Ask Ash: Can on/off relationships work?

Ask Ash: Can on/off relationships work out in the end?

Upon rebooting the blog for 2022, I created a feature I’m calling Ask Ash, which you will see linked in the main menu bar. From that page, you can anonymously submit a dating and relationship question that will get sent to me and I’ll answer it briefly here in a blog post. I decided to try this out for the purpose of connecting and providing value to readers.

My responses will be honest and mostly drawn from my thoughts, intuition, research, or experiences. Other readers are free to share their thoughts in the comments section as well.

If that sounds like something you might be interested in, go ahead and fill out the form on the Ask Ash page and let me know what’s going on.

Ok so let’s get started on the first question that was submitted.

This person asks:

“Can couples who’ve broken up three times, learn from each other and do it again successfully?”

The on again off again relationship. I’ve definitely been there.

In most cases, I do think it is possible to solidify an unstable relationship IF both partners are fully committed to making it work. But they both must be all in on this. They also need to be emotionally mature, self aware, and good at listening and communication.

You mentioned the idea of learning from each other, and that’s really important because all relationships require learning for growth and potential. If you’re not learning anything, you won’t be able to grow and the relationship will have no chance of moving forward.

Essentially, there needs to be a corrective course of action against the reasons why the breakups from before were happening. If these underlying issues aren’t resolved, you’ll continue to see the same problems popping up and the relationship will only keep falling apart.

Figure out the root cause(s) for the breakups, and figure out your part and responsibility in it as well.

What patterns need to be broken?

What actions can you take that can improve on these issues?

What things will you do differently than before?

Now, all this is assuming that there is a foundation of general compatibility and nothing too serious that caused the breakups (like abuse or repeated infidelity).

All in all, I’d say the likelihood of an on again off again relationship breaking the cycle of breaking up depends on you and the other person, how compatible you are and how willing you both are to resolving the issues that caused the relationship to fall apart in the first place.

If you would like more in depth help with this or any other dating and relationship challenge, I am now taking new clients for 1:1 coaching. For more info, check out the Coaching tab up in the main menu bar and from there, you can fill out the application to get started working privately with me.

Until next time,

Ash Pariseau

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