyfriends to go out without them. They stay up worrying where they are and who they’re with and what they’re doing. They hate when their significant other goes out without them and that makes their entire relationship rocky.

Consider how a little bit of space keeps relationships healthy. Be careful not to begrudge your partner or yourself of that time, because it can only make you resentful.

9. You have unrealistic expectations.

Having expectations and standards are fine. In fact, they’re encouraged! But they have to be realistic. Our lives are not like the movies — things don’t always play out in a romantic, happy ending.

There probably won’t be someone throwing rocks at your window if you get in a fight. Don’t compare yourself and your relationship to everything you see on social media or in movies. Often times, people only show the good stuff; it’s rare that people show the bad.

Don’t put too much pressure and expectations on your partner, especially when you know they can’t reach those expectations. Don’t expect them to buy you an expensive bag or book a trip to Europe when you know they have a lot of other expenses to pay. Don’t get so wrapped up in material items that you overlook the little things they do for you, like open the door or tell you that you look beautiful. Sometimes the simple things are the best things.

relationship problems

10. You try to control every situation.

Things won’t always go as planned. Maybe you booked a trip somewhere together and the traffic sucks or you missed your flight and now have a long layover. Don’t get so worked up about missing the flight that you can’t see the next one.

One time, I was supposed to have a great dinner with a guy I was seeing, but he had a bad day at work (something out of his control). Instead of letting it go, he carried that anger with him into our date. It ended up putting me in a bad mood and made me want nothing more than to go home, alone. He took his frustration out on me and it ruined the night for both of us.

It’s good to remember that sometimes there’s nothing in your power to change bad things from happening and let it go. It’s not your partner’s fault that things didn’t go as planned, so don’t allow yourself to take your frustration out on them.

11. You let past trauma affect your current relationship.

Everyone has gone through trauma in their lives in some way. No one is exempt from struggle or pain but at some point you have to let that go.

Maybe you grew up in a broken household but your current partner is trying to show you how much they want to be there. You have to trust them and let them at some point instead of continuously trying to push them away or find something wrong with them. Believing that “everyone leaves” is almost too easy. It will make you guarded instead of opening your heart and allowing yourself to feel and be vulnerable.

Hurt people hurt people — and you don’t want to be that person. No relationship is the same and the way your last relationship hurt you isn’t a prediction for your current relationship. Don’t let your previous trauma keep hurting you because what’s in the past is in the past.

These common relationship problems are just that — common.

Love, relationships and dating can be confusing and challenging but everyone goes through them. These tips can help you put things into perspective next time you start to feel aggravated with love.

Looking for more tips? Read on to find out why dating is so particularly complicated right now, as well as how to tap into your intuition when searching for love.