To be frank, it's probably not a surprise, but a new study has revealed that on-again-off-again relationships are seriously bad for your mental health.
Researchers, led by Brian Ogolsky and Ramona Oswald from the University of Missouri-Colombia, discovered that staying together after cyclical patterns of breaking up then making up are detrimental to both members of the relationship's mental health, and it may be best to end it all together.
Speaking to Science Daily, Kale Monk, assistant professor of human development and family science said:
Breaking up and getting back together is not always a bad omen for a couple.
In fact, for some couples, breaking up can help partners realise the importance of their relationship, contributing to a healthier, more committed unions.
On the other hand, partners who are routinely breaking up and getting back together could be negatively impacted by the pattern.
The study, which was published in journal Family Relations, examined data from more than 500 individuals currently in both same-sex and heterosexual relationships, and found that the cyclical pattern of making up and breaking up was associated with higher rates of anxiety and depression, regardless of their orientation.
A common reason for people getting back together is simply practicality, or financial worries. Monk says these are irrelevant and people should only get back together based on their dedication to the relationship:
The findings suggest that people who find themselves regularly breaking up and getting back together with their partners need to 'look under the hood' of their relationships to determine what's going on.
If partners are honest about the pattern, they can take the necessary steps to maintain their relationships or safely end them. This is vital for preserving their well-being.