11 Women Who Have ‘On Again, Off Again’ Relationships Share Why They Continue To Go Back


1. “I never got enough from him, but he gave me more than anyone else. And while I knew he wasn’t giving me everything I deserved, at that time I felt it was better than not having him at all.” —Bethany, 26

2. “I went back because he was familiar. It’s like putting on your comfy sweats at the end of the day versus seeing a cute dress on the hanger and trying it on. You know the sweats will feel good, but the dress is a gamble. He’s my comfy pair of sweats.” —Cecily, 23

3. “When we were ‘on’ the satisfaction was well worth the sadness I experienced when we were ‘off.’ So each time we’d end it, or break up, I’d remember how good it was to be back together, and even though I wouldn’t admit it at the time, I’d try to get us ‘on’ again.” —Kate, 29

4. “He constantly mistreated me, and I constantly mistreated him as some sort of ‘payback.’ Our relationship was founded and built on spite. Why did I keep going back? Because I strangely thought leaving would make him think I was weak. It was like a fight I had to win. Sounds so toxic…because it was.” —Sara, 24

5. “We started in high school, which I think speaks for itself. We both grew together in our home town, but when we went to different colleges we suddenly had to grow together while physically apart. We’d keep things ‘open’ during the semesters, both agreeing to experience college with no boundaries, but when we’d come home for breaks our reconnection was inevitable. We’d immediately both remember why we loved each other, but after being apart we both had too many questions that we didn’t really want answered. I kept reconnecting with him because I wanted to be in love the way we were in high school. It took us both a long time to realize we weren’t those same people anymore.” —Elise, 25

6. “He knew my flaws, and he accepted them. I felt like no one else would, or did, so I kept going back. I now realize that’s far from true.” —Mollie, 27

7. “Every time I find someone new and it fails, I think of him, and that is why I go back.” —Alexa, 22

8. “When I finally find someone I like, they ask about past relationships. I’m a wholly honest person, so I’m not going to hide anything, but when they find out my ex has been ‘on and off’ it’s an immediate red flag. The new guys either slowly distance themselves, or flat out tell me they can’t be with a girl who is still in love with their ex. I know I’m not still in love with him, I just think I’m not ready to fully give myself to someone else.” —Helena, 25

9. “I went back to him because it was hard to forget how happy I felt when I was with him.” —Nadia, 28

10. “It’s completely over now, and has been for about 3 years, and it’s simply because I’ve grown and matured. Back then I tried to make him something I wanted, which is why it was on and off, because it was only on when he was someone I wanted him to be.” —Gabby, 29

11. “I think everyone just assumes that if you go back to someone continuously you have low self-esteem because you feel like you can’t find anyone else. Maybe that is why I kept returning, but it wasn’t just me going back to him, he was coming back to me too.” —Dee, 24